This is my first year with the boat. I keep her in Narragansett Bay.
Last year, before I purchased her, the owner, surveyor and I tried to motor over to the haul out dock. However, the prop was so covered in barnacles, that we were unable to make sternway to back away from the mooring that she was kept on. The owner jumped over the side with a spatula (I believe that he was fearing for the sale) and proceeded to scrape the prop free-er so that we could make our way over to the haulout. The trip to the haulout slip was very slooow. Once she was hauled, this is what the prop looked like;
I remember the broker stating that his observation is that last year was a banner year for marine growth.
This spring, I cleaned and painted the prop, and prop shaft with two coats of Interlux Transducer paint. The shaft and the prop are bronze, and I know that I need to replace the cutlass bearing this year. Strangely, the prop shaft moved up and down, but not side to side. Here is a pic taken before I painted the prop;
She has been great all summer, and I scrubbed the bottom, but not the prop, once in July and again in August. I've taken her out about once a week, except for the past three weeks, when Hurricane Irene kept everyone in their slip, and the week after when I was cleaning up.
This past weekend I motored out, and she seemed sluggish in response to the throttle. Also, there seemed to be a LOT more vibration than usual (amplitude) over a much wider RPM range. At one point the vibration was so bad that I left the crew at the helm as we were motoring, and checked the engine.
I thought that the motor mount had failed!
The engine (normally very smooth) was jumping about ˝" (total) with each revolution of the shaft.
Would any of you care to guess; Do you think that this could be marine growth? Or is it something mechanical?
Also, any suggestions about how to handle the inspection? The water is murky and getting cold. (I don't own a wetsuit)