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McFly
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Drop the rudder to remove prop shaft?

I found some dry rot on the bellows of my dripless shaft seal, so I'm going to have the boat hauled and the seal replaced (piece of mind). Does anyone know if the rudder on the C36 MKII needs to be dropped to remove the prop shaft?

Mike

Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA

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pkeyser
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It's my understanding that if the prop and cutlass bearing are removed, there's enough wiggle room to slide the shaft past the rudder. 

McFly
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Thanks Paul. I guess that means I'll be replacing the cutlass bearing too?

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Chachere
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I've removed the prop shaft without dropping the rudder; once I removed the cutless bearing there was sufficient clearance to slide the prop shaft out. 
On the other hand, although we don't have a dripless stuffing box, my sense of the geometry is that you don't have to fully withdraw the shaft to replace the stuffing box, just pull it back maybe a foot to get clearance.
On the third hand (?!), if you're messing around there anyway, replacing the cutless bearing is not a big cost item and you'll be good to go for a while without having to think about replacing it in the near future.  Get a request in for the C36IA loander tool...
And on the fourth hand, if you are taking out the shaft entirely, its not a bad idea to take it to a prop shop and have it checked out and straightened -- not costly, and another maintenance thing to get out of the way...
Sorry for suggesting all this "scope creep", but if you're hauling out to do this anyway....
 

McFly
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Scope creep, mission creep, pandoras box, boats.

The only other thing I should have added at the beginning is I have a bronze prop shaft. I'm told they tend to be soft and, since it's most likely original, maybe so scored that I'll want to replace it too... More scope creep.

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Chachere
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My row house was built in the 1870s, so I'm quite familiar with those metaphors, which come to mind virtually everytime I've had to open a wall to repair something.  Once of my neighbors called it the "Genisis factor" -- i.e., such-and-such begat so-and-so, which begat....      So, yeah, its often the case on boats as well.
We have a bronze prop shaft as well, and the prop shop I took it to said it was a bit scored but still servicable; they put in on this interesting machine the checked it for minute bends and trued it up.   Since you will have to remove the coupling flange, you should have the shop refit that as well, or better yet have the shop set you up with a split coupling so it will be easier to remove in the future (if you don't already have one).    Hunt around on this site for discussions about how to safely remove the old coupling (without damaging the transmission); my recommendation (having spent literally hours in that cramped area doing it the hard way using draw bolts) is to do it the quick way by cutting the old one off using an angle grinder.  See Mainesail's articles here: https://marinehowto.com/installing-a-pss-shaft-seal/ and here: https://marinehowto.com/new-prop-shaft/

McFly
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Genesis factor, I like it. I've committed to a new ss shaft, 2 piece coupling and cutlass bearing. The only thing left that has me waffling is the actual seal. There's so much discussion on this forum and others about the dripless vs. an old fashioned stuffing box. My momentum has me aimed at just replacing it with what I know, another PSS. But I'm definitly open to suggestions of other brands or a stuffing box. Thanks again for all the great input.

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Chachere
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Folks with the dripless setups seem to love them. 
The only downsides I've read about them (this is hearsay on my part, since we have a traditional stuffing box) are
   1) the bellows need to be replaced at intervals (as you are doing now), which is a significant PITA that involves a haul-out, etc (I've repacked our stuffing box with the boat in the water; its no big deal and the bilge pump can easily handle the water ingress while the job is in progress), and
   2) a failure at sea (a torn bellows) could be rather catastrophic.  
On the other hand, the regular ongoing maintenance is somewhat less than a stuffing box (although its really not a big deal on the latter).    

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pkeyser
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I've run our stuffing box with PTFE packing for years, set for minimal drips and warm, but not hot temperature on the shaft with never an issue. Adjust maybe once or twice during the season. Seems a lot simpler than a PSS seal. All a matter of preference. 99% of our bilge water is from rain down the furling mast and cleaning the speedo wheel.

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Ray Taylor
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I’ve owned both and found they both work fine.     I always seemed to have some water in the bilge with the standard packing.   With the PSS seal 99.5% of the time our bilge is bone dry.     

I’m staying with the PSS seal that is serviced per the manufactures service schedule. 

McFly
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Update:  Unfortunately, the yard boss called and told me the rudder had to come down to enable passing new prop shaft back into the shaft log.  My old shaft was bronze and assumed original, so I allowed them to cut it out to save the labor and buy a SS shaft.  Updated coupling to a "spilt coupling", new cutlass bearing and new PSS Dripless.  I absolutely hate to be high and dry in the middle of our short season, but couldn't comfortably operate with the bellows as cracked as it was.  Investments into the future I hope.  

Mike

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Chachere
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Sounds like your yard boss didn't have access to a cutless bearing tool.   Still, if the issue is getting the boat back into the water quickly, rather than wait to the C36IA loaner tool to make its way to you, not a bad choice.   Having not had the pleasure (yet!) of having to drop the rudder, I would imagine this would also be a good time to renew the packing on the rudder shaft.  As I said, scope creep...
Good luck, and hope we get to see you at some point this season if we get into Buzard's Bay (Red Brook being one of our favorite stops...)
 

McFly
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Some delay from the prop shop for the shaft.  Now they're saying monday the 20th for back in the water.  

If you're ever in Red Brook Harbor, please get in touch with me.  We are normally at anchor in the Lee of Basset's Island.  Our boat is currently there as that is where the work is being done.  Most of our summer is spent there!   - Mike

 

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