9/24/2012 – Gottsvelluhmuhallah!

I’m sure that spelling isn’t right and I doubt that the pronunciation is right, but that’s how I hear the expletive my Dad uses when he doesn’t want to say “Goddamn, sonofabitch, c*cksucking whore!”  My dad’s parents were raised Amish.  At the ripe old age of 18, when Amish kids get to decide whether to continue in the faith or opt out, they opted out.  I assume it was totally their decision but I don’t know that for sure.  I vaguely remember some stories in which my Grandpa packed heat and there might have been something about running a team of horses a bit too hard, but those are just vague memories from childhood.  But, the point is, Dad grew up speaking Pennsylvania Dutch, or maybe German, at home when he was a kid.  The title of this blog is,  I believe, German or Dutch for “Goddamn the weather!”  However, as used by my Dad, and presumably his Dad, it’s utterance had little to do with the weather.  It’s just something you say when you’re pissed off royal.  And I’m pissed off royal!!

I’ve spent the last 2 work days trying to remove the cutless bearing from Siempre Sabado.  Every account I’ve read, I said EVERY ACCOUNT I’VE READ, either on the web or in various manuals says the same thing:

Using a hacksaw or Sawzall, cut the bearing along its length in two or three pieces.  Then, pry the bearing away from the walls of the shaft log.  It will basically collapse on itself and be easily removable.

Uh-huh, right….

Our first sailboat had a Sabb engine.  The Sabb was supposedly able to be started by hand cranking.  The instructions were very clear:  Set the throttle to full,  open the decompression valve, using the hand crank, crank the engine until it’s spinning rapidly, close the decompression valve,  engine starts.  Engine starts?  Yeah, right.  On only 2 occasions when we tried this did the engine start. The other hundreds of times ended in failure.  Ever since, Lulu and I use “engine starts” as a code phrase for something that is supposed to happen but doesn’t.  The cutless bearing will basically collapse on itself and be easily removable?  Sure, and engine starts.

I did exactly as the instructions said.  Hell, I went so far as to cut the bearing in to three and then four pieces.  I’d pry and I’d pry.  I could get the first inch or so to come away from the shaft log walls but then I’d lose my prying advantage as the screwdriver was forced deeper and deeper into the tube.  I broke the tips off two screwdrivers in the process. I used the setscrew holes to make a bolt push the damn thing away from the walls and it worked like a charm.  But did the rest of the piece ever give up the grip?  NO!

A friend loaned me a slide hammer but I couldn’t get the hooks to stay on the end of the bearing.  Jesús, the yard manager stopped by to let me know I needed to cut the bearing in two and then it would just collapse on itself.  Thanks, Jesús!  Maybe if the freakin’ thing was made of foil instead of thick bronze.  The guy on the boat next to us stopped by to offer me the loan of his scroll saw because “you have to cut the bearing into two or three pieces and then it’ll just collapse on itself”.  ARGHHHHH!

I finally made a little headway when I found a piece of hardwood aboard that would fit in the shaft log from the inside of the engine compartment.  I slipped it in and beat on the end with a heavy hammer and actually forced the bearing about 1/2″ out before the stick was pulverized.  I tried a piece of pipe but the only piece I had on board was 1/2″ ID so the OD was about 3/4″.  It was really hard to keep it on the edge of the bearing.  I’d get maybe one good lick and then it would slip off.  I was actually making some headway but it was very slow going.  Finally, after 5 hours of working on this today, this is where I’m at:

Gee, look! The bearing is collapsing on itself!

Does that look like it’s collapsing on itself?  NO!  Does it look like I’m boogering up the inside of the flange?  YES!  But wait, obviously there’s less than 1/2 ” sticking out the end of the flange.  So where’s the rest?  Well, after grabbing and twisting with some Vise-grips so I could extricate the individual pieces of the bearing, the pieces that I grabbed on to ended up on the deck like so much garbage.

After 5 hours of this I’d had it. I decided it was time to clean up, take a shower, and head off to town to find a couple of pieces of pipe for driving the damn thing out from the inside.  I took the bus to the Costruama store, confident that I’d easily find exactly what I wanted.  Not so much!  The idea of a 24″ piece of 1″ steel or iron pipe and also a 24″ piece of 3/4″ was as foreign to them as my accent.  They brought me out a couple of 10″ pieces of each but that was all they had.  Really?  Discouraged, I walked in the hot sun to another ferreteria which advertised “plomeria y electricidad”.  Another strike out.  But he directed me to La Luna which was supposedly another ferreteria down around the next corner.  I headed there.  Turned the corner and started walking down a long avenue.  I must have walked close to a mile without seeing anything named La Luna or any ferreterias.  I turned around and headed back.  On the way back I saw a place that sells Rotoplas water tanks and filters as well as faucets, etc.  I tried there but all they sold was plastic pipe.  The nice lady there directed me to the Ferreteria Industrial but it was way too far away to go to today with the mood I was in.

