Waiting for the Prop

New Prop Installed

We were so lucky to have had our problems with the prop and engine while we were still in New Zealand waters! What a mess it would been if we were somewhere in Asia or Sri Lanka. We were able to haul Mai Tai out at the boat yard in Opua two days after we arrived in the Bay of Islands. We immediately ordered a new Max-Prop from Italy and pulled the head off the diesel engine. Next we pulled the shaft out of the boat so we could have the shaft and prop machined to a perfect fit when the prop arrives. Now what? As they say, hurry up and wait.
Living on a boat in a boatyard is really not much fun. Of course, you can’t go to the bathroom onboard and even when doing the dishes or brushing your teeth the water runs down the outside of the hull and makes a conspicuous puddle under the boat. Not a good look. After two nights on board in the yard we decided it was time to leave Mai Tai on her own and head to Auckland. We needed to take the shaft with us and be ready to pick up the prop when it arrived so a trip to Auckland made good sense.
Of course, when you want something fast it takes twice the normal length of time to arrive. And so it was with the prop. It was sent “fastest way” but for some reason it was bumped off the plane in Amsterdam and it took five days to get back on a plane. Then of course, it arrived in Auckland on a Friday afternoon and wasn’t cleared through customs until the following Monday. Meanwhile we waited and watched the weather windows for our passage north pass us by. Finally, after two weeks of waiting, it arrived.
The guys at SoPac Marine, who we ordered the prop from, felt badly about the delay and when it arrived they immediately called me to let us know. I didn’t get the call right away and they thought maybe we had gone back to Opua. So they quickly called the courier to pick it up and take it up to the boat yard. When I received their message and called them back it had already left on the courier truck. Luck was on our side as one of the SoPac guys jumped in his car and chased down the courier truck and got it back. The machinist did a beautiful job of fitting the prop the next day and we were off to Opua with the shaft and the prop ready to install.
We are now back in the water. The prop and shaft went in beautifully and the new head gasket is installed on the engine. Now, once again we will watch for the right weather window to head north, which could be coming next Wednesday the 20th of June.


  1. So glad you are now back on track and hope the weather co-operates for you next week.
    Wow – even getting the new prop in the right place at the right time was a bit of an adventure !!!
    All the best
    Nigel and Ming

  2. The new prop looks fantastic, great to hear you are back on track ,new adventures are in the wind and we are looking forward to hearing about them.

  3. Hey Kaye and Lane hoping all goes well from now on. Looking forward to reading of your adventures. Stay safe and have fun. Love Jan and John

  4. Lane, it never fails when you plan for an epic adventure to have things go sideways. However, once things get back on track the story is so much more fun to tell!
    Have a great trip and keep the stories coming.

  5. Those guys at So-Pac were always known for their great service.
    We’re out cruising in our Airstream Land Yacht…presently anchored in Taos, New Mexico.
    Safe travels. We look forward to your next installment.

  6. Wow… glad to hear that it’s coming back together again. You seem to poses an effortless ability to turn seemingly routine events into thrilling adventures. Can’t wait to hear the next episode. Be safe!

  7. Hi you two,
    Are you on the road again? Where are you headed next. I think I read that it was the Mediteranian. Looking forward to your next exciting adventure.

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