This happened two weeks ago, but fun...
My wife invited one of her friends from southeast Washington out for a sail. Smooth day - 8-10 knots of wind dying down to a calm in the afternoon. The wind had picked up and the husband was having a blissful time in the wind while the wife was dying of cold. Beautiful pictures of Seattle were taken and everyone was happy.
As the wind died down we motored back up to the marina, and trouble struck. About half a mile north of the lighthouse we simply slowed down. Handling the stick, I became curious and worried. I opened the lazarette to see what was going on and saw a small disk splashing around in a mini-pool. I grabbed the pump and passed it to the husband demanding he start pumping. "What water? How does this work?"..."All the water! Figure it out!"
I dove into the lazarette, compressing myself to the size of a pop-tart, and examined the damage. A small shim had come undone, which allowed the prop to walk up the transmission shaft. Along with the shaft came the stuff box. After calling my partner on the cell, a lot of cursing, double-checking, and more cursing, I cranked a bolt through two sheathes of metal and locked the binding.
We slowly sped up and managed to dock. Hours after expected, but with a great story. The moral is - learn what's happening below. I was grateful my partner had asked me to help him on some minor engine work, which helped me diagnose the issues, and more importantly, describe the appropriate parts over the phone. Without that knowledge, we would have had to have been towed in or tried to sail in (horrible idea), only to be told we could have fixed the issue in the sea.
All the best,