Shafted, but in a good way…

Today we pulled the shaft from our boat, F/V Potential. Pulling the shaft is a job I’ve put off for five years. Here are the steps to the job: First you take off the rudder shoe. Next remove the rudder, propeller, engine coupling and then the bearings. After that’s all done you can pull the shaft out.

Prop off, shaft out, crew hiding under boar from rain pretending to work...

Prop off, shaft out, crew hiding under boar from rain pretending to work...

The cutlass bearing is at the stern of the boat. It keeps the boat’s shaft spinning smoothly and the propeller turning. Mine was way over due for a replacement and it couldn’t be put off longer. They are very hard to pull out from the bearing housing. Most people end up cutting them out. Here is a picture of the new one and the old one. 

Cultass bearings new and old, it really was time...

Cultass bearings new and old, it really was time...

I found out today that every bearing size has a different woman's name. Our cutlass bearing was Glenda (1¾”) and the rudder bearing was Eva (1½”). Both are lovely and will hopefully slide right into place.

Meet the lovely ladies!

Meet the lovely ladies!

The shaft repairs will take a couple of days at the Mechanic’s shop. He’ll weld it and then very precisely machine the extra metal off to the perfect diameter. It is a fair bit of work to pull the shaft and you always feel relieved when your boat is back in one piece. Boats float better that way.

Crewman Philip inspects the shaft for wear

Crewman Philip inspects the shaft for wear