Denise, I think that I can squeak by the rudder (I hope so!). My boat is a 35, and I believe that I have more room between the shaft log and the rudder.
It ain't pretty, but the prop shaft is OUT.
I tried to use a gear puller, but no dice. The prop shaft was too long for the gear puller.
So, I cut ˝" of the threads off the shaft. Still too long,
so I cut another ˝".
STILL too long
, so I cut them flush with the rear of the prop.
I cranked on the gear puller as much as I dared, but the prop wouldn't budge. The prop and the shaft were solidly fused. At this point I was committed to a new shaft anyway, so I cut the shaft forward of the cutlass bearing, and slid it out. Then I went into the engine compartment, and cut 2/3 of the way through the shaft, and the battery in my portable sawzall died.
I finished up with a hack saw. Has anyone ever told you how soft 1" of brass is? If so, they're lying.
It took me close to 30 min to cut the other third... I now have 6 pieces of shaft.
Unfortunately Denise is right, the rudder will have to drop to replace the shaft.