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It would help if you have a photo or two of the prop, shaft, strut (if any) and rudder.
Moving the engine does seem a little extreme. It may be easier to drop the rudder. Before you do, you might want to check with Jeanneau on what they recommend. Some rudders are designed with a tube through the rudder that permits the shaft to be removed without removing the rudder. The tube wouldn't necessarily be visible as it would be capped, faired and painted over.
On my boat I have to drop the rudder to replace the bearing -- it's expensive as it requires a round trip up an down with the travel-lift in addition to disassembly/reassembly of the steering, quadrants, etc. Even so, that's a lot easier than moving the engine.
re. shaft wear -- if there's too much wear in the bearing it can cause the shaft to wear as it "wobbles" around. How much shaft wear depends on how much wear there is in the bearing and how long it was run with a worn bearing. If the shaft is badly worn, it will need to be replaced. That, too, is expensive -- a lot more expensive than replacing the bearing.
Last edited by billyruffn; 02-23-2009 at 11:11 PM.