Thursday, 19 June 2014

No place for Iron on a boat

Due to access issues to the shaft, Humphrey Barton's Heath Robinson shaft break needs to go. It was never a very good bit of kit although I have never used it myself. For starters it was hard to tell which way the prop was vertical with an bedded down cockpit sole. Once this is removed we can start work replacing the final galvanised floor under the it. Turning the shaft by had shows that the gear box needs some bearings replaced. Much annoyance!

I need to think about how to keep the prop vertical when sailing. Since the gearbox is hydraulic the prop will spin....and wear out the bearings again without even motoring. Low cost ideas welcome! The new cockpit sole will have an inspection hatch fitted, so I wonder that maybe something as simple as a stick with some sort of wedge on the end might do the trick?

Thinking about it, wherever there have been problems of rot, it is where iron has been used. On the frames, some quarter knees and straps in the stern. Had she been spec'd in oak or even bronze for these parts there would never have been any problems.


  1. Cheap and cheerful would be a pair of mole grips clamped onto the shaft. I'd probably look at padding out the jaws though so that the hardened teeth of the grips don't damage the shaft.

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    1. I have some mole grips and leather. That should do it.Thanks for the suggestion. The first solution without getting my cheque book out!