Join Date: May 2009
Location: Palm Island Miami Beach
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
I had the exact same thing happen at night, on a trip from Miami to West End.
We were sailing, I imagine the shaft was being turned by the fixed prop, and all of a sudden the helm got really heavy, it became obvious that it would only turn one way, pretty soon I was hard over. The prop shaft had slipped out of the flange coupling, the two coupling halves were still bolted together, the end of the shaft was past the packing, but stopped halfway out of the shaft log, as the prop was hard against the rudder. It was a fairly new boat, and hadn't sailed much. While we'd been motoring, I guess the loading of the prop driving the boat kept it secure, but a after a few hours sailing, it worked loose.
As it was night, and my family were aboard, I didn't want to go in the water and try to push the shaft back in, and as much as I loath being towed anywhere, my only option was to drive a cedar plug into the packing nut, and call for a tow back to Miami.
the next day back at the dock, I backed the grub screw out of the coupling, and careful of the threads, drilled an indent into the shaft, and hardened it down with some threadlock.
Schucker 44 Cutter