Displaced propeller shaft - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-01-2014 Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Displaced propeller shaft

Had my PS37 Summer Breeze hauled out last weekend after running over a crab trap while motoring in a heavy snowstorm. Fouled prop in line and was eventually freed by a diver who suggested that my cutlass bearing might need inspection.

The yard has informed me that it appears my propeller shaft has been pulled somewhat toward rudder and that motor mounts appear to have allowed motor to shift toward stern. Not having any prior pictures of prop I am unsure what gap should exist normally between prop and cutlass bearing. Can anyone shed light on this
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-01-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

Doesn't look good... the extremely clean shaft may well be an indication that it's only recently been 'exposed'.. there also seems some damage to the hull/cutlass area but that could have been the caught-up line scraping off paint etc.

Also of concern is the condition of the bolts that ought to be holding your prop zinc onto the (expensive) Max prop which itself looks a bit worse for wear.. it would seem there's been no zinc there for some time, and something (the line again?) bent those now-exposed bolts..


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post #3 of 10 Old 03-01-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

On the positive side.......
At least now ya have a nice, clean spot for the zinc!
Fix the prop/bolts, check for interference, check (and secure) shaft alignment and motor mount/bed, check/replace bearing,. Add zinc and go sailing!

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-02-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

What Delaten said. I wrapped a sunken lobster pot line last summer and pulled my drive shaft out about 3 inches. Once cleared most parts popped back into place except the Cush drive( flex drive) unit was yanked out of shape and had to be replaced. The motor mounts ( New) shook off a lot of coating but were ok as was the new shaft and new cutlass bearing.

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-02-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

Considering the dezincification your prop has suffered, I'd say you need to consider not waiting until you've snagged a crab pot before employing a diver.

I agree with the remarks about the clean shaft being an indication that the whole drivetrain has been pulled aft. My only hesitation is that the shaft looks clean right up to the prop, which would mean the prop normally sits right on top of the cutless. It is possible, I suppose, that the shaft was polished by the line wrapping around it while the shaft was spinning.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-02-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

I just climbed down the ladder and measured mine and the gap was about 2 cm between the prop and the cutless. The cutlass sticks out about 1cm. I do have a different prop though so my measurement might not translate to your boat.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-04-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

For what it's worth, here is a photo of our Max Prop and shaft on our PSC 34.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-04-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

Pegasus, I don't have room on mine between the prop and the cutlass for a shaft zinc. I so wish I did. I eat up the Maxprop zinc every 6 months.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

As a bearing supplier we are happy with minimum gap to allow water to exit of 3.00mm or 1/8" In engineering shaft support terms the smaller the gap the better as there will be less shaft flex/whip.

Boat builders generally work on shaft to shaft and a half as a gap.

The forces that pull the shaft back when you get a rope round are huge, I've seen a number of commercial vessels where the gearbox has been pulled off the back of the engine so make sure you check for other damage that may have happened if the engine moved, like fuel and oil lines.

Last edited by Kutter; 04-03-2014 at 05:10 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-14-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Displaced propeller shaft

Thanks to all who chimed in with their expertise and guidance. Boat is now repaired, however yard reduced clearance between prop and cutlass bearing by trimming a few inches off shaft. Yard later opined that motor had not shifted. So it is a mystery to me why the shaft stuck out so far.

Anyway, Summer Breeze will be in the water to allow for some sailing over the Easter Weekend
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