Week 33 13 – 19 August 2018 Stornoway – Achriesgill Bay in Loch Inchard 49 nm
13 August Monday Stornoway Marina
Slept ten hours and then had a slow breakfast. Last night with intense tacking created a very large need of rest because we were both up most of the night.
We started the day with a walk to the harbour office and then to the Coast Guard. The latter to thank them for their professional help and to pay for the tow. They were very friendly and told us that it hadn’t been any work for them at all; “You did all the planning and took all decisions, we had only to call out the Lifeboat for the final tow”. On top of that there was no money involved in the towing!
On the way back to Moon we visited Tesco and did some grocery shopping.
After lunch we started to dismantle the gearbox. First the Aqua drive to the shaft and then piece by piece to be able to free the gearbox. The aft engine mount have to come off too, so the engine had to rest on something else when the bell plate and gearbox where dismantled. There is not much room behind the engine under our diesel day tank. To gain some extra space for Annika, who has the right size to fit in such a narrow space, we dismantled the muffler.
Some of the bolts on the drive and the bell plate had to be convinced to cooperate! Took some extra time of course.
When everything had come lose, but before we lifted up the gearbox, we stopped for the day to have dinner.
14 August Tuesday Stornoway Marina
Full speed ahead with the repair after breakfast. Having the gearbox on the floor we couldn’t determine if anything was wrong, but as we had the old one we decided to put that in place anyhow. Took most of the day to get it in place.
When Annika inserted the shaft of the gearbox into the engine, she had a feeling that the play around the shaft was too great but decided to assembly anyhow. When it was in place, but before we mounted the Aqua drive, we turned the engine around with the gearbox in neutral and in gear. No difference!!
The problem with no propulsion was obviously not a broken gearbox. It was the play for the shaft in the drive damper plate that was worn out and this was not something we had among our spare parts. Disaster!
15 August Wednesday Stornoway Marina
After breakfast dismantling again to get to the wheelhouse and the drive damper plate. There were almost no groves in the hole! Completely worn out. On top of that several of the springs that supposed to work as dampers when shifting gear was broken. We found broken pieces on the bottom of the wheel house.
As we didn’t have this spare part Annika started to search the internet for one. The two companies in UK that we previously had got help from when parts were needed to our Perkins didn’t have the part in stock, but both were able to deliver in three to five weeks!
We also called the local ship yard and a guy came down to the boat and thought they eventually could help us. He took the damper plate and the old gearbox as a templates and came back an hour later with a bigger damper plate, but with the right size hole for the shaft and asked if we wanted them to machine the outer diameter to fit our engine. YES please and of course as fast as possible.
The rest of the day we spent cleaning up the boat, having a nice walk and some shopping for food.
16 August Thursday Stornoway.
The weather has been very unsettled the whole week. Light rain interrupted by sunshine now and then.
Wind from southwest comes into the harbour and we are pleased that we turned Moon around yesterday to have the wind over the bow. Waiting for the drive plate we used the time to clean the boat, do some laundry and a stroll in town taking some photos.
We got the gearbox back after lunch and the drive plate should be ready before closing time. But no plate appeared.
Instead we devoted ourselves to cooking. Lamb and potatoes in the oven. Absolutely one of our favorites.
17 August Friday Stornoway
No wind but rain when we woke up.
During breakfast Annika called to check the progress of drive plate. We were a little bit afraid that something had gone wrong while machining! But it was only lack of time and it should be delivered before noon.
Waiting for the plate we assembled the gearbox, the bell plate and the adapter for the Aqua drive to be waiting behind the engine until we could mount the drive plate in the wheel house. The plate came before noon and we mounted it before lunch.
The rest of the day was spent mounting all the rest including muffler, hoses and more that had been taken apart to get Annika down and the gearbox out. Half past five we were ready for a test run and it worked.
Suddenly we had a working propulsion again. How on earth is it possible to determine when a damper plate is due to exchange? We have searched for recommended exchange hours but without any result.
Finally we are now ready to start looking at the forecasts to decide when and how we will continue our journey back to Sweden.
Had a newly caught cod with boiled potatoes for dinner to celebrate our successful repair.
18 August Saturday Stornoway
We had planned to leave today, but strong winds and the seventh day free in the Marina made us stay another day to rest after our intense week in the engine compartment. Used the day for a long walk around the Castle across the harbour. Another set of laundry, clothes get quite dirty when fiddling with engine parts and tools.
A trip to both of the supermarkets to fill our needs for the next week, as we plan not to visit any towns until we make landfall in Sweden or Norway.
Early evening to be ready to leave tomorrow.
19 August Sunday Stornoway – Achriesgill Bay in Loch Inchard. Across Little Minch to the mainland 49 nm
Had a good long night resting and were now finally ready for departure. The gale yesterday was gone and now it was completely calm in the harbour. After breakfast we put our fenderboards outside the fenders to be able to tie up at the fuel wharf with only big piles quite far apart. Called the watch room to get service at the fueldock. Got 230 liters to a reduced price as we use more than 40% of the diesel for heating purpose. Good because we are now in Europe with much higher price on fuel compared to the rest of the world.
The guy who helped us fueling up told us that we had been the talk of the town last Saturday evening when we were tacking around the Butt of Lewis and then towed into the harbour. He told us that comments were made about our skill to use lee of Lewis as we were tacking our way north and then made a long enough haul to be able to go around the cape in one tack. Nice to get such a reference!
At ten we were on our way out of the harbour and called Coast Guard as we were passing outside their windows looking out towards Arnish Point. This time just to thank them again and reported that our repair finally became a success.
Very little wind out on Little Minch but as it came from NE we could sail close haul in almost full speed on flat water, a nice present after our hard week in Stornoway.
Anchored in Loch Inchard, near Kinlochbervie, before five o’clock and will have a slow morning tomorrow, waiting for the tide to get around Cape Wrath.
Annika & Björn