Made it to St Martin and Prop Stories

Baie de Marigot, St Martin

Baie de Marigot, St Martin

We arrived to St. Martin at the crack of dawn on Thursday last week. We anchored in Baie de Marigot and went to sleep after our overnight run. As you can see, the bay is a pretty place! And a perfect place to install our prop with clear shallow water underneath us.

After a short nap, I got up and went ashore to the marina which provides the customs terminal for clearing into a French island. Ten minutes later I had the form printed off and handed it to the clerk who stamped it and we were now cleared. I had the prop sent to the same office, so I asked them if they had a package for s/v Tahina. A moment later he handed it over. I was a bit irked to see him hand it over never having seen any ID from me, but I was happy to get the package!

In the spirit of the fast-paced Internet world, I’ll summarize the process of the install in less verbose mode:

1) Got prop unpacked and disassembled for installation – three blades have to be removed to install it.
2) Got dive gear on and installed the hub of the prop first. Found out it didn’t fit. Called prop company and a day later they got back to me and said I needed a spacer washer from an outfit here that sells Yanmar parts.
3) Got the part ($40!) and dove to install again. This time it fit! Started installing the prop blades, but dropped a bolt.
4) Got a new bolt (plus spares) at local store
5) Finished installation (not dropping any more bolts) and ran some tests. It worked!
6) Later took boat on trial run to discover we have 10% less performance, but a pitch change will probably fix that. Will probably wait until next haul-out to fix.

We got some provisions at a fantastic American-style grocery store on the Dutch side of the island (Sint Maarten). We were practically drooling and filled two grocery carts before I dragged Karen out of the place.

Some friends of ours from Maine happened to be visiting the island. We took them out on Tahina for a day sail to Tintamarre island and had a delightful time.

I bought new LPG tanks for Tahina at a local chandlery. After checking the fittings I went to get them filled, but the Dutch side had a holiday on Monday. On the way back our propeller on the dinghy started slipping! OMG

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