Monday, 19 March 2012

March Madness

For some folks March Madness is nonstop hard court action - for me its non-stop boat repairs.

I have a number of things in-process, and seem to be tripping from one task to the next. Its fun. Really.

Tonight's task was to remove and repair the engine telegraph. OK, remote throttle and shifter for you plebeians who are still figuring out naval speak. When I try to shift on board it is hard to guess just what will happen, sometimes I get the gear I want, sometimes I don't. There has always been a certain amount of play in the shifter and the linkages have always been troublesome. At the end of summer last year this was fixed for me when one of the shift cables disintegrated and I could no longer shift at all. Since it was the end of the summer I figured this was a good off season project and left it as it sat. In the off season I very busily forgot all about this.

Late last week I remembered the issue.

Tonight I went out and took a look at what I had to work with. The system was simple enough. A shift lever in the cockpit, and a shift mechanism in the quarter-berth. When you push or pull on the shift lever, it engages one of the two cables that go to the engine to either shift gears or adjust throttle. Nothing at all complex there...

Just a shifter...

And a mechanism in the quarter-berth. Somewhere. Oh - there it is, the grey box up top on the right side with the cables coming out of it...

Removing the handle went fairly well. There were 3 Philips screws around the handle that attached to the boat. there were 3 more screws that went through the wall of the boat and into the body of the shifter. There was also a pivot bolt in the centre of the shifter. So far, so good. The only surprise with the screws was that one had locktite on its threads while the rest had caulk on their threads. I am not sure if that was on purpose or not, but it did make it difficult to get the screws out.

Apparently there is no core in the cockpit footwell walls:

Once the screws were out, the shifter body fell away inside the quarter-berth. Good thing there was nothing breakable in there.

With removal complete, I can now start looking at what went wrong with the shifter. Tune in tomorrow...

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