Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Got Lucky Update

On the hard, waiting for the travel lift

A lot of work has been done to Lucky over the last few days.  The port drive has been removed, fixed and replaced.  The props are back on.  The detail has been finished.  All the bits are back on the hard top.  The fuel sender has been calibrated and Lucky is in the water.  Of course, not everything went smoothly and the gory details follow.  For those uninterested in the techie details, look at the pretty pictures here and skip to the next post.

So last we left it, the port drive had water in the oil and no apparent entry point.  On Monday the technician came, dropped the drive and took it away.  Once the drive was dropped it was obvious there was a leak as there was a significant amount of salt crystals built up inside.  Yesterday the drive returned with the news.  An internal seal, one of two that seal the part of the drive that provides the vertical rotation, had torn.  In addition, the part of the drive that the large seal at the top seats on had pitted and was providing access for water as well.  So the seal was replaced and the bed refinished.  as the drive was being placed into Lucky, the tech noticed that the drive exhaust elbow had corrosion around one of the seals.  I was given the option to replace or ignore, but decided that I'd better bite the bullet now rather than be bitten later.  So that meant a day delay before the exhaust was replaced.  That happened today, first thing.  Then the drives were calibrated to each other.  Lucky was ready to be splashed.  There then followed a four hour delay while another boat was being placed on a rig to be trucked to Napa, California.  Bill, the owner, has been a sailor for 16 years but had decided that enough was enough.  He searched across the country for the boat he was looking for - a Tiara 35' open - and found one in Naples.  What are the odds?  Normally, placing a boat on a trailer should take less than an hour, but there were several causes for the delay.  All the barnacles needed to be scraped off (1 hour).  The trailer needed to be put in the correct position and made the correct length (another hour).  Unsuccessfully attempting to get the overall height below 15' (yet another hour).  Sigh.  So by the time Lucky could be lifted, it was already 2pm.  The yard closes at 4.  We were splashed at 3pm and the engines could finally be turned on.  There was a leak in the exhaust, this time at the engine exhaust elbow due to a slightly warped flange.  An hour of filing got it nearly flat enough, but not quite.  The tech will be back tomorrow morning with some magic paste that will seal the remaining tiny gap.  Fingers crossed we'll sea trial, find no issues with the drives and the joystick won't need recalibrating.

While the outside of Lucky gleams, the cockpit and helm are looking very shabby.  Between the planes flying overhead on final approach to Naples airport and mechanics tromping on and off, there's plenty of grime around.  She'll get one final "service wash" from the yard, but I'm sure Steph and I will be swabbing the decks in the next few days.  Down below needs a good clean as well.  We're both itching to move in and make her home.

Monday morning I had Carl (the yard manager) help me put the life raft on the hard top.  It's way too heavy for me.  Once back in its cradle I could get the rest of the stuff up there.  Radar, air horn, loudhailer and spot light.  I needed Steph's help for a couple of items as it took one person to hold the bolt while the other tightened the nut.  The spotlight and hailer still need to be wired back in, but that won't take more than a few hours.

One of the final things to calibrate was the fuel sender.  Its a float in the fuel tank that sends a signal to the helm so you get a reading off fuel remaining.  Quite important, really!  So we recalibrated.  Made more difficult by the lack of instructions, finally resolved with a download and printout.  Using the yard's calibrating sender didn't work as it would only go down to 6% on the gauge.  Using the fitted gauge got down to 2%.  Note to self - refuel at 10% or higher.

So Lucky is in the water and we're nearly finished in the yard.  I've found us a slip we can live aboard.  It's one block south of the yard, so we'll move Lucky there once all is done at the yard.  Can't wait!  I'll be able to make decent cup of tea, for one thing!  :-)

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