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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm getting ready to haul my boat to paint the bottom and do some boat work. One of the projects is to change the cutlass bearing and I have never done this before on this boat. It's a full keel boat and the cutlass bearing and shaft go through the back of the keel. I don't recall seeing any set screws when I painted the bottom last time, but they could be there buried under paint. Does anyone have any experience with doing this on a full keel boat? The problem is that I'll be in a pricy marina and paying through the nose per day on the hard so I won't have time figure this out calmly. It's also a job the yard isn't qualified to do (and I always prefer to do my own work anyway). I've changed a cutlass bearing in a strut before, but I have the feeling that this time it's going to be more complicated....

If I don't find any set screws, do I just try to pull the cutlass bearing out with a puller? Should I cut it out? Are they held in place just with pressure? Anything I should know about putting the new one in place?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Working with everyday tools, I used sockets to pull my bearing. With a multitude of sizes, one will butt up against the bearing and another will butt up to the casing. A bolt thru the both and tighten the nut. I added heat. Came back in the morning and it had moved a 1/2''. I was well on my way!
 

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Never did one on a full keel boat either. But several on ones with struts. I would guess first you will have to remove the shaft. Then cut the bearing into a couple of pieces and remove them. Should work even if there are setscrews.
 

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Automotive body repair shops have a hook me impact hammer. Borrow or rent, remove shaft, stick hookme into hole and whail away. Hard to heat this so better to make sure no set screws.Next is the hacksaw blade routine. Either way probably needs a pot of elbow grease and a case of beer.
 

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GREETINGS EARTHLINGS ; get some threaded bar and a socket of the diamiter of the bearing and make a puller or use a socket on an extention and a mallet to start the job or you can make a slide hammer useing the same parts Best Of Luck As Always GO SAFE
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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One of None
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Tartan 27' owner
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denise,
It is mostly the lighting - but that prop may not have too many more seasons left in it. It has likely been in service for 45 years now. I have a backup at the ready but my boat partner wanted to re-use our old prop. Go figure.

@copacabana,
If your stuffing box looks like ours I'd suggest buying all the small stuff before hand:
- new cutless bearing
- new packing for stuffing box
- new hose for stuffing box
- new hose clamps to hold the above in place
(estimated cost of above materials in US: ~$120)

I don't think there is any way to replace the cutless bearing without removing your shaft first. This can truly be a pain in the azz to accomplish. We found our shaft to be worn so we made the executive decision to cut the shaft and remove the flange & prop from their respective pieces in a shop, instead of the cramped quarters inside our 27' boat.

With a boat your size (50') you may have a reduction gear in your drive train. Hopefully you won't have to replace your shaft as we did. Getting the new shaft made added weeks to the completion time to our project. Fortunately we were not paying a daily fee for being on the hard but had paid our $500 fee for winter storage.

We tried pressing out the cutless bearing using the threaded rod method but no joy. Gently slicing the piss out of the old bearing accomplished the deed in an hour or two.

Using warm soapy water on the new hose made slipping it on SO much easier.
Carefully clean shaft log before trying to force new bearing in there.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Pretty boat your Vindo 50'.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Caleb! I was just Reading your blog post on the cutlass bearing and started reading other posts. You have a nice boat. Your post is very helpfull indeed. I will get the things on the list as you suggest. The place where I'm hauling the boat is not near any decent chandleries and I intend to prepare everything I need ahead of time. The daily rate on the hard is a killer (about USD100 a day) and I don't want to be running back and forth looking for parts. BTW, my boat is 35 feet, not 50!! It's a Vindö 50 - the "50" is because it carries 50 square meters of sail to windward.
 

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If cutlass is worn, the shaft may also be grooved at the stuffing and cutlass.Look careful for fatigue cracks (SS) at those spots. As Calab, sometimes easier to cut and replace than screw around at a 100 a day.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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It took less than 2 minutes to cut our old shaft in half from inside the boat. Trying to save the shaft would have taken hours of work...
New shaft for our boat was < $400 us.

Reciprocating saw with new metal blade ("Sawzall") saved the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I plan on removing the shaft without cutting it. I have very good access to the drive train and I don't see it being a problem. Finding a new shaft where I am, on the other hand, would be a challenge. There is only a slight play in the cutlass bearing so I don't think the shaft is scored. I'm just changing it because I'll have the boat out of the water to paint the bottom and I like to take advantage of this to do as much as possible (I'll be paying by the day anyway- might as well do everything I can!). I'll have someone sanding and painting the bottom while I do the other stuff.
 

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ancient mariner
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look up changing cutlass bearing without removing the shaft on the web. tools are available for this or make your own. i don't know if this would work with the bearing in the hull.
 

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If you can remove the stuffing box hose, long threaded rod (1/2"?) with big washers can push the new bearing into place. A washer same dia as bearing and a cross bar and wood blocks on the outside can pull the old one out (lock nuts on the inside end.) Let us know how it works out.
 
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