Leaving Antigua, W. I.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

All Finished

New versus old

We hauled Play Actor out on February 24.  Once she was blocked up on the hardstand, we pulled the old propeller and drew the shaft.  There was enough growth on the shaft inside the stern tube to make it challenging to get the shaft out past the cutless bearing, but persistence and penetrating oil will overcome calcium deposits every time.  We took the old shaft and the new one, along with the new  coupling, down the street to the machine shop, and had them cut and key the new shaft, and check the shaft and coupling for trueness.

While we waited on the shaft, we had the yard sand and paint the bottom with fresh antifouling, which we had not done in 3 years.  We  also installed a new cutless bearing, since we had the shaft out,
Note blade cross section

although the old one was still in good shape.  The yard finished the paint on March 1, the same day that the machine shop completed the shaft work.  We installed the shaft and did a rough engine alignment, and installed the new propeller.  We launched Play Actor on March 2, and completed the alignment of the engine and shaft in the water.

We started the engine and put it through its paces while tied to the working dock, although we could not check the engine RPM at full throttle for fear of literally ripping out the dock.  We got up to 2800 RPM before the dock began to give way, and we had not quite reached full throttle, so the prop, a Campbell Sailer (sic) 3 bladed one, appears to be at least reasonably close to the right pitch.  The old

Note old blade cross section
engine / prop combination didn't have that kind of power.  The new prop certainly delivers plenty of thrust, in spite of looking very small compared to the old, standard three bladed prop it replaced.

It's good to be back in the water.  We plan to spend a few days at the dock with plenty of fresh water and electricity to finish our clean up.

To those who have followed our progress, thanks for your interest.  We will happily answer any questions you may have.  Just drop us an email.

In place


  1. Congratulations - great job!

    I will either haul my boat to replace the MD17 either this weekend or next. I'm trying to figure out if your rear mounts are different than mine. From the photos in your blog, they seem to go up to the bed mounts more than mine do, but it's very difficult to tell for sure. I'm trying to determine if I will have the same surprise that you had...

    I'm installing a 4JH5E in a Cascade 42. Unfortunately, I'm not retired, so it will take me longer. But fortunately, being employed helps me pay for it all!

  2. Thanks, Tracy. It's good to have it finished. Being employed to help pay for it sounds good -- it's almost a year of the cruising budget, but it surely is nice to have. It's unbelieveably quiet and smooth compared to the Volvo, and I'm sure yours will be better, being a 4 cylinder.

    It's hard to tell what Volvo did with the brackets. Apparently, they had several different versions, because these don't look to have been aftermarket fabrications.

    Let me know if you want pictures of the Volvo in the next day or two. It's on a pallet in the yard here. Drop me an email at playactor@att.net with a return email address if you want, and I'll go snap a few, although yours may well be different. I built the beds about an inch low on purpose and cut shims to fit under the mounts, on the theory that if it's too short, you can splice it, but if it's too long, you're out of luck.