Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
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Check Your Shaft Bolts !
My dock neighbor went out for a sail Sunday. When he put it into reverse to back into his slip the boat started this ungodly banging and the whole boat started to shake violently. He shut down and pulled the boat into the slip by hand (it's a 30 footer).
I went on board and we started going over the boat. What we found was pretty scary. There are four bolts that connect the propeller shaft to the transmission and only one bent bolt was holding the shaft on. The unbalanced shaft whipped around taking a chunk out of the bilge, cracking part of the floor and shoving the motor out of alignment by a good inch.
What makes this so scary is if he'd sheered the last bolt he could have lost the shaft and the boat. Two of the bolts we found in the bilge had signs of corrosion.
Check your shaft bolts as part of your spring prep.
The mechanic was at the boat today. He'd hit a submerged object in the channel which had caused some increased vibration that he'd planned to check out when he returned to the dock. The mechanic thinks he bent the shaft and that the bent shaft then worked the bolts out. Evidently some corrosion on these bolts is not unusual. He'll get hauled tomorrow and they'll get a better idea of the damage.
95 Catalina 30 Island Time
“The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
Last edited by JimMcGee; 04-22-2009 at 05:00 PM.