Thursday, 15 October 2009

F1 pit-stop - canal style

The Streethay pit crew: Nick, Ray and Dean

Every since get hit by a violent side wind and bashed against a wall when entering a lock in Wigan we've been suffering rudder judder and poor steering. It's a problem that's now new -we've wrestled with similar issues off and on since buying the boat and we have had three previous attempts at sorting the rudder.
Yesterday we came into Streethay Wharf (our winter home after we bought the boat when we refitted the front end after they had cut doors in the bulkead). The intention was to stop for diesel and scrounge some free advice. Instead we've ended up with a re-built rudder - which is fantastic and a new prop - which is not.
They offered to pull the boat out this morning - by 9am we were on dry land and could examine the rudder which was twisted in every possible way. But much winching, heating and banging got it back to 99% straight and then we checked the prop size with propellor experts Crowther who said ours was too big. So we changed that too.
By 2.00pm we were back in the water and on our way. The rudder is light, sweet to use and is totally vibration free. Unfortunately the recommended prop seems definitely too small! Anyway Streethay said they would do a 'swap back' if we weren't happy so we'll turn round and go back to our old one.
It should be almost as quick as a Formula One pit-stop.

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