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weighfair 30-05-2010 12:37

Is this Cutlass Bearing Toast ?
While changing my sailboat shaft seal, I had to pull the 25mm shaft back a few inches through the cutless bearing. A small 1/8" bit of rubber seemed to come back with it from one of the internal ribs. Otherwise the bearing has no loosness, the rubber firm, the shaft in good shape, no vibration, and all looks okay. I really don't want the work of dropping the rudder to get the shaft out and a new bearing in. Is a small piece of absent rubber going to have much effect or is this a sign of significant deterioration?

djmarchand 30-05-2010 12:42

Like you said, no play, no looseness, no vibration, no worries.


Alan Brown 30-05-2010 15:04

How old is the bearing? If it's starting to come apart, you may want to bite the bullet and replace it before you splash your boat and have to pay for a haul-out later on.

If it's fairly new, like 5-6 years or less, leave it be.

Just my $.02.

weighfair 30-05-2010 17:20

Thanks for the comments. I don't really know the age... newish to me boat but I doubt the bearing is very new. I forgot to splash water and soap into it when first moving it back so I hope it was just a small piece I pulled loose rather than significant deterioration. It looks and feels fine despite this problem. Unfortunately its about the 5th bullet I've bitten. Dropping the rudder / prop and changing the bearing are ones I'd like to avoid. Just hoping general experience indicates a cutless has some tolerance for less than perfect and won't fail suddenly.

Laidback 31-05-2010 01:40


Originally Posted by weighfair (Post 460669)
I hope it was just a small piece I pulled loose rather than significant deterioration.

How small a piece is small? - Do you still have it ? Noted that it was 1/8th of an inch -- long ? wide?

If you still have it and you can look at it under a microscope - look to see if it is cracked all over. Indicating that it has dried out at some time for a period.

The Cutlass lands should be a smooth fit on the shaft - holding it central, while the grooves provide the water for lubrication and stop it drying out.

4HMainer 10-08-2010 23:35

If a bearing is worn its supporting area decreases and wear accelerates to a point where it can not support a water film. The heat from friction can in some makes cause the rubber lining to seperate from the carrier at failure. For a 25.40mm shaft we recomend bearing replacement when radial displacement reaches 0.635mm. You can measure this with the shaft at rest as the gap should be at the top of the bearing if all is in alignment.

witzgall 17-08-2010 17:27

I have an unused 25mm 40mm long bearing I'll sell for $50 if you are interested. We bought two, but only used one.


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