Join the C34 Association Today!
[C34 Home] [C34Tech Notes] [C34 Tech Wiki] [Join!]
Please login or register.
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous  (Read 2333 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

kable

  • Forum - Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« on: May 29, 2020, 04:49:28 PM »

I have owned my boat for 5 years and have it dove spring and fall.  This year it was time to have it pulled to repaint the bottom.  Up here in Bellingham WA there really isn’t anywhere you can do it yourself.  So based on calendar openings I picked a yard and had it hauled.  I want 2 coats of bottom paint and when my boat was surveyed they suggested replacing the cutlass bearing at my next haul out. 

So on the paint and prep, nothing I can do so I am at their mercy at $1224 which only includes some basic 'roughing up' the bottom.  I have some uneven paint so I am paying an addition 8hrs or sanding it all down (not stipping).  Then 2 gal of paint on top of that.  Also the strut and shaft zincs which I am not allowed to replace (their environmental rules).

I should start out by saying I am a computer guy and not very mechanically inclined.  Once taught, I can do things, but w/ out knowing the tricks or how things are put together I over think it and never start because I want it done right.  Also, I haven’t really found ‘my mechanic’ yet.

Of course the yard wants to drop the rudder.  I talked to them about the struts pro tool and have seen many videos and posts on-line about using it.  They have the tool but say it never works.  They humored me and set it all up and I watched them and it did not work.  Now that I think about it, I wonder if the two pieces of metal that slide into the strut that push out, were even small enough to do it.  Videos I have seen, people barely tightened the bolts and it worked.  This one was super tightened and let sit for a bit and nothing.  Didn't see set screws and no layers of paint.

Anyhow, assuming it just doesn’t work, the next logical step would be to drop the rudder and pull the shaft.

Now that we are pulling the shaft, other things come to mind. 
  • Should I replace my existing dripless shaft seal.  PO installed it in 1995 and it has a cloth wrapping around it (don’t know anything about it)?
  • Should I replace the shaft and coupler w/ new SS?

How hard is it to drop my rudder.  I have used the C34 search engine and found many many articles, tech wiki, tech articles on replacing the cutlass bearing (different routes) but not a lot (that I understood) about the details of dropping the rudder.  What I do know is I need a shovel and it sounds scary about cutting off tops of things???

Now, I don’t mind paying money and getting these things done but I feel I am being taken.  In addition to opinions/answers to the above questions, I would love an opinion on the amount of labor they are quoting me.  Of course they say it could be less but they really say it could be more as well.  We know which way that will go. 
  • 8hr - Remove rudder
  • 8hr - Remove shaft and coupler
  • 2hr - Replace cutlass bearing
  • $85 - Cutlass bearing ($55 catalina direct)
  • $850 new shaft (and I assume fit and face w/ new coupler) ($550 + 100$ catalina direct, $568 for everything from the prop shop they are getting it from)
  • $550 - New PSS shaft seal ($250-300 quick google search)
  • 1hr - Install new PSS shaft seal
  • 8hr - Install shaft, coupler, prop and adjust PSS
  • 8hr - Align engine
  • 2hr - Install rudder

Thoughts:
  • 8hrs to remove a shaft that I am throwing away.  Can’t we just cut it, remove it coupler from transmission?
  • Can’t I just slide (w/ grease and dinging the not yet painted rudder) the shaft in?  (I was told that putting the cutlass in the strut w/ the shaft in wasn’t easy).  Now I just realized, they can do the cutlass either way and still slide past the rudder. Uggh.
  • 2hr to replace cutlass bearing w/ no shaft installed.  So I guess 2 hrs to cut it out?
  • Parts - OK, so they are inflating it, I guess that is what you get when someone else does it, but they should get wholesale prices
  • 8hr to put a brand new shaft, through the brand new cutlass, in through the log and through a brand new PSS, attaching to a brand new split coupler then fastened to the transmission  (why the additional hour for the PSS install?)
  • 8hr to align an engine.  Sure it may have been slightly out of alignment already, but ???
  • If we do have to remove the rudder, I guess it could be tough and who knows what I will run into and what they will want to up-sell me on.  2hr to put it back?

I am meeting a couple quick friend of a friend mechanics over the weekend.  If they can push the cutlass out, should I just have them do it?  I kinda was ready to pay for the nice upgrades (material) just feel like the amount of labor is out of line.

Uggh, feel so stranded.  Boat is out of the water and day fees are going to start kicking in.  Not sure what to do…  I just wanted bottom paint and the cutlass replaced so I can start enjoying the fresh breeze.

-kable
Logged
1988 C34 #785 SR/WK Universal M25XP - "As We Wish" Bellingham, WA - San Juan Islands

Noah

  • Administrator
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 24
  • Posts: 2354
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 05:50:06 PM »

I may have missed something, but it sounds like “mission creep”.  I thought all you wanted to do was replace the cutlass bearing and bottom paint? Why new shaft, dripless and coupler?

