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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Brute force and ignorance, the removal of the prop

 A fairly early start this morning because the first job was to go round the boat with the rotary wire brush. Both Dave and Ian set to and as I started to gather the tools together for the bitumastic application, who should turn up but Roger ( Cats Whiskers ). As a newbie to this DIY blacking lark he was very interested about the whole procedure. In fact so interested he offered to help. So for one day only we had ourselves a trainee and a very good job he made of it too. Then Pat (Rogers better half) came along and offered to take Jade for a walk. Fantastic I could then get on with helping Roger and in no time the first coat was on around the water line.

Roger putting, or should I say pinging, on rubber gloves ( does he think he's a surgeon?)

Handy with the roller

While Roger and I was occupied on the blacking, Ian gathered his own tool for the removal of the prop, not a task he was looking forward to. Now isn't it marvelous what you can do with a hammer! After removing the split pin and nut, out came that trusty hammer and he gave the prop a good thump. This got me running to see what was going on. Apparently nothing! He whacked the propeller boss several times and still nothing happened. He did a bit of head scratching and then out came his hub puller. Those in the car mechanic industry will know what I'm on about. Anyway, at first he was convinced it wouldn't fit but sure enough after a bit of man handling on it went.

Hub puller
 After making sure it was on properly, the spanner came out, he attached it to the hub puller and Ian slowly started turning the screw. The force he had to apply was immense and after several turns he could move it no more. Thats when he picked up the hammer and whether in sheer frustration or sudden inspiration moment, swung it at the boss and with an almighty bang the prop came free. 

pulling it away from the shaft.
It was a eureka moment to be sure and soon both props were side by side so we could compare the difference.

New prop noticeably larger.
Soon it was time to attach the shiny blade and after screwing on the nut and drilling a new hole for the split pin ( holes didnt line up ) we stood admiring the new prop.

A sight to behold and one very relieved Ian. So I went back to helping Roger who, I might say, was that keen he returned in the afternoon for more of the same. Glutton for punishment came to mind!!! Anyway we are all finished for today and are now trying to warm up in front of our small 1 kilowatt blow heater. Tomorrow all the family arrive including Grand kids so it should be an interesting day. I may not have time to blog tomorrow, I'll see how it goes.

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