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Old 03-10-2011, 07:10   #1
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Prop Shaft Removal

I'm looking for tips and suggestions for the easiest way to remove my prop shaft. I have a new to me 1978 Catalina 27. It came with an outboard on the transom because the inboard was long gone. The outboard works fine for my day sails on the Chesapeake. Because I don't have the funds to repair or replace the inboard, I removed it and the fuel tank. I recently hauled the boat to paint the bottom and thought I might as well remove the prop and shaft.

Does anyone have any advice or tips for doing this and plugging up the prop shaft hole?

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:32   #2
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Re: prop shaft removal

Assuming that the engine has been removed but the propeller shaft is still installed - the boat needs to be hauled from the water.
- - Remove the transmission flange from the end of the propeller shaft and unscrew the stuffing box tightening nut. Slide the propeller shaft and propeller out of the boat.
- - Two choices now. 1. Remove the stuffing box from the shaft log or 2. leave the stuffing box in place and insert a small length of stainless rod the same diameter as the propeller shaft into the stuffing box and tighten the packing nut as much as possible.
- - Outside there are also two choices. 1. Remove the gelcoat from around the shaft log and then use epoxy or polyester with fiberglass cloth to make a cover over the shaft log exit. Use several layers. 2. Remove the cutlass bearing from the shaftlog and then insert a wooden or plastic rod or a PVC pipe end cap (with an O.D. the same as the I.D. of the shaft log. Epoxy or use T-5200 caulk to seal it into the shaft log. Optional would be to apply a few thin layers of fiberglass cloth over the shaft log to fare the area for better water flow and protect the shaft log from sea growth (barnacles).
- - These suggestions are aimed at keeping the original structure of the shaft log intact so that in the future, you or some other owner could re-install an inboard engine if they so desire.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:43   #3
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Re: prop shaft removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - Remove the transmission flange from the end of the propeller shaft and unscrew the stuffing box tightening nut. Slide the propeller shaft and propeller out of the boat.
You make it sound so easy. Sometimes the coupling is stuck on there so good that you have to saw it off. My advice would be to just saw the shaft in half with a sawzall and pull it out that way. It might save you from having to take the rudder off too depending on where that is situated.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:53   #4
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Re: Prop Shaft Removal

Thanks for replies. Coupling and prop are rusted on pretty well. Also, even though engine is out, it is still a tight squeeze to get a good position to muscle a wrench on the coupling. The boat is out of the water. I'm leaning towards cutting the shaft and sliding both halves out of the shaft log. Where do you suggest to cut to do this? Inside the boat where the shaft enters the shaft log or outside the boat just before the prop? I would prefer not to cut more than once.
Thoughts?
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:01   #5
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Re: Prop Shaft Removal

I would just remove the shaft and the bronze stuffing box. Leave the hose in place and double clamp a plug into the hose securely.
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Old 03-10-2011, 17:23   #6
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Re: Prop Shaft Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppenoyar View Post
Thanks for replies. Coupling and prop are rusted on pretty well. Also, even though engine is out, it is still a tight squeeze to get a good position to muscle a wrench on the coupling. The boat is out of the water. I'm leaning towards cutting the shaft and sliding both halves out of the shaft log. Where do you suggest to cut to do this? Inside the boat where the shaft enters the shaft log or outside the boat just before the prop? I would prefer not to cut more than once.
Thoughts?
It all depends upon how much room/clearance you have on either end of the prop shaft. If you have a lot of clearance where the engine has been removed - then cut the shaft off outside. It is a lot easier to hacksaw/sawsall from outside where there are no interfering walls/hull.
- - It is not a big deal to cut out such a small shaft as a replacement is not all that expensive. You can use a piece of the shaft to insert into the stuffing box and tighten down if you go for that option.
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Old 03-10-2011, 19:01   #7
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Re: Prop Shaft Removal

I would leave it so that it is relatively easy for a future owner to install an inboard engine. This might help to preserve the future value of your boat.
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Old 04-10-2011, 00:47   #8
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Re: Prop Shaft Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppenoyar View Post
Thanks for replies. Coupling and prop are rusted on pretty well. Also, even though engine is out, it is still a tight squeeze to get a good position to muscle a wrench on the coupling. The boat is out of the water. I'm leaning towards cutting the shaft and sliding both halves out of the shaft log. Where do you suggest to cut to do this? Inside the boat where the shaft enters the shaft log or outside the boat just before the prop? I would prefer not to cut more than once.
Thoughts?
yeah use a measuring tape to figure out which side you are going to have clearance on. Measure twice cut once. Do it!
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:33   #9
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Re: Prop Shaft Removal

Having just done this exact mod to my boat, we removed the prop, and slid the shaft out into the cabin. then dismanted the stuffing box and glassed over the hole on the outside of the boat. thus if we ever want to put the shaft back in everything is there just needs a hole drilled through the glass we put on.

To get your seize prop off you can use an oxy torch to free the taper a little. crack the nut off 1-2 turns (mostly still on) and if your not using the prop again you can hit the middle of the prop, this alters the shape of the prop centre where it slides onto the shaft taper slightly and pops it off and into the nut (hence you dont unscrew it completely). once all this has happened, undo the nut and the prop should come off in your hands.
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