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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How bad is it ?
We hauled the boat (Tartan 37', 1977), planning to install a drip less packing gland.
Now, the yard seems to think the strut is really weak and should be changed, and it is unlikely that the shaft will ever come out of the coupler and is corroded inside. I would expect the bill to come down with a full new shaft and strut, i.e. 3 to 5k$.
Other people tell me that this is expected on an old boat and there is nothing to really worry about.
I would prefer plan the full repairs in a couple of years, if this is not 'unsafe'.
In a couple of years, I might have more time to plan for this financially and maybe do the work myself.

Any opinions ? Can I wait ?

ps: I am planning for a pacific crossing, CA to HI, not much motor involved, if any.
 

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Our boat is a 1979 and it doesn't eveb come close to looking like that! But then again it is only in th water 7 months a year! That being said the p/o obviously never didmuch in the way of mainenance fro mthose pics!!!!! Also it looks to me that you have a REAL electrolisis problem on the strut, or a poor casting with the copper discoloration showing so much. I just don't understand the price though. Get in ther bilge and clean up the mess, repair/replace thethe stuffing gland. Replace the shaft coupler. The strut looks like it needs to be very well inspected by a proshop, and or replaced. If the shaft is scored at the gland asnd or bearing it will need replacement also. I didf mine about 8 yrs ago myself and had the strut straightened. The shaft was about $240. for a 40inch and the strut repair was $50.00. Did the work myself. pretty simple! just have to pay attention. If it looks bad to you it probably is. I put in a last drop shaft seal pretty simple, just read the directions. It took me about 45 minutes to do the install, with a new coupler end on the shaft! To get the shaft out of the coupler, that's the thing with the fuzz/scum growing on it you can cut the coupler with a saws all. you just need the pay attention and take your time!. If you replace the packing in the gland you should be able to get that amount of time out of it as long as the shaft is ok. You'll see that when you undo the nut and slide it up the shaft. YOU ARE OUT OF THE WATER FOR THIS?!
 

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One of None
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Repairs before this ocean crossing? Is that a new trans or engine in front of the coupling? If you do it yourself, costs would be less than a $1000 most likely It's not rocket science. The strut Loose? If the metal isn't "pink" from electrolysis it's most likely still good
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was surprised as you are.
I am waiting for the actual accurate estimate but price was : new strut stainless steel made on command : 1.5-2k$. Coupler : 3-400k$. Shaft : 600$.
add the hours at the yard and I rounded it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Trans, Coupling and engine are all origin.
I bought the boat in CA, live in HI, and would be willing to do the work myself there, but running out of time in CA, as we would like to do the crossing early september.
I invested money/time a lot in the sailing/safety part, this engine stuff is bugging me.
One option would be to glass over the strut from the outside, if it is so weak that they say.
It looks like a bit pink to me, at least not the expected yellow of bronze.
the yard manager was peeling a chip of metal with his knife.
is it a valid test ?
 

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One of None
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All the work and super high costs aside.. You are going to sail an old boat with no shakedown cruise and questionable mechanical systems. (almost scared to ask about the rest of the boat) and think you don't need an engine during all this cruise?
I must be reading the wrong books!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We did already a shake down cruise. Engine is running good. Sail and rigging are almost new. Hull is sound. Batteries are new. We have a Windvane and solar panels. We have the trades. Engine will not carry us 2000 miles in any case. I wanted to fix the packing gland because it is a hole through the hull, not because I need the engine. Is it that crazy ?
 

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Bronze contains about 15% zinc. When the piece suffers from electrolytic corrosion (either galvanic or stray current) the zinc dissolves leaving the bronze with a pinkish hue and visible pitting on surface. A strut in this condition is seriously weakened. I have seen a strut break under power and stay on the shaft getting whipped around 800 (shaft) RPM and digging a hole in the hull before the shaft fell out.

Not enough information provided to say if the cause is galvanic or stray current but it is certainly not "electrolysis" which is a commonly misused term by those who do not understand electrolytic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion is a fairly slow process while stray current corrosion can be a shockingly (pun) fast process. If stray current is the culprit you may have an electrically unsafe boat.

Can't tell from the photo but your propeller must also be suspect. Very few propellers are bronze, most are actually manganese bronze which is actually a brass which contains around 35% zinc. If the strut is compromised the propeller is in likely worse condition.
 

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The coupling is finished. The stuffing box and shaft maybe salvageable. Then change the cutlass bearing, and stuffing. Now if your lucky, and the strut survives the removals, add some fiberglass to support the root of the strut.
 

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I just did this job on my boat back in may. We were pressing the cutlass bearing out and the strut fell apart. This work must be done on the hard so if your out now, fix it now. It's not rocket science. Get a 4 1/2" grinder and split the coupler. You can't change the stuffing box gland w/o removing the coupler.
If the strut fails, (trust me it will happen when you really need the motor) the flailing prop and strut can hole the boat. Forget about the fiberglass BS. Fix it properly before you leave.
Jim
 

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How bad is it ?
We hauled the boat (Tartan 37', 1977), planning to install a drip less packing gland.
Now, the yard seems to think the strut is really weak and should be changed, and it is unlikely that the shaft will ever come out of the coupler and is corroded inside. I would expect the bill to come down with a full new shaft and strut, i.e. 3 to 5k$.
Other people tell me that this is expected on an old boat and there is nothing to really worry about.
I would prefer plan the full repairs in a couple of years, if this is not 'unsafe'.
In a couple of years, I might have more time to plan for this financially and maybe do the work myself.

Any opinions ? Can I wait ?

ps: I am planning for a pacific crossing, CA to HI, not much motor involved, if any.
That strut is beyond gone and dezincification has won the battle.....

Contact Brewer's South Freeport Marine in South Freeport Maine. They just did a Tartan 37 strut and had it custom cast because they are simply not available. John Brewer should be able to tell you whom he had cast the strut. I believe it was in Mass.

With the strut looking like that I would move forward with a full corrosion survey by a competent corrosion specialist. Your board, board pin. thru-hulls etc. could also be damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright. Another picture grinding the .5mm of pink layer. If I understand correctly, the metal is deeply weakened, and not only in surface. The gold/Yellow layer looks really stronger than the pink cupper in surface. This is not rocket science but a lot of work and a very inaccessible area (Hot Water tank, ...), and I woould have preferred attacking this in one year or so, with more time in front of me and in a cheaper yard.
I have been quoted for 400$ for the pattern + 600$ for the strut. Add a coupler, a shaft ...
Anyway, thanks for the feedback. and the contact in South Freeport, Maine.
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For the archives.

We ended doing the work professionally. We had to change the shaft as well, and the packing gland. Overall, adding Strut and Coupler, it ended up almost 2K for the parts.
The bronze strut has been made by marine hardware .com based on the template of the old one. I did all the cleaning, removal etc.. myself, but putting back everything together and aligned - professionally - came back around 1.5K.
Close from the original estimate. But at least, the job is strong and well done, and I should be good for the next 20 years.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8GU531b6ETs/VCxFrZSEeNI/AAAAAAAAGrE/S1AvyckZsOU/s1600/Boat%2B037.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks. It took a while to close this thread, because it took actually a while to get it done. Overall, almost took 2 months (!!!!). 3 Weeks to get the strut done, we had some parts issues, the yard was busy, etc... Make sure you have a good yard that do not make pay the lay days while waiting for parts :)
 
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