Propeller shaft, coupler and struts - SailNet Community

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Old 07-14-2014
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Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

How bad is it ?
We hauled the boat (Tartan 37', 1977), planning to install a drip less packing gland.
Now, the yard seems to think the strut is really weak and should be changed, and it is unlikely that the shaft will ever come out of the coupler and is corroded inside. I would expect the bill to come down with a full new shaft and strut, i.e. 3 to 5k$.
Other people tell me that this is expected on an old boat and there is nothing to really worry about.
I would prefer plan the full repairs in a couple of years, if this is not 'unsafe'.
In a couple of years, I might have more time to plan for this financially and maybe do the work myself.

Any opinions ? Can I wait ?

ps: I am planning for a pacific crossing, CA to HI, not much motor involved, if any.
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Propeller shaft, coupler and struts-dsc03381.jpg   Propeller shaft, coupler and struts-july-14th-126.jpg  
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Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

Our boat is a 1979 and it doesn't eveb come close to looking like that! But then again it is only in th water 7 months a year! That being said the p/o obviously never didmuch in the way of mainenance fro mthose pics!!!!! Also it looks to me that you have a REAL electrolisis problem on the strut, or a poor casting with the copper discoloration showing so much. I just don't understand the price though. Get in ther bilge and clean up the mess, repair/replace thethe stuffing gland. Replace the shaft coupler. The strut looks like it needs to be very well inspected by a proshop, and or replaced. If the shaft is scored at the gland asnd or bearing it will need replacement also. I didf mine about 8 yrs ago myself and had the strut straightened. The shaft was about $240. for a 40inch and the strut repair was $50.00. Did the work myself. pretty simple! just have to pay attention. If it looks bad to you it probably is. I put in a last drop shaft seal pretty simple, just read the directions. It took me about 45 minutes to do the install, with a new coupler end on the shaft! To get the shaft out of the coupler, that's the thing with the fuzz/scum growing on it you can cut the coupler with a saws all. you just need the pay attention and take your time!. If you replace the packing in the gland you should be able to get that amount of time out of it as long as the shaft is ok. You'll see that when you undo the nut and slide it up the shaft. YOU ARE OUT OF THE WATER FOR THIS?!

Last edited by mike dryver; 07-14-2014 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Brain fart
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Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

Repairs before this ocean crossing? Is that a new trans or engine in front of the coupling? If you do it yourself, costs would be less than a $1000 most likely It's not rocket science. The strut Loose? If the metal isn't "pink" from electrolysis it's most likely still good
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

I was surprised as you are.
I am waiting for the actual accurate estimate but price was : new strut stainless steel made on command : 1.5-2k$. Coupler : 3-400k$. Shaft : 600$.
add the hours at the yard and I rounded it up.
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

Trans, Coupling and engine are all origin.
I bought the boat in CA, live in HI, and would be willing to do the work myself there, but running out of time in CA, as we would like to do the crossing early september.
I invested money/time a lot in the sailing/safety part, this engine stuff is bugging me.
One option would be to glass over the strut from the outside, if it is so weak that they say.
It looks like a bit pink to me, at least not the expected yellow of bronze.
the yard manager was peeling a chip of metal with his knife.
is it a valid test ?
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

You need tofix it before you eave CA.
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

All the work and super high costs aside.. You are going to sail an old boat with no shakedown cruise and questionable mechanical systems. (almost scared to ask about the rest of the boat) and think you don't need an engine during all this cruise?
I must be reading the wrong books!
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

I think of my engine as piece of safety equipment. I would definitely make the necessary repairs to ensure it's reliable operation.
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

We did already a shake down cruise. Engine is running good. Sail and rigging are almost new. Hull is sound. Batteries are new. We have a Windvane and solar panels. We have the trades. Engine will not carry us 2000 miles in any case. I wanted to fix the packing gland because it is a hole through the hull, not because I need the engine. Is it that crazy ?
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Re: Propeller shaft, coupler and struts

Strut should be bronze not SS .
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