Salty 48


Salty, a 1989 Contessa 26' Sloop (JJ Taylor)


Project Complete:  293.75 total hours

Scope of Project:  Repower; electrical and systems replacement and upgrades; windvane installation; miscellaneous upgrades and improvements

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May 11, 2016

Salty 48

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Now that the coupling was painted, I continued with the shaft installation.  After inserting the shaft from outside, I installed the new coupling from inside the boat, then used a scrap of wood cut to 1-1/4″ width as a stand-in for the plastic sacrificial coupling that I’d eventually install between the shaft and transmission, but first I wanted to ensure that the shaft length was correct and as I specified, since the clearance with the rudder was so tight.  I didn’t want to install the flexible coupling just yet since I needed to use the steel coupling to finish the engine alignment first.

Fortunately, the shaft length and clearance was correct.

Now I brought the couplings together inside the boat, and adjusted the engine as needed on its mounts to correct the initial alignment, which had the engine just a bit too far to port at the aft side.  But overall, the engine position that I’d determined based on my plywood engine template was very close right from the start, and soon I could tighten all the mounting bolts to secure the engine in its final position.

Next, I pushed back the shaft and then installed it permanently using the plastic sacrificial and isolation coupling between the two steel flanges.

Down on the ground, I’d hoped to install the propeller, but I found to my dismay that I couldn’t seem to twist the very flat-pitched 3-blade prop onto the shaft and around the rudder.  I tried various rudder positions and angles, to no avail, and with time running short on my available time on this day, I decided to approach it again another time.  I thought the easiest way to increase clearance would be to remove the plastic coupling inside–the coupling that I’d only moments before labored to install with its eight bolts (sigh)–but this seemed far easier than removing the rudder.  In any event, sometimes a fresh day makes all the difference, so I’d try anew a little later.  Maybe I’d missed the one perfect angle where the prop would slide right on despite the rudder.

Total time billed on this job today:  2.75 hours

0600 Weather Observation:
32°, clear.  Forecast for the day:  Sunny, 60s