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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A while ago I noticed that my shaft strut looked odd.

I asked about it here
https://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/310538-my-cutlass-bearing-strut-backwards.html

There was sort of a mound under the strut, and it seemed a bit misshapen. When I took a close look this week I was shocked to find that not only was it installed a bit weird, it isn't even made of metal!

It is just a bunch of fiberglass shaped to look like a strut!

Someone probably broke it or it didn't fit when the boat was repowered and made a similar shape out of fiberglass and never told the owner. What nerve! I'm almost incredulous that someone would do this.

I have talked at length to the owner that got this done (2 owners ago. edit: 3, actually.). We are friendly and he was super happy that I had him over to visit his long lost love. He has no idea about the strut!

http://alejandroerickson.com/j/images/fiberglass-prop-shaft-wide.jpg

http://alejandroerickson.com/j/images/fiberglass-prop-shaft-detail.jpg

(note that sailnet seems to be garbage at helping me post pictures. I've been using this site for years and I don't know if I've ever posted a picture successfully. Therefore you can click the links if you are interested :p)

edit: I just remembered my real reason for posting. Where do I get a new strut? :D

edit 2 and update: The PO visited me when I told him about the strut and he was very surprised, but he is sure that the boat came to him that way and that it did not happen during the repower... furthermore, his buying-surveyor looked at the boat in the water and told him it had a bronze strut (how the surveyor thought he knew this the PO admits is beyond him). so now I'm a bit more confused... and so is the PO. Keep in mind there have been two owners between us and that this is just a friendly old man I keep in touch with - not someone trying to save face and make up stories.
 

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Is it glass throughout, or did someone build glass on top of the old strut? I find it very hard to believe the PO did not know about this, regardless of my willingness to believe in a boatyard fraud. Did the PO never have the boat out of the water?
 

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I had a legacy B&G speed transducer... everything worked fine. I had a collection of replacement impellers. This unit was no longer in production or supported. The transducer house projects about an inch below the hull as a fin to deflect weeds.

Because it is vulnerable and will break off if a lifting strap is place there I produced a detailed clear drawing for hauling and sling placement. I also marked the toe rail with red electrical tape.

The yard ignored the drawing... and of course broke the thru hull. This fin also had a V groove in the aft vertical edge to guide the impeller unit to the right alignment. That feature was lost as well when the weed deflector part was broken off.

The yard agreed to get a replacement. The replacement required that the mother board on the CPU of the monitor be altered. This had to be unwired... removed and shipped to B&G in FL for the modification.. then re installed and wired up with the new speedo and of course re-calibrated and so forth. They installed the NEW Airmar unit incorrectly and the anti leak valve did not work and could not be fixed or even understood until the boat was hauled again.

I try not to let anyone work on the boat when I am not present... or do the work myself. But in 33 years of owning Shiva these yards love to haul and launch when the owner is not around regardless of specific instructions to notify me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is it glass throughout, or did someone build glass on top of the old strut? I find it very hard to believe the PO did not know about this, regardless of my willingness to believe in a boatyard fraud. Did the PO never have the boat out of the water?
As much as the PO loved his boat and kept decent records, I don't think he did much of his own work. He had no reason to lie to me and we chatted casually about the details and circumstances of the repower, and I asked him pointedly about the strut. He has not a clue, I am sure of it.
 

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I understand there are clueless owners. But he wouldn't have noticed his strut suddenly looked different? Do you know this guy isn't playing dumb?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I understand there are clueless owners. But he wouldn't have noticed his strut suddenly looked different? Do you know this guy isn't playing dumb?
For all I know he never saw the thing out of the water? Or possibly it was a different PO and he bought the boat with this strut (that would invalidate my guesses about how this happened, of course).

The man is about 85 and he even called me last year to wish me a merry xmas. If he's playing dumb he's a pathological liar (no other motivation) and an incredible actor. I'm sure he's being honest with me.
 

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For all I know he never saw the thing out of the water? Or possibly it was a different PO and he bought the boat with this strut (that would invalidate my guesses about how this happened, of course).

The man is about 85 and he even called me last year to wish me a merry xmas. If he's playing dumb he's a pathological liar (no other motivation) and an incredible actor. I'm sure he's being honest with me.
You state that the strut may have been installed at ant time by any previous owner, and you have you have no idea who installed the strut. There’s no evidence at all to support your claim that a boatyard did it.

I think it’s more likely that a prior owner who was too cheap to pay for a professional quality repair job did it himself. It seems to me that the labor cost of making a fiberglass strut would far exceed the cost of a replacement strut. That suggests a DIY owner made his own part.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So, you state that the strut may have been installed at ant time by any previous owner, and you have you have no idea who installed the strut. Nevertheless you bad mouth all Boatyard’s.
I'm not sure what you are on about here, nor how to respond to such nonsense. This is a casual thread to vent about ****ty things that boat yards (or boat builders) do. If you have a problem with this and need to deconstruct my story then you can go sail somewhere else.

There is a chance that the strut itself was hand crafted by another PO, but I doubt it. Everything about this engine repower is ****ty, from the arrangement of the cables, the broken mounts, the shaft that was reused even though it is so long on the newer engine that it interferes with the rudder (took a chunk out of it this year and am fixing it now!), to the use of automotive wire, the sloppy butchery that was done to accomodate the new engine and make access, the fuel tank that was not fastened down, the non-stainless hose clamps (installed in 2006, no less). The list seems endless sometimes, and I'm just now getting to be able to fix the last few items after 1.5 years.

All this is the ****ty work of ONE boat yard on ONE boat. If you want to see a few ****ty things that boat builders do, on the other hand, check this link out!

Stoopid boat builder tricks

Edit: I'll just add that I'm not here to give you evidence. I'm just saying what I think happened and I'm keeping all the evidence to myself, because this is just a story about an anonymous yard. This isn't the right place to be asking for evidence, and to try and defend boat yards, because we all know full well that there are many crappy operations out there, and you either need to use one you really trust or do things yourself, and beware of engaging anyone else to do work on your boat.
 

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A while ago I noticed that my shaft strut looked odd.

I asked about it here
https://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/310538-my-cutlass-bearing-strut-backwards.html

There was sort of a mound under the strut, and it seemed a bit misshapen. When I took a close look this week I was shocked to find that not only was it installed a bit weird, it isn't even made of metal!

It is just a bunch of fiberglass shaped to look like a strut!

Someone probably broke it or it didn't fit when the boat was repowered and made a similar shape out of fiberglass and never told the owner. What nerve! I'm almost incredulous that someone would do this.

I have talked at length to the owner that got this done (2 owners ago). We are friendly and he was super happy that I had him over to visit his long lost love. He has no idea about the strut!

http://alejandroerickson.com/j/images/fiberglass-prop-shaft-wide.jpg

http://alejandroerickson.com/j/images/fiberglass-prop-shaft-detail.jpg

(note that sailnet seems to be garbage at helping me post pictures. I've been using this site for years and I don't know if I've ever posted a picture successfully. Therefore you can click the links if you are interested :p)

edit: I just remembered my real reason for posting. Where do I get a new strut? :D
Yes it does not look right.

Check out how the images are inserted below by using the reply with quotes option and that may help you in the future with displaying images in your posts.





Some sources for struts:
https://www.generalpropeller.com/inboard-strut

https://www.hhprop.com/machined-running-gear/custom-struts-rudders.php

Marine Boat Strut Replacement Metal Casting Foundry Service Company Seattle Washington

https://www.propellerdepot.com/struts

[Edit] - It looks like some incompatibility or restriction with the site you are hosting your photos on. For some reason you have to go to the site and open each photo to establish a connection for the session before the links will be allowed to display on SailNet so you then have to repeat this every time you come back to it as it does not stay persistent. Note also that at times your site puts up a notice indicating that the image can not be displayed because it contains errors when opening the details image.
 

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I understand there are clueless owners. But he wouldn't have noticed his strut suddenly looked different? Do you know this guy isn't playing dumb?
I would guess that the old strut is under the fiberglass, but it’s damaged or pinked out corroded and cracked. Somebody who is incompetent probably slapped some glass over the old, cracked strut.
 

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What is the brand/model and year of your boat?
George,

The owner’s profile says it’s a Newport 30 Mk2, so it’s from the 70’s.
That pic looks like a typical strut and shaft for a Newport 30 with an Atomic 4 engine, except for the fiberglass around the strut.

Any surveyor would have examined that strut and shaft. Wrapping a strut in fiberglass is a sure sign of previous damage to the strut and maybe the hull.

Judy
 

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....The man is about 85 and he even called me last year to wish me a merry xmas. If he's playing dumb he's a pathological liar (no other motivation) and an incredible actor. I'm sure he's being honest with me.
85 doesn't need to be a liar to fail to get the story straight.

New struts can be made, which is your fate. Let us know if the old one was just glassed over. It seems very unlikely that it is solid glass.
 

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A strut that was in sound condition wouldn’t break during an engine replacement. It’s not fair to blame the yard for breaking a strut that was already in bad condition.

If you don’t keep a zinc on the strut, it’ll waste away.
 

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Judy -
Thanks for the look-up. I usually don't go into the owner's profiles as most don't seem to post any useful information. I think the owner needs to post this question on an owner association website. I know that a lot of boat builders back in the 60's and 70's weren't building to the same common practices of today (I race on a Cal 40 and that is an eye-opener) and I wouldn't be surprised that fiberglass strut was period to the boat's construction. It would cost a "modern" boat yard a lot more in labor to fabricate and align a fiberglass strut than to simply bolt on a new bronze one. Anyway, a simple way to check on this is to look at the strut location from the inside of the boat. If there is resin oozing up from old bolt holes or similar repair evidence, then the boat originally had a metal strut. If not, I'd keep it as is if it isn't fractured. The owner might be needlessly opening a whole new can of worms, if the strut doesn't need replacing. Besides, right now, he has one fewer zinc to worry about.

-George
 

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It is entirely possible that the original strut was made of fiberglass. I recently discovered that my cutlass bearing housing was made completely of fiberglass and that's the way they came from the factory. Also found several powerboats with fiberglass struts, so apparently, it's not a rare thing. Might want to check with the manufacturer or their spec sheets to find out if this is the case.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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It is entirely possible that the original strut was made of fiberglass. I recently discovered that my cutlass bearing housing was made completely of fiberglass and that's the way they came from the factory. Also found several powerboats with fiberglass struts, so apparently, it's not a rare thing. Might want to check with the manufacturer or their spec sheets to find out if this is the case.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
Gary -
What year and model Morgan sail boat do you have? What does your cutlass bearing housing look like? Is it stern tube? Stern tubes aka shaft logs are usually surrounded by fiberglass, and are molded as part of the hull.

 

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I have had mixed experiences with boat yards. Some were really good. Some were really bad.

My worst experience was when I was trying to sell my first cruising boat, a Grampian 30. She was a nice capable boat, but my wife was pregnant and we were live aboards, so we decided to upsize, without having a buyer for the old Grampian.

Grampian had a pretty reliable atomic 4, but as luck would have it, the first potential buyer showed up and the engine WOULD NOT START! Had always been reliable for me.

So now I am doubled up on boats and mooring/storage fees and winter is coming. I took it to my local marina and said, engine wont start, please fix it. They told me a mechanic would be out right on it. A $110/hr mechanic would be cheaper than a winters storage, by a lot.

Winter came and they said they couldnt find the problem. Spring came and they couldnt find the problem. Now I am getting desperate. Any way, a freind of mine who worked at the marina overheard the mechanic assigned to my boat boasting that he knew what the problem was, the boat was in otherwise good shape and instead of fixing the problem he would offer me $500 for the boat so I didnt need to pay more storage, then fix the boat and flip it.

So, I hired another mechanic, who wasnt authorised to work at the marina and agreed to come after hours and take a look. I was there with him while he worked. This guy knew atomic 4s and fpund a timing issue in about 10 minutes, fixed it in 20. He charged me about $130.

I went to the marina manager the next day and said my boat was fixed and I no longer required their services. Manager said I owed them billable hours. I told the marina manager the storey. He was a reasonable guy and asked me if he could have a couple of days to look into it. I said fine.

He got back to me in about an hour and said that I would not owe them any further money and I could keep the boat there for a week or two to try and sell it.

With a running engine, I had no trouble selling her for close to what I paid for her, less a winters storage.
 

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By far, the worst boatyard I've encpountered in 40 years of sailing is [Edit] Fl.

The owner offers "bottom job specials" at a low price, then does a bait and switch once you're on the stands. He pressures you to get sandblasting and an epoxy barrier coat -- not actually needed unless you have bad blisters -- and slow walks you if you resist. He wants several thousand dollars extra for the work.

If you continue to resist, he hits you with a huge bill for sanding the bottom -- mine was $1,400 -- and piles on extra charges that were not part of the original estimate.

There are also complaints around the Internet and in marinas and sailing clubs about questionable work, inflated labor charges,, etc. My estimated $500 cutless bearing replacement on a Catalina 320 turned into an $1,800 job in the hands of his expert yard crew.

Word is getting around [edit], but owners of large boats such as catamarans are stuck because he has the only Travel Lift in St. Pete big enough to haul them. Some owners of large boats are starting to go to Tampa to avoid having to do business with [Edit].

If you're considering [Edit], you can find complaints at activecaptain.com, Google, Yelp, ripoffreport.com and probably other web sites.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
To those discussing the problem I orginally posted about, see the update on OP. All bets are off and I now know nothing about where the fiberglass shaft strut came from.
 
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