Going through an engine replacement is no joke! The entire process took four long months. The time, the money, and the daily inconvenience of having contractors on the boat was frustrating, to say the least. The silver lining was that we were able to be at our marina for the majority of the work, including the installation of the new shaft and prop. Since we live on our boat, I cannot imagine being at the boatyard that entire time. We did have to be towed to and from the boatyard twice; to have the old motor craned out and again to crane in the new motor.
Going into our engine installation, we understood it would be a custom process, however we experienced numerous setbacks that could have been avoided. Although we tried to do our due diligence in finding a competent and fair mechanic, we did not have a good experience throughout the process. After multiple failed attempts of aligning the motor to the new fabricated motor mounts along with the continued issues of aligning the motor to the new shaft, we were disappointed again and again as the work was sub-par. Doug had to step-in numerous times to point out issues that the mechanics wanted to sign-off on as completed.
Throughout this process, we did have one good experience with the diver that we hired to remove and install our new prop and shaft. Typically this work is done when the boat is out of the water, however that would have cost us another trip back to the boatyard and possibly numerous days on the hard. When removing the prop, the hull of the boat is left with a 1 1/4 inch hole where the prop once was. If ignored, a 1 1/4 hole could sink a boat quickly. The removal of the old shaft gave us some excitement as Doug was down below ready with a large plug to stuff in the hole once the diver pulled the shaft. I was a nervous wreck! Doug was able to successfully insert the plug, however there were a few seconds of water rushing into the boat. Ugh, I was glad that was over...but not so fast! Now a temporary shaft had to be installed in order to get some measurements for the new shaft. So, the process was reversed and the diver installed the temporary shaft while Doug removed the plug from the inside of the boat. This went smooth, with little water coming in. A week later the new shaft was ready to be installed and our diver returned. Now we were pros on removing and installing the shaft and the installation went quickly with little water entering the boat. Next the diver installed our new Max Prop and he was on his way.
To make a very long (and frustrating) story short, we have our new engine finally installed along with the new shaft and prop. We did multiple sea trials to ensure everything was working properly. Once we felt comfortable with our new motor we stared looking for weather windows to head south for Mexico!!
If anyone has specific questions on our engine install, please reach out and Doug would be happy to share more details on our experience! He can guide you on what to watch out for and other tips and tricks that we learned along the way. It's been enlightening to say the least!
Next up....we sail to Mexico!