Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hauling Out In Whangarei

Setting up the hardstand.

Farewell, Whangarei Port Basin Marina. Your pretty sunrises will be missed, your scummy tidal river waters will not.
Hauling out at Dockland 5 in Whangarei. This is Dave's first time coming out on a travel lift, as his home port has ways.
Hauling out on a travel lift is sort of a scary-looking process. We motored in to the square cut-out under the lift and they positioned the straps in what seemed like a very casual way. We just fit, winding up with only inches to spare between the keel and the ground, and between the forestay and the frame of the travel lift. Though the lift looks small, it can lift a boat four times the weight of the Marquesa. The forward-looking radar transducer got tweaked a little by one of the straps, but otherwise everything went OK. When she arrived at her slot, they lowered her down on a couple transverse steel beams, shimmed underneath with three piles of scrap blocks, and pushed the 4 vertical steel supports that slid along the steel beams against her sides to keep her from tipping. Very haphazard looking! But stable, of course.
She's pretty clean underneath. Relatively little grows in the tropics- warm water tends to be oxygen- and nutrient- poor compared to rich cold fishing-ground waters like California, Maine, western South America... After being power-washed, she hardly even looked like she needed paint. Curious potential boat-buyers who are doing the rounds of the boatyard gravitate to the clearly well-maintained Marquesa and pelt Dave with questions daily.
As soon as she was out of the water we took a look at the prop, which had been vibrating. It had an inch or so of rotational play- not good. The moment she was set up on the hardstand Dave went to work taking apart the drive train to make sure the play wasn't coming from a damaged gear box. He rebuilt the engine and gear box just before leaving on this trip, so that would have been a real shame.
Dave used a home-made prop puller to remove the prop, and unbolted the collar, waterless packing, and cutlass bearing so he could remove the shaft. This is the first time I've seen a drive train taken apart, so I was a bit disappointed to be underneath the boat, sanding, while all this interesting stuff was going on! Fortunately the issue turned out to be due to a known problem- a worn key in the collar. That should be much easier to fix- we can cut a couple inches off the propeller shaft and fill the space with a damper, then re-key the shaft lower down.
The hauling out and power wash cost only about US $115. A hardstand at the yard costs $15/day and includes power, environmental fees, and cooking and hygiene facilities. As I soon discover, this is one of the very few things which is reasonably priced in New Zealand. Power here is 220V, and the boat's wired for 110V, so we'll be running off battery power while we're in the yard unless we can get ahold of one of the scarce transformers.

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