Back in 2008, Abracadabra
spent most of her time in her slip due to what turned out to be a Martec prop problem
. Or so we thought. For various reasons, Abracadaba
saw little use in the following three seasons. Taking Abracadabra
over for haulout, last fall, the problem was back: Attempting to accelerate too hard or exceed a certain speed (based on headwinds and water): And she'd "break free." There's no way that Martec prop has enough time on it to need a rebuild again.
But there is this...
When we had the stuffing box hose replaced by our yard, season-before-last, the yard noted "Did you know your prop shaft is bent?" Me: "Uh... no?" Yard: "It is. Not badly, but it is bent."
Here's my theory: In order for a prop to work, there must be attached flow on its blades. Cavitation is what happens when you lose that. My theory is the excess vibration and disturbed motion of the prop is causing the problem.
The yard pulled the prop shaft earlier this week. Turns out that, not only was it bent, but it was out-of-round and, as the yard put it, "just plain worn out." Turns out the cutlass bearing was done for, too. (Me: "Huh. The yard that swapped props for us said it was fine, then." Them: "When was that?" Me: "Two or three years ago?" [Turns out it was four.] Yard: "There's no way that
cutlass bearing was any good two or three years ago." Interesting.)
Our plan, so as to get her in the water and actually, you know, sail
, this season, is to put the Michigan Wheel on the new prop shaft (we don't trust the Martec any more), live with the light air performance hit, and, once our finances have recovered, put a Gori folding prop on.