The engine drives a fixed 3-blade bronze propeller via a short one inch stainless steel shaft through a cord stuffing box and a single external nitrile rubber Cutless™ bearing.
The stern gland can be tightened from the port or starboard cockpit lockers.
Sadly, hooking-out the old and inserting new packing in to the stuffing box is a real pain. The prop-shaft coupling has to be removed and ideally, to ensure all of the old packing is hooked out, the engine-mounts disconnected and the engine swung 10cm or so forward.
When correctly packed and not over-tighten, the gland seals perfectly. Just a a slow cooling and lubricating drip when the engine is running.
Note that we plaster any new sealing cord with lots of extra tallow.
Getting access to the packing requires decoupling the shaft and moving the engine forward
Propeller "maintenance" circa 1977
We love the stack of nefarious timbers supporting the hull !
Fortunately, you can get a wrench on here to give a 30 degree turn once in a while.
We do not know if the Cutless™ bearing has ever been replaced. It is nevertheless, in extremely good condition; just the slightest of up/down movements. A long way from the 0.08 inch (2mm) movement that would be considered too much.
The propeller´s diameter is 17 inches with a pitch of 13.
Plugging the engine and hull data into commonly used formulae gives a theoretical maximum speed of approximately 7 knots at an engine speed of 2200rpm – the maximum quoted for the Albin AD2.
When cruising, the engine seems most economical at about 1800rpm (900 rpm at the propeller) so the propeller size and engine seem well optimized for a 5.5 to 6 knot cruise speed.
The photos (right), which date from approximately 1977, show the propeller in a serious state. It is obvious that ARAMIS had been in the water and unused for several years. In spite of this neglect the existing propeller is marked "Albin" so we assume it still is the original.
Today the propeller remains in perfect condition - helped by the proximity of the keel fin and the half-skeg arrangement no doubt.
As shown below, we antifoul the propeller and shaft with a hard antifoul such as Trilux Prop-o-Drev. Some say that a well polished prop. covered in Vaseline is just as effective.
The propeller during routing maintenance in 2013
Propeller seen polished circa 1977 and today antifouled with Trilux™