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Old 06-03-2013, 19:58   #1
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Removing Shaft while in the water?

Can one safely remove the shaft for shaft straightening while in the water given you can remove the rudder or have rudder clearance?

Sealing the shaft hole I am guessing? With shaft out remove shaft seal housing, and gently hammer in a plug and one from the outside?

Any tips would be great, I dont want to pay a haulout If I can avoid it, I am accustomed to work under water, I know I need to have prop checked and straightened (old damage not recent) but would like to check the shaft at same time.
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Old 06-03-2013, 20:08   #2
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

I would go for it. But, a cutlass bearing is going to leak with just a plug in it. You need to use a piece of shaft like a broom stick etc. or something the same dia. as the old shaft.
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Old 06-03-2013, 20:15   #3
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I should have stated the cat has shafts that exit thru a shaft log. The cutlass bearing is in a strut a foot behind the log.
Not sure if the shaft log can be plugged safely with a plug or i need ti do it from the inside.
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Old 06-03-2013, 20:26   #4
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

Easiest working with two people. Pull the shaft aft until the end is about to pop into the log. Wrap a rag around the shaft on the water end and slide the rag up into the annulus while slowly withdrawing the shaft. This will limit the amount of water that can get into the boat. When the end of the shaft pops out of the gland/seal on the inside have the person on the inside place a piece of dowel or something similar of the same size as the shaft into the gland/log (the person on the inside can actually line up the dowel with the shaft and push). They can then tighten up the packing (or if dripless the shaft collar, etc.) while you remove the rest of the shaft. That pretty much seals it up exactly the same as if the shaft was in place.

If you want a little more warm-and-fuzzy, I use plumber's putty (http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/pl...FYZcMgodGXsA7A) to seal the underwater side. It does a good job, and is pretty easy to remove with a small putty knife or screwdriver when it is time to re-install.
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Old 06-03-2013, 20:32   #5
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
I should have stated the cat has shafts that exit thru a shaft log. The cutlass bearing is in a strut a foot behind the log.
Not sure if the shaft log can be plugged safely with a plug or i need ti do it from the inside.
You can do it with some competent help. Go to whom ever is going to do the shaft prop work, ask them to cut you a foot long shaft from scrap in both sizes one to fit the rudder and one to fit the prop shaft. Also ask em to champher both ends

The guy on top has the stub pushed up tight to the end of the existing shaft, and pushes the old shaft out, thereby replacing the old shaft. Now all hed needs do is tighten down the packing gland.

The guy in the water has to do some pulling, and please make sure there is a a rope made fast topside so you don't loose either the rudder, or the shaft
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Old 06-03-2013, 20:40   #6
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Thanks! The boat has rudder logs above wl so dint need to seal that. But good idea on the shaft piece
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:40   #7
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

You might want to check with your insurance underwriter first to make sure they are okay with this, just in case things go South.
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:30   #8
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

go to a hardware store, buy a couple of toilet rings. These are large beeswax "donuts". Warm it up, make it into a ball, stuff it into the hole instead of hammering in a plug. The wax can't distort anything, the water pressure will hold it in place, and if you don't pick it all out, it will melt and lubricate the shaft as that spins.
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:37   #9
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

I'm not sure I see the risk - reward benefit. One little mistake could be very costly, you aren't going to do a same day turnaround, just don't know if I could sleep that night. I'm nervous enough just repacking the stuffing box in the water.
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:52   #10
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

I have replaced way too many shafts to ever even consider doing it in the water. Way too many things to go wrong and I do not think you will be able to do a good job of it in the end. Haul out around here are about $10.00 per foot so you are willing to risk sinking the boat or not doing a decent job to save a few hundred bucks? This is why sailors have a reputation for being cheap! lol. I guess you could do it and if off in the middle of nowhere if you had to it can be done but I really do not see it with all the extra work and risk just to save a few bucks. If you insist I would see about getting a short old shaft to slide in the stuffing box as the old one comes out. Bevel the edge so it does not damage the stuffing going in. Then secure it inside and out till the new/repaired shaft is ready to go back in.
Like Andy kept telling Aunt Bee "Just call the man" I will say "just haul the boat!" lol. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos
Can one safely remove the shaft for shaft straightening while in the water given you can remove the rudder or have rudder clearance?

Sealing the shaft hole I am guessing? With shaft out remove shaft seal housing, and gently hammer in a plug and one from the outside?

Any tips would be great, I dont want to pay a haulout If I can avoid it, I am accustomed to work under water, I know I need to have prop checked and straightened (old damage not recent) but would like to check the shaft at same time.
Sure, no problem, we have done this before. As I pulled out the shaft, my wife jammed a sock into the hole. Less than a littre of water got in. Any sock size will do, but a thick winter sock is better . Doesn't everybody else keep a winter sock next to their thru-hulls?
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:25   #12
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

I have cedar wedges I pop in while im doing in water shaft swaps. Best and easiest way since it will swell .
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:26   #13
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

As far as doing it in water, get someone with ships husbandry insurance so if it does go south you arent at fault.
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:54   #14
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Re: Removing Shaft while in the water?

I too would try.

Two people under water - one on the shaft, the other with the plug. The plug slightly smaller than the dia than the shaft, slightly conical, and wrapped in some cloth.

As soon as the shaft end disappears from the seal, the guy inside the boat plugs the seal.

BTW Some shaft seals ARE very delicate - avoid forcing/bending/etc.. Be very careful too when sliding the new shaft in - for the same reasons.

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