I took an extra week off work ( thanks guys) to finish RW and today was the first day it hasn't bloody rained! Finally today I was able to start the P Bracket re-install. All the messy grinding completed and the P Bracket hole opened up a little so fresh epoxy could bond with good GRP and it was time for alignment....check once, twice..... six times and then epoxy. The shaft was centred in the stern tube rather than rely on the engine alignment; mainly because I didn't have a 27mm deep socket to raise the rear mounts. When I mated the shaft to gearbox coupling it was easy to see how the engine had sagged in its rear mounts by a good 6mm - so I just kept the shaft centrelined in the stern tube.....very conveniently with 2 x 1/4" drill bits seperated by a 9/64" bit. This made a nice little cradle for the shaft to sit in whilst maintaining perfect alignment.
Down below, the shaft also needs to be centred in the aft end of the stern tube - a little more difficult to measure, so a tongue depressor turned into a 1/4" go/nogo gauge made life easier. The final step is to ensure the P Bracket cutlass bearing slides evenly along the shaft, in and out of the P Bracket, indicating no load on the bearing. A yard stand was used to hold all in alignment and when satisfied all was ok .........I pulled it all apart so I could prep the wet out the area with epoxy! End result, the P Bracket is now in and the alignment is spot on.
Tomorrow...if the weather holds... I will glass in the underside and finish off the teak box I laminated up to encase the topside of the P Bracket. Then epoxy and fibreglass my butt off before it rains again!!
I fitted the Jefa Linear Auto Pilot drive assy yesterday and I am extremely happy with the result. It certainly looks industrial size on my little 36 footer! Will wire it up up once back at the mooring. Took the opportunity to clean out and tidy the aft locker under the cockpit....and remove the heater.....yes, a heater. RW has a Eberspacher diesel heater system ducted to all cabins (worth around 5K!!!). Not sure of its condition, but hell, something to do when I retire and want to sail to Tassie! Finally I have finished the seacocks and nearly all hoses have been replaced. Shower drain will have to wait as the sole needs to come up. Also replaced a cockpit drain that needed modifying so I could install the Jefa drive. Probably the biggest win of the day was removal of the rusted keel bolt under the shower ...this baby gave me a good hour of grief as the nut was just about gone. You should try standing on one leg, leaning on an elbow with your head wedged against the dunny whilst fighting with a 3/4" breaker bar + a length of pipe for that little bit extra oomph! Finally she relented and let go, and a new stud and washer have been cut ready to fit. The keel is nicely bolted on by 15 x M24 SS studs. As she is 29 years young and crevice corrosion is SS worst enemy, I bought 3metres of 316 M24 threaded rod and 316 nuts and made my own washers ( orig were mild steel) made from 316 plate.
The PSS dripless shaft seal arrived today and Port Stephens Sheetmetal finished making my shroud chainplates. Great service from Jamie. So while the glass is curing tomorrow, I will metal polish the top of the chainplates, reseal and install. Prop shaft, PSS seal and couplings next and then onto the antifoul sanding and a new boot top strip. All go, go go.... and the light at the end of the tunnel does not appear to be another train!