Something's a little strange - why would you remove a cutlass bearing BEFORE removing the prop shaft? The only reason I can conceive of is that the shaft is aligned with the rudder
and cannot be slid out without hitting the rudder
. Putting side loads on the P-strut to get the prop shaft out is not a good idea.
- - Drop the rudder out and then remove the prop shaft. Then use the example of pipe/threaded rod/washers or better yet a large socket to pull the cutlass out of the P-strut.
The piece of pipe should be longer than the cutlass bearing; the I.D. needs to be just slightly bigger than the O.D. of the Cutlass bearing. You can borrow a large socket that has an O.D. the hair smaller then the O.D. of the cutlass bearing. The threaded rod acts as the mechanism to withdraw the cutlass.
- - If you are removing a cutlass bearing - they are cheap
- replace it with a new one.
- - The cost of straightening a prop shaft will most probably equal or exceed the cost of buying
a new prop shaft so replace it too. If you have ever tried to straighten a rod or tube or fat solid wire you will know that it really cannot be done very well. You will forever have vibration which will both wear the new cutlass bearing(s); probably loosen the P-Strut from the hull
; and do a number on your stuffing box and maybe even the transmission
bearings. Risking all that just to save a few bucks - maybe - on not buying
a new prop shaft seems less than desirable.
- - Do the job right and you will not have to worry about that system again until some new bozo tries to lift
your boat the wrong way.
- - Dropping the rudder to get access to the prop shaft also allows you to check and replace the rudder bearings and seals
and repair any wear or damage incurred to that system over the years. Also you can inspect the top of the rudder to see if any water
is leaking into the rudder. Then clean and put new sealant
around the rudder shaft/rudder body joint.
- - Take the opportunity now to renew all the parts
in these systems so you don't have to haul the boat some other time for one of these items.