Patching Adventure

Late for the blog, sorry.

It has been a very crazy few days.  When someone says do you get a “sinking feeling” that would apply to the last several days.  We felt some serious vibrations and the bilge started pumping every minute for about 5 seconds.  That equates to taking on water at about 50 gallons per hour.  Doesn’t sound like much but enough to fill most tubs about 1/2 full.  But more importantly was the vibrations caused when we increased RPM to 2000.  For a boat they are real issues.  We thought we would have to pull the boat out of the water then repair the strut then put it back in.


When we started contacting marinas we found out how much trouble we were in.  First the minimum they wanted to take it out was $300 then they would not let us DIY the boat, then we would have to go to a hotel while they fixed it because we couldn’t live on the boat.  So the cheapest repair was going to be at least $1000 with everything.  We don’t have $1000 or a way of getting it.  So what next?

I thought about it overnight and thought if I could swim under the boat and poke new bolts in and Tam was down below and put the nuts on we could get it fixed well enough to get to were we are going then work on it later.

We stopped at the next marina Beauford, SC and got a slip so we could work on it.  As were walking past from registering we saw a fellow getting on a wetsuit.  I asked him who he was and what he was doing. He said his name was Peter and he cleaned the bottom of boats in the marina.  Most marinas require it every month.  I told him of the issue we had and asked how much he would charge.  He said, “He would ask his boss”.  His boss was Robert and they said they could do it for $125.  That was reasonable but outside of our bank account.  He told us while he was in the water doing some bottoms that he would look at it and tell us what the condition was.

We went to the store to pick up the bolts and nuts for the job in stainless steel.  When we got back he told us that the bolts were doable and wished us luck and said if we needed help to give him a call.


The drive shaft strut is the part that had broken the bolts. In Mackinaw MI it broke the bolts, bent the shaft, and pushed the strut up through the bottom of the boat.


We replaced all four bolts for the strut with the boat in the water.


I proceeded to get into a swimsuit and dive under the boat.  When I went in the current was so strong it nearly swept me away.  So I got a rope and tried hanging onto it while I pushed the bolts threw.  No go I couldn’t hold my breath long enough to get the bolts in place.  So we called Robert and asked him if he would take a post dated check?  He said he would and that he would dive the next day.

When he came by Saturday morning we had everything ready for him.  We discovered that not only the forward 2 bolts were broken off but the back 2 were bent and ready to fall out as well.  With Roberts help we replaced all four of the bolts and covered them with 3M 5200 seal caulk.


The view from inside the boat of the top plate. I pushed a couple of temporary bolts in to slow the water down.


This is the plate after we replaced the bolts and I generously applied 3M 5200.

When I got out of the hold it took me two hours to get everything cleaned of that caulk and a 40 min shower getting myself sorta clean.

So total cost came out at $155.00 to include Robert’s dive the stainless steel bolts and the 3M 5200 caulk.  At least we can continue.  We ran “Adventure” 2 1/2 hours yesterday after the job was done and the vibrations are gone and the leaking has stopped.  We are hoping that will do the job until we can get to our destination marina.

But getting out of the marina is another story.

“Sailing, the most expensive way to travel 3rd class.”

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve