Monday, 23 March 2009

Our 'Boating Support Network'

As we have mentioned in previous blog posts (and indeed in our WW article), the one way in which Lucky Duck has always been lucky is that whenever anything goes wrong, we always seem to have the good fortune to be surrounded by people (and their boats) who are more than willing to help us out. A plethora of friends and family with expert knowledge in various fields are also only a phonecall away when disaster strikes!

We had decided to carry out the repairs in Cambridge for this reason, knowing that as well as access to hardware stores we'd also be able to ask our friends and neighbours for advice if needed. There are of course, people willing to help out in Upware, but its a bit further to go if you need to suddenly buy something that no-one can lend. However, it was the arrival in town of a certain blue widebeam that was the most fortuitous event of the last few days' travails. Without the use of their wonderful 6kW generator and John's angle grinding skills, things would have been rather more difficult.


John gets stuck in

We are equally grateful to James of nb Kestrel who got up early on Sunday morning to perform open Duck surgery despite having plenty of jobs on his own boat to attend to.

(big)James triumphant with the mutilated coupling finally removed!

The old coupling finally removed, it was clear that the new one was too big. In the last post, James remonstrated himself for getting it wrong, but he seems to have forgotten that it was not his fault at all. Anyone who knows James will attest that despite best intentions, he is (like all of us) entirely capable of making such a mistake, but not this time! We took the measurement for the prop shaft diameter from a document given to us when we bought the boat, clearly stating that the shaft was 1 1/2 inch. Either way, prior to taking the coupling off, there was no way to check the diameter short of taking the weed hatch off and ruining James' digital calipers by measuring the shaft underwater, because the shaft was entirely obscured by the coupling and stern gear. Even then, there would have been no guarantee that it was the same on the other side of the stern tube!

However, I have been in touch with the chandlery that sent us the R&D coupling, Chandlery World, who were very helpful. In fact, our new 1 1/4 inch split half coupling should be with us tomorrow. Fingers crossed that we'll be on the move soon!

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