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Old 09-02-2018, 18:03   #1
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Location: Bellingham WA
Boat: Contest 36S
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Shaft removal issues, Shaft Tube replacement??

Original Task- Replace PSS Dripless Bellows, Replace Cutless Bearing

Current Task- Remove Shaft, Remove Flange at Deadwood?? Remove and Re-engineer Shaft Tube, Install Stuffing Box (not there yet)

Boat- 1985 Contest 36S

Basically I can't get the shaft to pull aft past the skeg. The shaft needs to be replaced or renewed due to previous owners' neglect of cutless bearing.

2 Options that are currently on table-

1. Pull engine- If I have to.. Must come all the way out of the engine compartment due to the oil pan sitting deep into the bilge.
2. Notch out FRP on skeg to allow the shaft to pass aft. Unknown- Interior Structure of Skeg (metal frame??)

I possibly made a mistake as I started to remove the flange at the deadwood where a previous owner stuffed in a bronze fitting to install a Dripless. I used an oscillating multi-tool which put a clean cut behind the flange and flush to the dead wood. I did this prior to removing the nippled bronze fitting that was used to house the dripless bellows. Using a small camera looking aft into the flange, it seems like it sits 2 inches deep into the stern tube where it bumps into another shaft tube (which I assume is glassed into the stern tube).

From exterior/Aft- I removed the exterior bronze fitting (which was glassed in), the cutlass housing with the cutlass inside and the compound which held it in place. I can see the aft end of the shaft tube which is about 4 inches from the opening of the stern tube.

I know that my description may be confusing so please ask any questions to clarify what is going on. I will attach as many photos as possible.

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Old 16-02-2018, 05:16   #2
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Re: Shaft removal issues, Shaft Tube replacement??

1. The shaft will (or anyway, should) pull aft without having to damage the skeg.
2. To pull the shaft aft you first have to displace it sideways in the horizontal plane at it's after end and in an opposite direction at the forward end, to do this the shaft must be disconnected from the gear box, cutless bearing must be removed, (you've already done this if I understand correctly), shaft coupling must be removed and the stuffing box at the forward end must be removed from the bulkhead and slid forward off the shaft.
3. I can't quite understand what you are describing you have done at the forward end of the shaft assembly (in the engine space), did you saw (radially) through the rearward facing projecting stub of the bronze stuffing box? I think this is what you have done so will continue on this assumption.
4. As in 2 above the stuffing box must be removed from the bulkhead, all you should have to do to achieve this is to remove the nuts from the studs and then pry / lever it forward off the studs, during this process you will also be pulling the rearward stub out of it's hole in the bulkhead. This is usually a difficult process with an old boat, long hardened sealing compounds etc.
5. if my assumption in 3 is correct, then the flange and forward facing part of the stuffing box will come off now easily, but you will be leaving the stub behind in the bulkhead. You have to get this out.

Please confirm before I spend any more time guessing

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Old 16-02-2018, 07:19   #3
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Re: Shaft removal issues, Shaft Tube replacement??

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, sunyata.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 16-02-2018, 07:24   #4
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pirate Re: Shaft removal issues, Shaft Tube replacement??

Had to replace a bent shaft on my Hunter37.. I just cut it as close to the thru'hull as cutting room would allow..

Born To Be Wild.. Click on the picture.
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Old 19-02-2018, 15:56   #5
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Re: Shaft removal issues, Shaft Tube replacement??

Thank you much for the input.

So I couldn't get enough horizontal play with the shaft to get past the skeg. I originally thought it was the flange attached to the deadwood that prevented the movement, but it was the internal shaft tube that is unreachable and is original. There's no touching that.

I reached out to the designer and he confirmed that the engine should be lifted to pull the shaft forward. There is no removal of the shaft aft. So we lifted the engine, pulled the shaft.

I'm still working on getting out the flange that is attached at the deadwood/bulkhead. I have not sawed through the rearward projection of the flange, just around it. It was not bolted in, rather glassed (even in the holes where bolts were intended).

Per our yard guru, I'm going to use heat, torque and some finessed impact to jar it loose. It has to come out as we need to install a new log to house the stuffing box.

As for the engine, I am considerably more familiar with her.

I will be having a few things fabricated/replaced as things were damaged in the removal process.

Cutless Housing
Shaft Log (flange at (deadwood/bulkhead)
Stuffing Box
Shaft (too much damage to the previous one to be salvaged)
Flexible Shaft coupling (R&D marine)
Shaft Keys

Basically all of the stern gear. Yay!
I'm just glad we're in yard in Bellingham rather than out and about.

Engine Mounts (R&D) need to be replaced too.

My next flow of work will be tending to the engine items. Pumps, Alternator, Belt, Hoses, Wiring, engine compartment, etc.

Thanks for all the input and for any other words of wisdom going forward.

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men, removal

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