Re: Strutpro tool: perhaps they did not have/or use the proper 1 in. collets for your shaft? Also, are you very sure that you don’t have set screws holding cutlass in place? I assume they intend to remove The rudder and remove shaft to then cut-out the cutlass bearing? If that is their only options, I would make sure that the cutlass really needs replacing, as that is a lot of effort and expense to go through. Perhaps just paint the bottom and wait on cutlass? But if it is truly “bad”, you could buy your own Strutpro tool for $300 (+\-)and have them use it, or find another boatyard? Or bite their bullet... :?


« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 05:56:02 PM by Noah »
Logged
1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

kable

  • Forum - Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 06:09:36 PM »

Correct, if we could just replace the cutlass w/ out removing the shaft, I would be done.

The only reason I was going to creep on the mission, is if I already had to pay to get the shaft out (rudder dropped according to them) so they could cut out the cutlass.

I am now questioning if they had the proper collets.  I am mostly sure there isn't set screws (I knew to look for them under paint) but will check again tomorrow w/ different mechanics that have the same tool and may try removing the cutlass.

Does the cutlass really need replaced?  I don't know, just following the surveyor's opinion.  One of the guys in the yard yanked around on it and said there was wear (it did, possibly, slightly move) but he did say it would probably be good for another year.  What happens if it gets really bad?  I had been thinking about holding off for a couple more years and of course take it somewhere else w/ a better plan.

I guess that still leaves a recent/new question in my mind, when do I start thinking/worrying about the current dripless stuffing box?  Don't want my boat to sink ;>)
Logged
1988 C34 #785 SR/WK Universal M25XP - "As We Wish" Bellingham, WA - San Juan Islands

Patches

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 3
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 08:35:26 PM »

Wow.  This pisses me off.  Its why I'm taking my boat all the way from Bainbridge Island to Port Townsend for my haul out on Wednesday.

I had my boat scheduled to haul for paint and a cutless bearing replacement in Seattle on the assurance that the yard had a strut pro tool to remove the cutless bearing.  Same deal:  can't do your own work, can't change your own zincs, can't buy your own paint.  OK, you got me.  When they sent me the contract to sign, I asked that they confirm they had the tool--even though I wouldn't be able to use it, it had to be done by a Mechanic at $110.00/hour.  Turns out they didn't have it, but they offer to pull the shaft to remove the cutless bearing.  I said thanks, but no thanks.

I have Dan's cutless bearing tool en route to me as we speak from Virginia.  Cost:  shipping.  Port Townsend is one of the last DIY yards in Puget Sound.  Bought my own paint saving $100/gallon, can use my own tools, the people at the yard are friendly and I can rent a vacuum sander for $25 for 4 hours.

If there is nothing wrong with your shaft, and you can postpone your haul out until after June 11, you can pick up the cutless bearing tool from me in Port Townsend.  Park on the Whidbey side and ride the ferry over and I'll hand off the tool.

If the only reason you're dropping the rudder and pulling the shaft is to change a cutless bearing, its both mission and money "creep."  If you need to change out your dripless, that's a different story.

Patches.
Logged

KWKloeber

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 37
  • Posts: 4538
  • "Positive Impact" 1984 C-30 mk-I #3573 trbsfk M-25
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2020, 10:00:18 PM »

Kable

Welcome to the wonderful world of "marine" pricing.  Isn't boating FUN?

Yes, IMO you are getting screwed -- in a couple of ways.

1. I have NEVER had one of our tools NOT work unless it was user-error or user-stupidity (such as an owner knowingly trying to push out the bearing w/ one setscrew left in place, OR trying to push a new bearing INSIDE the old, bad, bearing (ordered the wrong size bearing.)  NEVER had a failure.  Yes, there are boats/situations where only a hydraulic tool, or removing the shaft will work, but that's probably 5% (at most) of the time when it comes so smaller size shafts like ours.  Get into 4" or 5" bearings and yes, those are more difficult.  Do I make myself clear -- you are getting a line of bull#### about it not working.  But there is specific prep necessary to make it easiest to push the old/new.

2. The yard is either (1) very stupid, or (2) pulling a sleight-of-hand on you when demonstrating the tool.  In fact, I just had one on the way back to me from Anacortes (put in the mail today) -- hell you could have driven and picked it up.

3.  Yes, you can cut out the throw-away shaft, replace it past the rudder w/o the bearing in place, and then push in the new bearing.  Eazy-peazy.  Did I mention that you are getting the shaft?

That said, if you have just a LiTTLE movement in the cutlass you can leave it a season.

4.  Yards have lost a lot of revenue that they missed out on not being able to work on boats -- now they need to make up (read FABRICATE) work to get back to the income level that they're used to. 

The hour estimate is a little high (IMO) on some items but you know how it goes with marine work - nothing goes as expected/planned/hoped-for.  As far as parts, in normal times I'd expect to pay retail list -- some of the ones you cite are not list price -- they are typical retail.  e.g., the Blackfish bearing is $91 MSRP, but in most places retails at $55.

