Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dove and replaced zinc and removed barnacles

I check the shaft zinc on Aeolus every few weeks as just a part of my boat routine, much in the way my house plants don't die because I habitually check them to see if they have enough water. My recent check of the zinc showed that it had come time to replace it, and a check of my records showed that it had indeed been 10 months since it was last new. I also noticed that the propeller was heavily fouled with barnacles. Little bastards.

Today I dove on the boat and did the works. Though saying "dove" might give the wrong impression as I am not SCUBA certified but was merely snorkeling. The water in Puget Sound is probably somewhere in the mid 40's and fortunately my wet suit is an arctic model lined with merino wool.

It keeps my core perfectly warm and is nearly a dry suit in the way it fits. Glad I haven't gained weight since I got it because it is really tough to get on and off as it is.

On the subject of shaft zincs I must say that I have developed a preference for those that have a slot for a standard screwdriver instead of only an allen head. The reason is that fitting an allen into a corroded head is not nearly as easy as finding the slot for a screwdriver. It is easier to get the old one off and the new one on during my short times under water if I don't have to fiddle with the allen wrench. The allen might allow a smaller increase in torque, but I've never had a zinc come off that was screwdriver tightened. 

The shaft on Aeolus is a 1 1/8, which I believe is standard on all Gulf 32's. Just for reference.

When I got around to scraping the barnacles off the prop I must say it is enormously satisfying. The little buggers must wreak havoc on prop efficiency and there is little I dislike more than poor mechanical efficiency. My biolove takes a back seat to my boat love in this case, and the barnies got scraped off with a happy vengeance.

Boy it felt great to be in the water and taking care of Aeolus. Whole thing took maybe 15 minutes, and is slowed mainly by my time underwater while holding my breath. I manage around 20 seconds per session even though I can hold my breath on land for two minutes or more. Anyway, a quick job.

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