I just wanted to follow-up so nobody reading this thread gets the wrong impression.
I am sorry that he has gone to so many unnecessary difficulties, but it is not necessary to do what Les undertook to change the cutless bearing. Many owners simply pull the bearing by removing the prop and following a relatively simple procedure. See instructions quoted below.
Also, as to the suggestion that one must pull the engine to replace the prop shaft: There is no notch in the rudder so it is easier but not absolutely necessary to drop the rudder when replacing the shaft. However, it MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT necessary to pull the engine to remove the shaft.
From Dave Pomerantz, a long-time PSC 34 owner, posted to SailNet's PSC list-serve:
I have a 34, so I don't know if this method will work exactly the same for [your PSC37]. I had a boatyard replace the bearing in 1998 and replaced it myself in 2005. Removing the bearing was a little tricky because the dimple caused by the set screws can deform the bearing inside the shaft
tube. An alternative, which someone on this list suggested, was to
drill and tap the bearing for a 1/4-20 screw. That holds the bearing
securely without deformation, making it a cinch to remove in the
future. The whole procedure is a little tricky, but the result is
worthwhile and you know the cutlass bearing will never slip and spin
with the shaft, which can be bad news.
Here's my anal-compulsive instructions that I wrote a couple years ago:
• Gearbox in neutral
• Get a prop puller and remove the prop
• Remove bearing set screws
• Take two 3/4” nuts and thread them onto the prop shaft and lock them
together. Put a wrench on one of them, preferably a vise grip. This
allows you to turn or hold the shaft
• Grip the exposed edge of the bearing with a large vise grip and
rotate it on the shaft, while keeping the shaft from turning.
• Once the bearing rotates, work it off the shaft by rotating and
pulling. Note: if you always replace the cutlass bearing yourself using
the installation procedure described below, you’ll be assured of an easy
replacement the next time. That’s the best reason for not letting a
boatyard do the work.
Installing New Bearing
Trellex-Morse shaft bearing, Bloater model (4” x 1” I.D. x 1-3/8” O.D.)
Two 1/4-20 oval head stainless steel machine screws, 1-1/4” long. These
are a perfect fit.
• Apply waterproof marine grease to the shaft at the hull
• Slide the new bearing onto the shaft and CAREFULLY push it into the
shaft tube until there is NO LESS than 1/4” of the bearing exposed.
Push it in too far and you won’t get it out again and may have to drop
the rudder and pull the shaft. So _don’t push it too far._
• Rotate the bearing on the shaft until the flats of the rubber are
under the set screw holes.
• Mark two lines on either side of the exposed bearing surface to
indicate the rotational angle. Label the lines P and S so you don’t put
the bearing back at 180 degrees out of phase.
• Mark a circumference line to indicate how far the bearing is in.
• Using the drill bit for a 1/4-20 tap, drill through the bearing at
each set screw. Try not to score the shaft. Try not to damage the
threads in the hull for the screws.
• Remove the bearing. Finish drilling. Tap for 1/4-20 threads. Try
out the new set screws.
• Replace the bearing, using the lines to position it.
• With a tiny screwdriver inserted in the set screw holes, find the
corresponding holes in the bearing. A very bright flashlight helps.
• Engage both screws. This may take some time and patience.
• Remove screws one at a time, load with loctite, and replace.
• Make sure the shaft turns freely, that the screws don’t bear on the
• You now have a perfect installation that will never come loose until
you want it to and will then come out easily. Much better than a