We slipped Ariel at the club’s yard on this calm and misty Hobart morning for its routine hull clean: a pressure-wash and fresh antifoul below the waterline and a wax above. The sacrificial anode that protects our propellor and shaft from electrolytic corrosion, and another that protects the keel will be replaced. The propeller will receive a fresh coating of a specialist silicone paint that stops marine growth attaching.
Its two years since the previous slipping and we decided the hull looked pretty good except in places where it looked bad. Well, that’s the Irish version.
On our last trip down the Channel, we had noticed some minor vibration when motoring and the captain had fretted that it might be caused by a worn cutlass bearing. This is a grooved, seawater lubricated, hard rubber bush supporting the propellor shaft where it exits the hull. A quick lateral back-and-forth push and pull on the propeller revealed the cutlass bearing was fine. Unbalancing, caused by a patch of small barnacles on the blades, was most likely the source of the vibration.
We have left Ariel and the work program in the capable hands of Mark and offsider Lockie, from Bilge Rats Marine, and, weather willing, will be back in the water next Friday