OK, y'all are making me feel better about her, thanks! It was just SO frustrating to hear the marina guy say "well, I think the repair cost is going to be more than the value of the boat". Of course, that does include his labor.
I've asked the captain about any accidents and he says no, but I think he's afraid I'm going to come after him for the repair costs. I think I need to call my insurance company in the AM to find out more about what's covered. Then a call to the surveyor.
Is it possible that the prop tangled in something, then broke the "something" that tangled it? As I understand it, damping plates don't normally "just" fail, but if the shaft suddenly stops (e.g., the transmission seizes or the prop hits something/gets tangled) the centrifugal force can be enough to break the plate. I think that's what happened here. I don't think the transmission seized, unless it happened temporarily, because the shaft can be spun by hand and I believe the shaft is still attached to the transmission. That basically leaves the prop getting tangled in something at some point, but then it had to come free, or else the proop and shaft wouldn't spin (the mechanic was able to spin it by hand today).
If the shaft locked up, could that also have caused the engine mounts to break? I'm guessing they were probably original, so any major force would probably have done them in.
If the motor mounts broke, could have have lead to the misalignment in the shaft? I can understand the misalignment resulting in the shaft wearing into the hull in that area. I don't know how far/bad the wear is; could the shifting of the motor have caused some of that?
The cutlast bearing was great during the survey; it was super stable without any movement.
Sorry for all the questions; just trying to understand before I talk to the surveyor and the insurance company.
I basically outlined that scenario for you as being the most likely.
Again,I dealt with this on a fellows boat and it was caused specifically by the shaft wrapping up a line until it was snug enough to tear the motor free of the boat, breaking the cast motor mount brackets, a motor mount and the fiberglass stringers that held them. Yay dyneema, possibly a poor choice of dinghy painter material- but anyway. Once the motor mounts break, and the motor drops 1-2" then the shaft is signifgantly out of alignment at which point your shaft goes to work on its seal, the shaft log and eventually your hull, It is likely that you will end up taking on water once you lift the motor back into place. When I dealt with this on that boat in NAssau haulout wasnt an option. I coated the shaft with jonson paste wax once the motor was back in place, and used stick epoxy that works under water to rebuild the lip on the shaft log where the boot covers it, additonally I packed the area around the shaft snug to the shaft, rellying on the paste wax to prevent bonding of the shaft to the epoxy- essentially bedding it, and coming very close to sealing it. NOt what one wants for the life of the boat, but a legitimate fix to allow the motor to be used, and get through unti the next haulout, when the shaft can be pulled and the log, bearing, gland, seals etc rebuilt/ replaced.
Take a toilet paper roll, and then take wooden dowel, or a pencil or what have you, and place it in the toilet paper roll, centered- representing proprer shaft/log alignment, now raise one end of the pencil, while dropping the other, you now have the "shaft" making contact both for and aft in the "log", and can see how it can tear up the log, the seal, the bearings, and the shaft.
There really isnt anything about 95% of the work facing you that actually calls for any real technical knowhow- but yeah, some serious sweat equity.