Cutlass Bearing Saga

This post is just one for anybody interested in boat maintenance 🙂

We knew our cutlass bearing was getting worn due to the noise when running the engine, so we intended to replace it in Trinidad. In the 6 years we have had Beyzano, we haven’t changed the bearing, so it was time, especially given all the miles she has done since 2011.

The Offending Cutlass Bearing

So, we tried to remove the propellor without success and instead of wasting money on a tool, we paid 18 GBP to a professional. Job done. Then we took off the rope cutter (there in case we get entangled in a fishing net or line from a lobster pot). Job done. Next was the removal of the cutlass bearing itself. Ours is rubber, with a tube topped by a sort of hat, a circle that is slightly wider than the tube. Rob pulled at the hat and in theory the rest of the bearing should have slid off with it. Sadly not.

Our top came off easily enough, leaving the rest of the tube firmly stuck somewhere up the shaft and no way were we going to get it out. The bearing disintegrated basically, so it was no wonder we were getting some noise when motoring.

Dropped Rudder

Professionals again. Took a look and gave a price to remove the debris but failed to measure the shaft and so didn’t take into account that the shaft is long and the placement of the rudder just behind the propellor means the rudder has to be dropped to get the shaft out. He did realise this after removing our stern gland though and we came to an agreement on price to get a hole dug to drop the rudder.

At the same time we could check our rudder bearings and all looks good there. The cutlass bearing was then easily removed and we are now just awaiting a specialist to modify the sleeve for the bottom bearing of the rudder before it can be bonded back into the hull.

Rudder Bearing Awaiting Modified Sleeve

Interesting day.

All Set For Painting If It Stops Raining

Next the paint sprayers got into gear, put up lots of tarpaulin to shield neighbouring boats, took off all our lettering on the sides and started masking up the hull. It keeps raining at about 1100, hampering their work but it will get done eventually. We’ll have to ask friends to email a photo when they’ve finished.

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2 Responses to Cutlass Bearing Saga

  1. Todd Beson says:

    Thank you for this write up, I am replacing my bearing this weekend and the pictures are worth 1,000 words,


  2. Rhian says:

    Glad you found it useful and hope the bearing replacement went to plan.

    Regards, Rob & Rhian

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