Cutlass Bearing Replacement

Feb 27, 2004
167
Hunter 335 North East, MD
One of the many downfalls of this pandemic is that I have too much time on my hands and I start thinking of projects I can do on the boat. My 27 year old Hunter has never had its cutlass bearing replaced - is it time ? The shaft seems solid within the strut with no lateral shake or movement and the shaft turns freely. There is no unusual vibration of the engine while running that hasn't been there the last few years. I'd appreciate any thoughts or wise advice about when to replace the bearing.

Thanks
 

BillyK

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Jan 24, 2010
502
Catalina 310 Ocean City, NJ
if it's been in that long and it has no play or any symptoms of issues.. then leave it alone. You will most likely be not only replacing the cutlass, but the shaft as well due to wear. You'll also have to go through the process of repacking and tuning the packing gland also. But if you are like me, and it sounds like you are.. i would still do it.
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,226
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Not broken.. don't fix unless you are planning a LONG voyage in remote places..
 

BillyK

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Jan 24, 2010
502
Catalina 310 Ocean City, NJ
But if you are like me, and it sounds like you are.. i would still do it.
It's interesting when you start poking at the boat like this actually.. my cutlass actually needed replacement, which lead into an avalanche of repair and replace last winter. i went in to replace the cutlass and really only the cutlass.. what turned out being replaced was..

Cutlass - too much wiggle
Shaft - couldnt remove without dropping the rudder and it was scored.. so cut it to remove.
Coupling - rusted beyond reuse
Prop tuned - why not, it was off already
Transmission rebuild - removed and inspected since the shaft was out and discovered output shaft splines were trashed
new damper plate - always replace when you have the transmission out
Engine Mounts - noticed during realigning the shaft that the engine mounts had dropped.
New oil pan - while i had the engine up in the air the amount of rust around the oil plug was horrible and i poked a hole in it easily.
New fuel lines - moving the engine exposed cracks in the fuel lines
New coolant lines - moving the engine around exposed cracks
New exhaust hose to the muffler - moving the engine exposed cracks
new fuel tank - found diesel in the bilge while aligning the engine
new hot water tank - when replacing the fuel tank i noticed the hot water tank was rusted and leaking

So if it aint broke dont fix it? But at 27 years, it might be time to start pealing things back a little for some major inspection. I'm not the guy that lets stuff break to fix it..
 
Feb 27, 2004
167
Hunter 335 North East, MD
Hey everyone thanks for your feedback- I'll hunt elsewhere for opportunities to get into trouble on my boat this off season- BillyK thanks for your list- I have actually done a good portion of those items when my engine was out of the boat too

Thanks again- stay safe
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,920
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Hey everyone thanks for your feedback- I'll hunt elsewhere for opportunities to get into trouble on my boat this off season- BillyK thanks for your list- I have actually done a good portion of those items when my engine was out of the boat too

Thanks again- stay safe
If you are really bored, I can give you some opportunities to replace some above the water plastic thru-hulls on my O’Day 322. Been on my to do list for a while now, but if you are desperate, I will let you do them :cool:

Greg
 
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