I did a quick inspection of the boat last year and decided that the boot, or bellows, that surround the drive shaft has a hole in it. I also estimated that the bearings and u-joint on the shaft are all bad and need to be replaced. I also ended up soaking the starter motor because I let the boat fill up with too much water after running the battery dead from overnight bilge pump use.

Well, today I dropped the boat off for repairs and the repair guy said I was right on with my estimate of the damage. It will cost a little over $2K to fix it!

On a lighter note, I’m having a heck of a time electric welding the billiard ball RBS. Welding 3/32″ rod to 3/16″ rod is tricky. Part of the problem is my unsteady hand. The other problem is that some of the small rod, or wire, needs to be bent into position as I go. The bending makes progress very slow and without heat, the bending is annoying. It’s not hard but it’s not like it is when brazing this stuff together.

I should mention that the problem with brazing is that the 3/16″ rod that forms the track get’s sharp bends in it wherever it is brazed because it is heated enough to bend just by it’s own weight and by the forces placed on it when it isn’t the exact shape needed before brazing. The electric welding is much cooler and let’s me keep the whole system in tension and slightly out of position without things bending out of shape wherever I weld.