Kaholee Refit | December 12, 2006

I only had a short time to work on the boat today, but I pulled out the propeller shaft--a job that was surprisingly difficult.  The shaft seemed bound inside the Cutless bearing or stuffing box, and I couldn't turn it nor could I pull it from either direction.

The shaft coupling was already loose and barely held in place, and came off with only a slight tug after I loosened the single set screw the rest of the way.  I wonder how long it had been in that condition.

Next, after failing to simply slip the shaft out as I expected, I dismantled the packing assembly, and finally loosened the four hose clamps securing the packing hose to the inside of the stern tube.  With a pipe wrench on the shaft, I could finally turn it, along with the stuffing box hose, and free the shaft.  As I pulled the shaft into the boat, a large quantity of something--it looked like dead bugs that had nested there--poured out into the boat.  It seemed that this nest had been the reason for the shaft binding.  Given the large number of mud dauber wasp nests that I had seen elsewhere in the boat, I suspect that this is what had built in the stern tube; the muddy nests turn concrete-like over time as they dry out, and could easily bind the shaft.

In any event, the shaft and stuffing box were out!

Total Time on This Job Today:  1 hour

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