Underwater Repairs

Posted on November 15, 2011 by Jack Kelly
Tags: windeward_bound

When we were at Port Davey, we lost a couple of lines over the side and they got sucked into the propeller. Fortunately, they broke fairly cleanly and didn’t rip anything away. Regardless, there was some underwater work to be done. Another crew member and I have dive tickets, so we hired some gear and got to work. Someone had a waterproof camera, so I can share pictures.

Damaged timber Rope around propshaft

This is what we had to fix. The rope had cut a channel into the fairing timber as it was being pulled into the propshaft. In addition, the rope had wound itself tightly around the shaft and left a little trailing behind the propeller. The dangly bits were easily cut off with a knife, but the rope around the shaft needed a hammer and chisel to remove.

Working underwater

We were actually really lucky - normally the nylon heats up and fuses together due to the friction. Once we cut a bit off, the whole thing unwound itself fairly easily.

Clean propshaft

The hole in the timber was filled with two-part epoxy putty. This was handed down by fellow crew watching us from one of the inflatable Zodiacs. Somehow this stuff cures underwater - better living through chemistry!

Patched up timber

The putty should keep worm out of the timber, but to make absolutely sure we went back down a couple of days later and hammered a lead plate over the work area.

Lead patch on timber

Here’s the trophy from this expedition:

Trophy Trophy closeup

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