I cannot imagine why PS thinks that the transmission needs to be left out of gear. Its not like a car transmission with syncros which do not like to be shifted with the engine off. Actually race boats do this all the time. Typically the shaft is marked when the boat is out of the water so that you can locate the blade up position (mark both blades). When you want to center the blade, you put the transmission in neutral and then rotate the shaft with your hand (in the engine compartment) until the marks show teh blade is in the up position. Then you put the transmission in reverse. That locks the shaft on most marine transmissions.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies