Hi y’all. After much fiddling, checking, rigging and bench running the Tina was ready for her maiden. I took her out this morning. I rowed out about say, 50 feet or so, made a right turn, and then...nothing. Dead in the water.
You could hear the motor running, the oars would move a little, then nothing. My buddy Mike Duran has a flat nosed Hacker airboat that we’ve earmarked as a recovery boat, so he fired her hip and pushed me back to port.
I thought that I had stripped the spur gear, I did a partial disassemble lakeside, but I couldn’t tell what happened, so she went back to the trunk of my car and I ran my little Billings Coast Guard boat the rest of the morning.
I took a good hard look at her a few hours ago. I stripped the boat down to the rowing gearbox, and removed it. I swear the thing was built in the mines of Moria, as the mechanism comes pre assembled, and getting it apart was a challenge, but I did it...and I found the culprit. Thankfully, all gearing is intact.
There are 2 pins, or shafts, that everything is attached to. The spur gear and both crank arms are held in place by set screws going through their respective bosses. The spur and its boss are one solid piece, while the boss for the arms are attached to the arm with a large brass washer pressed or peened on.
What was happening is that the boss for the driving crank was spinning around inside the crank. No power was getting applied from the spur to the rowing arms.
I had to remove the set screws and pull both shafts to get the arms out, and as I did, what looked like either cellulose or super glue came out from between the shaft and crank.
I think that the boss for the crank was bonded into the arm, and the washer was there as a backup, and age and some of the lube I used helped work it loose. I’m pretty sure I can fix it.
I’m going to soak it in alcohol and maybe give it an acetone bath, then dry it off, roughen up both the boss and arm, and Stabilit that sucker! I would really like to drill a 1mm hole thru the boss into the arm and pin it in place too, but I don’t know if my drill bits are up to the task. We’ll see.
As an aside, if I can’t fix it...well, I think she’ll make a fine steam launch, cat rigged sailing skiff or maybe fit her with an outboard. I have options, and I’m all kinds of stubborn..🤣