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s/v Code Blue – Transmission Update 3-18-13 March 18, 2013

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2013.

Sailboat Gang, 3-18-13

I’m in the process of writing the update on this. Here’s the latest
and greatest as of now on Friday 3-8-13 5:30 MST
Just thought I’d let you know we were finally successful in getting
the motor transmission to Marina Mazatlan thru Guadalajara black hole.
No extra fees or custom fees were added. It arrived Feb. 19th. in
Mazatlan while we were in Copper Canyon. Almost a month after it
arrived in Guadalajara by air from Seattle.

The key was getting their paperwork three forms, filled out by a
customs broker from Mazatlan. Then finally getting one UPS service
person to accept our paperwork and process it to customs in
Guadalajara. Carlos Antonio Valle Machain was the UPS person that
processed the paperwork and was really good at letting us know how
things were coming along. They, customs, then took about a week to
process. We had four other UPS people and a customs broker, that
didn’t do much to get our paperwork processed before Carlos.

Forms were
Carta Informacion 2012,
Cart Nom-VIII-3,
Nueva Manifestacion (this form was 6 pages long but not much was
filled in by the broker except the correct customs code for the

I think registering our new parts on the
Form of Register for Accessories and Parts for Boats, may of helped
with the no extra fees being assessed. I’m not sure of this though.
Just happy about no fees. Next time I would use an importer like
Jimmy Dixon out of San Diego who walks the part across the border then
ships direct.

Total Yacht Works is backed up with three motor install jobs, so
install and alignment for us may take until Tuesday 3-5-13 or so.
They installed the tranny at 11:30am on Tuesday 3-5-13. The feathering
of the Hydralign prop (Made in Australia) was done on Wednesday the
6th. That took all day as no one knew how. Three of us got together
and worked on it and finally I completed that part. I thought I would
dive today to put the prop on but due to stainless steel guy and
upholstery guy plus shopping for food today, that didn’t happen. I
need to fit a new bronze shaft key as the old one dropped in the mud
with no trace when I took it off. Hopefully the dives will happen
tomorrow but water temp is 67 F. Tropical water growth is very
voracious here so in some ways waiting until just before we leave has
some benefit of less growth on the prop.

UPDATE 3-18-13

After two days of diving I couldn’t get a new prop shaft key to fit
properly. The old one dropped in the mud without a trace when I took
off the prop to adjust the feathering prop. I dropped a string down
with a weight and used a net to sift the mud but no use. We decided
to haul out to make a couple of shaft keys. The first key took two
days of diving and one day of working on it when it was hauled out. I
asked on the Caliber group about making a key before the haul out and
several had similar problems. The second key only took an hour to
make. I moved up from 350 grit and a wet stone, to 150 grit, then to
100 grit and that made all the difference. Luckily I was using bronze
shaft key instead of stainless steel.

The shaft coupler had a wobble in it that wasn’t too bad but we
thought it would be easy to take care of while we had a haul out
place. And the shaft had a concern that we wanted to take out the
shaft and check for true and crevice corrosion or stuffing box wear.
We tried a heavy duty pulley puller several times and then I tried my
2″ propeller puller. Rafael didn’t feel comfortable to heat up the
coupler with a torch as it was too close to fiberglass muffler and
such. We finally ended up cutting the shaft out, as the coupler was
no good now after several persuasion tools, like a sledge hammer and
such. It seems the shaft was OK, we’ll know about true later. We
needed to do some other things anyway with a haul out. Last we heard on Saturday noon they were working on a new shaft at a milling shop.
Sunday we went to a Bull Fight. Monday today 3-18 is a Mexican
holiday. When they took out the shaft they asked about replacing the
cutless bearing. It was good but 11 years old and they said they
could easily get a new bearing. Now that they cut it out, they
haven’t been able to get one. Oh yeah, in order to take off the
coupler, I ended up pulling the transmission back out myself as Rafael
was too busy and he said it would help.

Haul out items done.
1) Cleaned and waxed the hull
2) Front of the keel had a small 8″ area where I touched sand and the
paint got scrapped off. Now primed and painted.
3) Anchor area under the bowsprit got cleaned up and waxed.
4) New zincs for keel cooler fridge, and shaft.
5) Shaft keys (2) made to fit propellers. I have a Michigan fixed
prop, that fits pretty easily, but the Hydalign feathering prop is
hard to fit. I readjusted the pitch from 14.3 to 12.7 pitch. Now I
know how to do this.
6) Grease and exercise ball valves for thru hulls.
7) Clean speed wheel on sonar and check and do side paint. Judy
cleaned the speed wheel of growth, but then dropped the speed wheel
and it broke on the side of the spinner part, but we found our old one
and put it in.
9) Had to take out the transmission in order to take off the shaft coupler.
10) I was able to put on one shaft nut and split keeper in order to
get the boat to the haul out facility but, but I couldn’t get the
second nut to fit like normal. Now it does fit properly.

Now that the transmission has taken so long we think we will spend a
longer time in Mexico, do a couple of class reunions, June in Mass.
and Sept. in Seattle area. Looks like our renter of two years is
moving out in September while we are in Seattle. She wants to buy a
place maybe. I would like to explore Central America also. Do South
Pacific in 2014. We’ll see.

We plan to go to Puerto Vallarta hopefully next week. It will take a
couple of days to get the boat back together so we can go to sea.

Steve and Judy
s/v Code Blue



1. captjerryste - March 20, 2013

Llike Murphy’s Law is still alive! I’m sure there have been a bunch of lessons learned like having a way to catch the prop key while removing it, etc. I may be going to the Bahamas again this year. This time to run an Irwin 41 for International Field Studies taking out the Clark Montessori Middle School kids from Cincinnatti, Not sure yet though.

Did iI tell you I met yur brother at the Boat Show?

Be safe you guys,

Jerry S.

2. Larry and Karen Nelson - March 21, 2013

Steve and Judy,

We are so glad to hear that your transmission is installed and you are getting ready to be back on the water again. We did the same extended stay in Mazatlan when our motor was replaced. It’s a nice town and Total Yacht Works is a great outfit. It is the beginning of realizing that there is someplace besides Seattle where you can get help repairing your boat. My advise is to be sure your sails are in good shape before leaving to cross the Pacific. Also, check out your storm sails carefully because on the passage to NZ you may need them.

We will be in Seattle in August. If you are there when we are we would like to see you.

Larry and Karen Nelson
SV Panta Rhei
currently in Auckland, NZ

3. Carol Johnston - April 5, 2013

Can anyone tell me how to send an email directly to Judy and Steve?
Carol Johnston, Judy’s friend in Vancouver.

captnmike - April 5, 2013

Carol – I have removed your email from the comment (on the web site) and have sent the comment (with your address) on to Steve & Judy with a note that you wanted to contact them and ask them to contact you

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