we’re in mexico now and I have a few dozen posts to add and update on this site but I’m trying to get a tan and relax and unwind some from boat work. Anyway, on the way down from san francisco I listened to our transmission making a clacking noise which may or may not be completely normal.
The audio file I am attaching to this post was recorded while sailing (motor was not running), and the gear shift is in neutral. But it makes the same sounds regardless of whether the gear shift is in forward, neutral, or reverse (it doesn’t seem to make a difference).
You will hear the whirring of the prop shaft spinning, and then you will hear a clattering/clacking noise that I can pinpoint to be coming from the transmission (not the engine or v-drive).
Does anyone have any opinion about whether this is normal, or something I should be worried about?
Now, the second noise is one that I attempted to record, unsuccessfully. It is a deeper vibration that occurs in the prop shaft as we are surfing a bit faster than average. It happens regardless of whether we are motoring, or sailing and the prop is freewheeling. I watch the prop shaft and I see no untoward deflection or vibration, to my eye at least. I suspect the noise has something to do with the cutlass bearing; I do not know what shape the cutlass bearing is in. At what point do I need to worry?
After sailing across the pacific without developing any problems associated with the noise, I have concluded that it is nothing to be concerned about. We did make a modification to our procedure, however, which seemed to reduce the amount that the shaft spins: before shutting down the engine each time, we briefly put it in reverse and idle up slightly, for a few seconds, then turn off the engine without taking it out of gear. Honestly, I can’t ascertain the precise effect of this: sometimes the shaft still spins, sometimes not so much, but I don’t think I ever heard the noise again quite as bad as I described above. In either case, no ill effect has come from it, despite about 15,000 miles of sailing.