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Old 01-14-2016, 06:56 PM   #1
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First Vessel!

The admiral and I are excited about closing on our first vessel, an Endeavour TrawlerCat 44, but now we are starting to realize the logistical challenges we face in taking delivery and getting started cruising.

The sea trials revealed a port main that is slightly out of alignment. Is this something that I should rush to get corrected, or is it likely that a few days of shakedown/training cruises in the St. Lucie River will do it no harm?

Thanks
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:06 PM   #2
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Well . . . congratulations (I guess) on closing, and now being able to tackle all the challenges which lie ahead. No thoughts on the "port main out of alignment," but perhaps some of our experts (Ski?) will be able to shed some light on that.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:25 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your new boat!

On the alignment question, I would want to determine the extent of the problem before postponing the repair. Bad alignment can cause excessive wear on stern bearings, shaft seals and also damage the transmission. Repairs tend to get more expensive the longer you postpone them.

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Old 01-14-2016, 08:08 PM   #4
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Congratulations!!

Always fix "stuff" that has the potential to break "other stuff".

This sounds like a matter of how out of align is it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:11 PM   #5
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Congrats..... and how did we get to this "slightly" out of alignment diagnosis? You said sea trials..... Was there a vibration and the sales guy made the diagnosis? Was there measurements taken whilst on the hard? We did haul for the survey right?

Broad statements like "slightly out of alignment" scare me. If it is just that, yeah, no rush, just take it easy. But if these diagnoses are made by "professionals" who benefit from making the deal happen I get worried. If a knowledgeable, IMPARTIAL, tech took measurements and reported that, OK.

Flags....
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:18 PM   #6
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While doing the sea trials the surveyor told me that the shaft seal needs to be replaced and that the engine may be out of alignment. The port shaft seal is slinging water. How the surveyor determined that the port main may be out of alignment I don't know.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:21 PM   #7
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While doing the sea trials the surveyor told me that the shaft seal needs to be replaced and that the engine may be out of alignment. The port shaft seal is slinging water. How the surveyor determined that the port main may be out of alignment I don't know.
OK that's better. The surveyor was working for you, normally speaking. Shaft seals are routine maintenance, no big deal. Learn how to do it. Determining alignment is a reasonably involved procedure.

Did you query him as to why he said that?
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:23 PM   #8
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I would find a boat mechanic for real answers.

Ted
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:09 PM   #9
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The shaft seal may be wearing out prematurely due to misalignment. My port shaft turned out to be bent, indicator was chewing out packing in the gland yearly. Not something I would leave once diagnosed.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:40 PM   #10
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Get your feeler gauge out and check the alignment. it will take less than an hour. If measurements left to right or top to bottom are more than 0.003"-0.004" it could use a bit of tweaking.

The measurements are easy to do.
1. Loosen (not remove the coupler bolts and open the coupler by 0.03" or so.
2. Put a 0.01" feeler in the bottom and push the coupler against it until it is tight.
3. Remove the feeler and measure the gap at the top and note the difference between top and bottom.
4. Repeat 2 and three for the two sides of the coupler.
5. Rotate the shaft and repeat 2-4 again.
Compare results of 1-4 and 5. Differences indicate either a bent shaft or an out of true coupler.

If the results are quite different side to side or top to bottom (>0.004") the engine needs to be aligned. This is best done by someone who knows how to do it. It isn't hard, but it is a fussy job.

Don't forget to retighten the coupler bolts when you are finished.

As the owner of a wooden boat that is hauled for the winter every year I do this every year.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:37 PM   #11
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An open reading at 180į (the bottom) may also indicate a sagging shaft if it is overhung (a long thin shaft)

Not a problem if this is the case; just need to account for it.

I would hope that any professional aligning shafts would use dial indicators at a minimum, and optilign preferred. That said, it is not rocket science and close is probably good enough.

Not slagging TDunn, sounds like he knows his boat well. I commend him for doing his own alignment checks annually.
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:54 AM   #12
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Unless I felt comfortable with checking myself per TDunn's excellent explanation, I would have it done ASAP and repaired if necessary. Fro experience I can that little problems quickly grow to big problems and the cost progression is geometric, not linear.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:37 AM   #13
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Boat is in the yard for new shaft seals, shaft alignment, and a new cutlass bearing. No sense putting it off. Gonna have the new name put on as well, going with "Aint Bad" for now.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:44 AM   #14
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Boat is in the yard for new shaft seals, shaft alignment, and a new cutlass bearing. No sense putting it off. Gonna have the new name put on as well, going with "Aint Bad" for now.
Good. Glad to hear that you are taking care of it. :-)
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:00 PM   #15
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Congrats!!! How about some pics! BTW welcome to TF
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:20 PM   #16
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Sounds like a fine mess you've gotten us into Ollie!!!!

Enjoy. And post pics. It's nice to see new places and new boats.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:33 PM   #17
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Just as a reminder, alignment should be done in the water to be most effective.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:33 AM   #18
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Boat is in the yard for new shaft seals, shaft alignment, and a new cutlass bearing. No sense putting it off. Gonna have the new name put on as well, going with "Aint Bad" for now.
Wifey B: Aint or Ain't?
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:40 AM   #19
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Pictures will have to wait until we get her out of the yard. Only thing I have thus far is one shot my wife took during the survey haul out. Besides, these Trawlercats aren't much to look at, a profile only a mother could love (or perhaps in this case the original designer). Seems like everything I purchase these days has a serious case of the butt-uglies. Could say something about my crumbling taste . . .

Aint will have NO punctuation.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:01 AM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. 88. " Could say something about my crumbling taste . . ." OR your practicality.
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