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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems like a topic that has been covered. I can't seem to find the full thread referenced. My cutless bearing looks like it is set flush with the stern tube so that there is no place to grab the bearing and work it out except at the notches. Any suggestions on a method for replacement without dropping the rudder and removing the shaft would be appreciated.



Tartan 27' owner
5,241 Posts
Frankly, no. Well, you may not have to drop the rudder but removing the shaft is the most direct way to access your cutless bearing. Removing the old cutless bearing often involves making one or two cuts in it before it can be removed. Trying to press it out can be a futile effort.
This may sound counterintuitive but cutting the shaft inside the boat may be your easiest way out. A new shaft wont cost you more than $300 versus how many hours of your time trying to safely remove your old shaft.
With the shaft in two pieces you should be able to remove the half with the propeller without dropping your rudder. It will also be much easier to remove your prop and flange from each piece of the shaft on a work bench.

2011, November 30th. Begin drive train rebuild | Odalisque

Besides, how old is your existing shaft? While you are at it, replace your stuffing box tube and clamps and your entire drive train will be new.

Material costs should be < $500.

719 Posts
An older post...

A poor man's substitute for the bearing separator can be made from a pair of exhaust pipe u-bolt clamps. They can be used to grab the end of the cutless bearing and work especially well if notches can be cut in the side of the bearing. (Shown on my son-in-law's Compact 25.)

and with the bearing extracted.

But, it does not look like you have enough of the bearing end sticking out to grab. That leaves the pipe down the shaft tube method method.

This from another post should be of use when it comes time to install the replacement...

Installing New Bearing
Trellex-Morse shaft bearing, Bloater (??) model (4” x 1” I.D. x 1-3/8” O.D.)
Two 1/4-20 oval head stainless steel machine screws, 1-1/4” long. These are a perfect fit.
Apply waterproof marine grease to the shaft at the hull
Slide the new bearing onto the shaft and CAREFULLY push it into the shaft tube until there is NO LESS than 1/4” of the bearing exposed. Push it in too far and you won’t get it out again and may have to drop the rudder and pull the shaft. So don’t push it too far.
Rotate the bearing on the shaft until the flats of the rubber are under the set screw holes.
Mark two lines on either side of the exposed bearing surface to indicate the rotational angle. Label the lines P and S so you don’t put the bearing back at 180 degrees out of phase.
Mark a circumference line to indicate how far the bearing is in.
Using the drill bit for a 1/4-20 tap, drill through the bearing at each set screw. Try not to score the shaft. Try not to damage the threads in the hull for the screws.
Remove the bearing. Finish drilling. Tap for 1/4-20 threads. Try out the new set screws.
Replace the bearing, using the lines to position it.
With a tiny screwdriver inserted in the set screw holes, find the corresponding holes in the bearing. A very bright flashlight helps.
Engage both screws. This may take some time and patience.
Remove screws one at a time, load with loctite, and replace.
Make sure the shaft turns freely, that the screws don’t bear on the shaft.
You now have a perfect installation that will never come loose until you want it to and will then come out easily. Much better than a boatyard job.
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