So I say again, “GOTTSVELLUHMUHALLAH!  And I’m not talking about the weather.



About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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13 Responses to 9/24/2012 – Gottsvelluhmuhallah!

  1. Steve –
    PLEASE borrow the Subaru! She’s generally just sitting here in the driveway. No heat stroke attacks while attempting to walk to the far Ferreterria – not allowed! We’re also going to Guaymas this afternoon (Tuesday) and can grab you as well – or just look for the pipe you need. (Good thing there are generally not small children in the yard to hear your rantings!) 🙂

    • sryoder says:

      Thanks guys, I’ll talk to you later. Is the far ferreteria really that far? I figured I’d ride the bus t the last ABC store and then just walk down the road to the ferreteria from there.

  2. bud elkin says:

    Asking God for help instead of cursing his name is by far more productive!

  3. Chuck/Jacaranda says:

    Steve – Here is another thought since you have room on the inside. Go to a machine shop and ask them to rent/borrow a piece of solid bar stock. Meaure the ID of the shaft log. Bring that with you. Maybe even a old piece of a prop shaft that is larger and can be turned down to fit in there. Then you can beat on it with a sledge from the inside out. Be thankful you have the room.

    A piece of round solid bar stock 2′ long should not be that many pesos.

    Good luck

  4. Coyote says:

    How about a piece of concrete rebar? It is metric down there so it would be a #22 or #25 bar.

  5. SailVivacia says:

    Steve — No helpful ideas, just condolences. That sounds like a truly miserable job. We may have to adopt the “engine starts” phrase though. There were any number of times it would have been appropriate while we waited for our autopilot to be repaired. It is finally back in the boat and we are going to escape the velcro of La Paz to spend five weeks or so up in the Sea. Hopefully, Miriam will remain on the Pacific side of Baja until after she becomes a “remnant low.”

  6. MWhite:LittleCunningPlan says:

    OOOH, many, many sorries, Steve. Just a few phrases to keep you going:
    Cold beer
    Good night’s sleep, Lulu at your side
    Helpful friends
    This, too, will pass
    More cold beer while you get far away from the problem and let your brain cool down (and the body, too)
    You will work it out. You always do. We are rooting for you from underneath the grey clouds. Remember those? You are having trouble in paradise. Okay, maybe hot as hades paradise, but still.

  7. Victor Madge says:

    This story reminds me of so many frustrations on the mechanical side of actual cruising, where the boat gets used, worn down, and shit breaks.

    We were stuck in Miami, where I had to take buses all over creation to pick up parts. Life in slow motion. What should take a day takes three. What should take a week takes a month. I learned the hard way that was just the way it was going to be. I learned new cuss words along the way. But the rewards of cruising; being out on the hook, catching my dinner most every day, and watching the kids play on a secluded beach in the Exumas was worth all the sacrifice. Even though we were struck by lighting once, had big time issues with fuel contamination, had to have our engine rebuilt, ran aground countless times, and had to dodge hurricanes, it was a great experience for us and our two small children, in our 39 Ericson.

    Good luck!

    Ahoy, mate,


    G. Victor Madge Architect, Inc.

    760 Mill Street

    Silverton, OR 97381

    Phone/fax: 503-873-4921



  8. sailmama says:

    Wow…what a “sucky day”, but you write about it with such humor that all of us are laughing! Please know that you have many, many friends pulling for you – even beyond those who have already commented.

    We are hoping to drop in on the Westsail Rendezvous here in San Leandro, and of course, we will be feeling very nostalgic as that’s where we met you and Lulu in 2010. Think about how far we have all come in such a short time!

    Suggest you read Melissa’s post twice a day until you are past this frustrating chapter! And, thank God that Keith needs surgery so you can stay aboard “Chamisa” for as long as you need to.

    Love you both! Keep up your terrific blog…someday we will all buying your book, I am certain!

  9. Lee Perry says:

    Hope you don’t mind me butting in but you will need to unbolt the shaft log and get it off the boat where you can either work on it on the ground or take it to a machine shop to press the bearing out and the new one in. Boating is fun, boating is fun, boating is fun. Lee

    • sryoder says:

      I finally came to the same conclusion. Pulled the shaft log this morning and just got back from Guaymas where I had the remainder of the bearing pressed out. Now I need to clean up the inside of the shaft log so it’s ready to have a new bearing pressed in. Thanks Lee.

  10. Mike Anderson says:

    Let me see!! Do I have this rite? The engine starts then collapses on it self??

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