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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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.

Update
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.



Jim
 

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If they had backed out that long ago, his survey prior to purchase should have caught it... If he didn't get a survey.... now he knows why he is supposed to get one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Having been a captain for many years he opted to do his own survey.

I always like a second set of eyes but everyone is different.
 

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the two corroded bolts in the bilge had likely already backed out before he bought the boat last year
I would think that two out of four missing bolts lying in the bilge would have been easy enough to spot.

Your right, a thorough inspection is a necessity.
 

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and paid for it...
Having been a captain for many years he opted to do his own survey.

I always like a second set of eyes but everyone is different.
 

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So just in case I checked my shaft connection bolts (although it was reinstalled 2 years ago so they should still be ok). Bolts were fine but I found what looks like a leak below the exhaust elbow. (I kinda always knew its there because the rear port engine mount is pretty rusted, never seen real evidence of leak though). Well, so one more job for the season - disconnect and reseal the exhaust elbow. I hate this job (did it before).

May be letting things just go until they break is the right thing to do after all. Trying to be proactive and stay on top of things on an older boat pretty much means working 100% of the time :)
 

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Brak—

If the exhaust elbow is leaking, you may also have a CO leak... which is really bad news. I'd highly recommend you fix it ASAP.
 

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Brak—

If the exhaust elbow is leaking, you may also have a CO leak... which is really bad news. I'd highly recommend you fix it ASAP.
It's a diesel - so there really isn't much CO in the exhaust. That said, I actually measured CO levels on the boat with CO meter previously (just out of general curiosity) and there is 0 ppm, even directly around the engine.

The leak is pretty small as far as I can see, more like an occasional drip based on the signs.

Anyway, I'll get on with it. I just hate taking apart exhaust elbows.
 
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