Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yanmar SD20 Sail-Drive.

Remember we beached Catlyn about a month ago to replace the sail-drive oil seals on the port engine. Also remember that this post is only my feminen knowledge and input and observation over male shoulders looking at this big monstrous machine.The seals are in the sail-drive leg just behind the propeller to prevent salt water entering this leg and I hope also to prevent oil from leaking into the sea.  We thought this problem was solved by replacing the seals, but alas. Johan noticed salt water in the oil again, giving it a milky color.  So we beached again,  putting Catlyn`s belly gently down onto the sand.  Itaparica is absolutely suitable for this excercise,  we even saw a mono-hull beaching here!

As soon as the water level dropped a bit,  we started scrubbing and it was shocking to see how dirty Catlyn was in only a months time. Maybe it was the warm water,  maybe it was the brown rivers or maybe it was lying in Pier Salvador where a lot of boats were on the beach doing repairs and polluting the water.  She had her first oil stains clinging to her like a penguin covered with black suffocating oil.The barnicles were clustered all over her belly,  and she is definitely going to need a big anti-fouling job in Trinidad!

With Catlyn on the sandbank, Johan realised that the problem isn`t with the oil seals, but the leak is higher up the sail-drive.  The leak must be somewhere at the joint in the upper section of the lower leg...or that is how it looked like.  This didn`t look like a job squashed into the couple of hours of low tide on the beach. Tomorrow, Monday, Johan will phone Yanmar in Cape Town.  They replaced a safety membrane under guarantee October last year,  and did some stuff on the sail drive.  I will keep you posted...

See the fresh oil running down the leg.

Ps.  We`ve met Bert and Michelle from sailing yacht Snatch in Port Owen, last year. They will be sailing to Salvador in September 2011.  Thanx for joining us as followers,  we look forward to your participation as we know that you are long time sailors!

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