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Old 02-10-2009
jkimberly jkimberly is offline
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Seafarer 26' prop shaft replacement

Last year I bought a 1985 Seafarer 26' with a 1GM10 Yanmar diesel. The PO decided to replace the cutlass bearing during the last winter he had it but couldn't get the prop off. All he succeeded in doing was to twist off the threaded end of the bronze prop shaft. He drilled a hole through the hub of the prop, through the shaft and put in a cotter pin to hold the prop on. It was at this time that I first saw the boat.

Everything else being in good shape, I decided to buy it. The PO had explored replacing the shaft and set a $500 price to it, which we deducted from the cost of the boat. I've sailed it for the first season without a problem but now that it's out and in my yard for the winter, I really want to do the prop/shaft replacement before I put her in again. In examining the shaft and prop, I've discovered that the prop hub has a crack in it extending from the extreme rear almost to the front end.

I was able to remove the prop without too much trouble (not sure why he had so much?!?) and slide the shaft out as far as it will go but it hits the rudder stanchion (?) before it will clear the cutlass bearing. The cutlass bearing is in a skeg about mid-way between the hull and rudder stanchion. Without removing the engine, there appears to be no way to remove the shaft other than to cut it in two. I'm sure this won't be a problem as it's bronze. The issue is that to install the new shaft, I'll have to depend on getting the clearance I need by removing/replacing the cutlass bearing.

Without a cutlass bearing in the skeg, I SHOULD be able to get enough side to side clearance to get the shaft past the rudder stanchion and then slide the cutlass bearing up the shaft and into the skeg. I suppose I could get a bearing puller to remove the bearing first but it really seems to be easier to just pull the shaft and cut the bearing out.

As I go through this, I'll try to take pictures of the procedure and post them here but I wondered if anyone else has had to go through this type of grief. This seems like an awful lot of "stuff" to go through just to replace a shaft and you'd think there should be an easier way to accomplish it. BTW, the PO's estimate of the cost is pretty close, w/o labor. Least expensive prop (Michigan Sailor 2 blade) I've been able to find is $285 (13x10 RH 1"), stainless shaft is about $180 and cutlass bearing is about $35.

Anyone care to add their own thoughts or story of how you did this?

Thanks and
"Fair Winds"

Larry
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