How to remove the cutlass bearing

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    We’re about ready to haul Rainshadow to replace her prop, and potentially the shaft if it needs it. That means we may need to remove the cutlass bearing, and we’ve never done that before.

    After reading George’s experience on the Yahoo group, I am wondering if anyone wants to share words of wisdom before we might get to the point of confusion that George did.

    Help anyone?

    Arild Jaeger


    On Far Out, which was built in 1968, there is a white metal bearing (and no cutlass bearing). I found that the difficult parts were (i) to get the propeller unstuck (had to use heating and a heavy duty puller), and (ii) to find a workshop that could machine the tailshaft to become completely “round” and to mould a new white metal bearing in the stern tube to fit the shaft.

    If the shaft doesn’t move up/down/sideways when you rock the propeller, I would just leave it.

    If you want to change it, you will need to take off the propeller, remove the intermediate shaft and pull the tail shaft into the boat. Then you unscrew the two bolts holding the end-piece of the stern tube before you unscrew the end-piece itself and then you can unscrew the stern tube (from the outside). Having the tail shaft and the stern tube, you just bring them to a workshop that can help you (not many of them around, so I would start by finding one before disassembling anything).

    I will e-mail you some photos and a simplified drawing, which you may post here for me if you like

    Kind regards,


    Thank your Arild, I have posted the photos you provided on the Flickr group here

    We’ll go to Rainshadow and follow through your instructions to see if we can understand what you mean. Definitely appreciate the advice and photos.


    Roger Haggar also emailed me some very useful Camper & Nicholsons documentation, showing the white metal bearing and the instructions for how to remove the stern tube. More extremely useful stuff, which you can find as a PDF listed on the Nic 38 – equipment page (or open the PDF from here)

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