Friday, May 18, 2012

The Return of the Golden Screw

Moonshadow's propeller is an engineering marvel with three blades that feather into the seawater slipstream reducing drag when sailing. Then the blades rotate into the most efficient position for forward or reverse propulsion under power.  The gears that make all this magic happen were quite worn from the years that Moonshadow sailed her last circumnavigation of the world, so we removed the prop and shipped it to its makers in Seattle to be reconditioned.  The expense for shipping and the repairs, and the general ordeal of Moonshadow being imprisoned at the boatyard for three weeks waiting for the prop to be returned inspired Deb's sisters to begin referring to it as the "Golden Screw".  

Finally we received word that the Golden Screw was being shipped back to Florida so we scheduled Moonshadow's third trip, since we've come into her life, from her watery domain onto "the hard". This time, we finally scheduled some needed work to be done:
Moonshadow's keel  is another amazing engineering accomplishment, made of welded stainless steel which contains the lead ballast in the bottom section, and the fuel and water tanks, keeping all the weight as low in the boat as possible.  To protect this priceless component from the harsh seawater environment, we ordered a complete sanding, faring and four coats of an epoxy barrier coat.  We also specified complete sanding of the bottom, then had her painted with three coats of antifouling bottom paint; coated the propeller and prop shaft with some "snake oil" called Prop Seal; and added a line cutter to the propeller shaft just in front of the Golden Screw to cut any lines that attempt to wrap around it.  

Something we've done with all of our other boats while on the hard, is mark the anchor chain.  It's a bit of a chore as the 121 pound anchor and three hundred feet of heavy chain must be lowered onto the asphalt boatyard, flaked out, measured and finally painted according to John's secret color code scheme.

John likes vivid markings every fifty feet on the chain that can be seen from the helm (now 62 feet away) as the chain is being lowered or hauled aboard.   On Moonshadow this is a bit redundant though because she has an electronic chain counting device that provides a digital readout at the helm of how much chain you have out.

While laying out the chain for painting, John was stopped cold by yet another penny sighting.  As with all the other sightings, this shiny penny was dead center in John's tracks in a most unlikely location. Always nice to be reminded you're with us Dusty!

Well, after three days on the hard, we're ready to return Moonshadow to her element.  We're quite sure Moonshadow is ready too.  It seemed appropriate for Moonshadow to have a nice portrait with her new black "bum", as George & Merima would say. Backing up to frame Moonshadow in the picture, John heard another visitor, and turned to see a bright green iguana, obviously mesmerized by Moonshadow stoically awaiting her launching.  

We took a break from the boatyard routine and accepted an invitation from Mike Toppa of North Sails, who is building our new genoa, to attend a presentation at the Lauderdale Yacht Club by Ken Read of the Puma Ocean Racing team on the Volvo Ocean Race.  The Volvo Ocean Race is a race around the world with stops at various points including Miami, where the teams finished last week.  Interesting factoids: Puma has sailed nearly 40000 sea miles and top speed was nearly 40 knots (37 point something)!  Puma lost their rig on the first leg and has fought their way back into contention for the race with just one ocean leg to go.  It was very entertaining and also fun to meet some of the LYC juniors who reminded us of junior sailing program kids everywhere: enthusiastic, confident, positive, polite, and quite comfortable among adults.

Next we'll leave our hotel, move back aboard Moonshadow and in just a few more days of cleaning up the aftermath of boatyard work and a few more check writing sessions, we'll finally cast off and let Moonshadow take us down the New River, out into the Atlantic.  From there it's north to Georgia, the Carolinas, the Chesapeake, and lots of other non boatyard experiences.  We're itching to go!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love following your blog. What a beautiful boat. I look forward to reading your posts and checking out the pics. Cheers

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