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Could it be that it’s because I have been complaining so much about the water here in Chaguaramas that the gods saw fit to force me to go for a swim in the harbor? Perhaps that’s the reason.

I would much rather swim at the beach at Chacachacare than in the Chaguaramas harbor.

Six months ago, while preparing to head south from St. Vincent, we spun the prop on our Port engine. Although, at the time, we had no experience with this issue, we were able to correctly deduce* the source of the problem and were able to get back up and running quickly by simply swapping the old prop for a spare one that we had on board. Since that time we have been carrying the damaged prop around with us, waiting to get it repaired. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that pressing a new hub into a prop is not a job that you can have done just anywhere.

When we were in Grenada, we were told that we would have to send the prop to Trinidad to get it fixed. Well, now that we’re here, getting it repaired was definitely on our Trini-to-do list. Isn’t it a nasty coincidence that, while motoring back from Chacachacare the other day, we spun the prop on our Starboard engine? I think it is.

Fortunately, using only our Port engine, we were able to pick up a mooring ball in the crowded anchorage. Ignoring the crappy water, I swam under the boat with tools in hand to remove what we assumed was another damaged prop. I am happy to report that there were no oil slicks or garbage floating by me at the time although the strong current did make the job a bit more challenging.

As it turns out, there is indeed a repair shop in Chaguaramas called Caribbean Propellors and Rebecca and I walked over there yesterday with both this newly-damaged prop, and the other one that needed to be fixed. PJ, the friendly and responsive gentleman that we spoke to, told us that he would fix them both that afternoon and have them ready for us to pick up this morning. He even emailed us yesterday afternoon to confirm that the job was done. How’s that for service? The cost for the repair? $260.00 TTD each, or about $45.00 US dollars. I consider that a great deal!

Woo hoo! We love great service!

*The symptoms of a spun prop? The engine will start and run fine at idle, and perhaps even at low revs. Once the throttle is increased though, the engine will rev very high as the shaft turns without the resistance of the prop. Also, the engine will not generate any thrust.

4 Comments

  1. For US readers with this problem, Soderbloom’s (http://www.soderbloom.com/proprepair.html) is a good mail-order shop; most small shops send their stuff there. I’ve used them a few times and wouldn’t recommend them if I wasn’t pleased.

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