What a lovely March morning to finish moving the boat to Tring, ready for her survey.
Having stocked up on supplies and got car transport arranged I got the boat all watered and gassed up ready to go. The new heater looked good and would ensure we had warm water if needed (unlikely on a short trip of a few hours. But a nice little luxury to be pleased with.
Phil wandered off to prep the first lock while I brought the boat up the couple of hundred yards, moving over to let a pair of boats go by.
Moving over a bit too far to let them go by and finding a mud bank. Now normally the boat will stick on mud, sharp end (bow) first. This time I seemed to have caught it with the prop. With the other boat gone I revered up to move off. Loads of revs, loads of smoke, plenty of rocking but no water moved, at all. Not forwards, not backwards, so out came the boat pole and I poled her to the bank.
The long and short of it was that the prop and shaft had been dragged backwards out of the drive coupling meaning the engine was doing its best but the prop was having nothing of it, just shrugging its shoulders and taking the hump about the way it had been treated.
Now pushing it back in was not too hard, but it is designed with a little bar of metal (Woodruff key) which makes sure that when the engine turns so does the prop shaft. Do you think we could find it, nope. Looked everywhere in the engine bay. Having given up looking we had another cup of tea and then we went home, or rather to Cowroast to pick our cars and per chance Darren the engineer was there, had a replacement and gave me some great advice, which included some people do not fit the keys, just do the coupling up tight. Perhaps we’d been looking for something that was never there! I just found an old picture of the shaft. As you can seen, there was no bar in that shaft. There is now, a nice bright brass one that fits a treat. Thanks Darren, he is a good engineer, can’t speak highly enough of him, especially as he interrupted his lunch to help out.
So moral of this story could be don’t be too eager to pull over to let others get by, or it’s more important to know your engine well than improving the home comforts, or perhaps most of all when it comes to getting a bit of help it really is who you know that matters.