November 27, 2008.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. First a little recap of what’s been happening on the Veranda. The new ring gear is installed on the flywheel and the flywheel assembly is back in the boat.
That was the good news. When they went to attach the transmission to the V drive the mechanic found that an adapter plate was loosely installed. This pre assembly had been done at the transmission place in Florida. In order to access the bolts to properly tighten this adapter he had to remove a special magical Nylock nut and take the back half of the transmission apart. Unfortunately Nylock nuts can only be used once. So now the magic nut was junk. This nut is evidently very special, rare and maybe even endangered and there are none to be found in the area. So they called the transmission place in Florida, told him about the loose adapter and had him send us a new magic nut.
The nut was shipped on Friday and was supposed to come overnight but somebody dropped the ball. I’m not sure what happened but the damned nut didn’t show up until noon on Tuesday. By the time a mechanic was freed up we didn’t have someone on the boat until 1500 hours but he was able to get the bell housing and the 2 rear motor mounts back in place. Progress.
On Wednesday things went pretty well and he had the transmission back in place in record time. The V drive unfortunately was a different story. The V drive we had is no longer being made, the one we received was called “a drop in replacement”. It supposed to be exactly the same, you know, except for the differences.
The new V drive is about an inch and a half longer than the old one. The old unit fit into its allotted space like a glove. There was no room to spare. Fortunately the bulkhead directly behind the V drive can be modified. That’s right, get out the Sawsall. After some liberal obstruction removal the new V drive easily slipped into place. We will have to add some aluminum angle stock to reinforce the area where the bulkhead was modified but that shouldn’t present a problem. Oh, but there is a problem.
It turns out that the extra length of the new V drive isn’t at the back of the unit but it seems to be built into the main body. Now the coupling that is supposed to mate up with our propeller shaft coupling is 3/8 of an inch too far forward. The propeller shaft cannot be pulled far enough forward to bolt them together because the front of the propeller hub will be up against the skegs trailing edge.
We formulated a plan to overcome this new problem just as the noon hour arrived. The mechanic went to lunch never to return. He planned to be back immediately after lunch but unfortunately for us he wears two hats here in Oriental. He’s also the local Tow Boat captain. While he was at lunch I heard someone hail Tow Boat US on the radio and my heart sank. He had to drop everything and go out and pull them off a shoal. The really ironic thing was that the stranded sailors were locals and they ran into some shoaling right near their slip. By the time the mechanic got back it was time to clean up his tools and leave for the four day holiday weekend. Shit.
On the bright side Jay & Di whose picture in the snow made our last update have arrived. They were only here for one day so we spent the evening on their boat having dinner and a real good time. They had a great weather window present itself and opted to head south for warmer climes.
Our friends Ken & Carol have a big family reunion scheduled up in Washington, DC this weekend. They let us use their house to have Thanksgiving dinner in. Linda & Rick from the Makeitso joined us and then Joe & Paula stopped in for dessert and a little domino action.
So Thanksgiving dinner was great as always. Oriental really is a great place but I’m really itching to get out of here. We’ll see what Monday brings.