-ken 
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 10:04:19 PM by KWKloeber »
Logged
Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

kable

  • Forum - Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2020, 10:20:48 PM »

@Patches
I have heard that Pt. Townsend (which I love) is the last one but that they are up for 'testing' so their future may be in risk.  We have one place in Bham that you can do a lot of your own work but you can't sand.

Unfortunately I am already pulled out and needing to decide/move $$$ in some direction, else I would take you up on your great offer.

Probably going to just focus on pushing the cutlass out (different mechanic) but I am now starting to worry about the dripless (which I wasn't yesterday).  I have owned the boat for 5 years and haven't done anything except 'inspect it' and know how to burp it.  Now that I have been thinking about what to replace, I am kind of freaking out about the possibility of the dripless sinking my boat...

Logged
1988 C34 #785 SR/WK Universal M25XP - "As We Wish" Bellingham, WA - San Juan Islands

kable

  • Forum - Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 11:21:13 PM »

@KWKloeber

I agree that I have a hard time believing my cutlass is in the 5% of not working (not sure why).  Thanks for giving me more confidence in this area.  Hard to say if the yard is stupid or sleight-of-hand.  The first contact yard mgr did let slip "yeah we do cutlass bearings, they are our bread and butter", which of course immediately put me on alert.

So I think I will try to get the 2nd mechanic to push out the cutlass.

Then I need to decide to just press in a new one and be done or "creep" into replacing the dripless shaft seal??? (at which point I would do a new shaft and coupling).  If the 2nd guy can't press out the cutlass I think I may try to go a couple more seasons and find 'my mechanic' and make a plan.

Still worried about the shaft seal and sinking the boat???? (for no reason except for now I know I should worry)

Thanks for the advice about paying retail.  Again, I don't mind paying for what I can't do, but I don't want to be shafted.

-kable
Logged
1988 C34 #785 SR/WK Universal M25XP - "As We Wish" Bellingham, WA - San Juan Islands

Ken Krawford

  • Forum - Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • ****
  • Karma: 3
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2020, 02:46:23 AM »

PYI recommends replacing the PSS bellows every 6 years.  Yours is 25 yrs old = just a bit overdue !
Logged
Ken Krawford
C350 Hull 351  2005 Universal M35B

Kyle Ewing

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 308
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2020, 04:00:04 AM »

My experience changing cutlass bearing:

The cutlass bearing tool only worked for me if I disconnected the shaft from the tranny to allow some play at the strut.  This required loosening four nuts and bolts at the coupler.  I think I had to use a mallot and chisel  to split the coupler.

To remove the shaft once the coupler is split remove the set screw and safety wire.  I used a steering wheel puller like in the link to push the shaft out of the coupler.  I'm in fresh water so had little or no corrosion.  https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lisle-Steering-Wheel-Puller-LIS45000/306763403

When I replaced a bearing without the tool, I had to drop the rudder, to tilt it out of the way, not remove it completely.

Dropping the rudder required removing the aft cabin plywood and loosing the steering quadrant including steering cables.  This was maybe five bolts total plus steering cables and emergency tiller cap.

I'm in fresh water and had minimal corrosion to deal with.  I can see problems with any of the bolts rapidly consuming hours.

Did your Catalina Direct prices include shipping?

Does the yard shaft price include a premium for quick turn around?  They'll probably custom machine it.

I'd consider having the prop balanced while you have it off. If you feel like the prop is under pitched, they can "cup" the blades which effectively increases the pitch from 9 to 9.5.  This cost me $35 over the cost of the prop balance many years ago.





Logged
Kyle Ewing
Donnybrook #1010
Belmont Harbor, Chicago
http://www.saildonnybrook.com/

karista

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 3
  • Posts: 212
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2020, 10:43:07 AM »

Recently had my Cutlass replaced. The yard did not have the Strut-Pro Tool, and wanted to drop the Rudder to replace the Cutlass. I talked about this with my diver, and he told me he had the Strut-Pro tool as he replaces the Cutlass many times for owners with their boats in the water, he charges $400 (Not including Cutlass) to do this replacement. Since my boat was at the yard, he came and did the replacement in less than 45 minutes, charged me a flat fee of $100 for this job, (I supplied the Cutlass Bearing). This tool worked great, the cutlass simply slid out and then he pressed the new bearing in.
Do not understand why your yard has a problem using it so it works except $'s.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 10:48:22 AM by karista »
Logged
Bernd, 1990- Hull 1012, Tierra Verde, Fl

kable

  • Forum - Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2020, 01:48:14 PM »

@Ken Krawford
My goal has changed to not only the cutlass bearing but also replacing the long overdue shaft seal.

I DO NOT want to drop the rudder.

Met w/ new mechanics this morning and they both agreed that the tool they have should pop the cutlass right out.  Their only concern is getting the shaft out to install the shaft seal.  I told them this forum says we can scrape by the rudder.  They are very hopeful and aren't interested in helping me drop the rudder (they have other jobs to get to).

So hopefully tomorrow he is going to meet me at the boat and we are going to pop the cutlass.  Then 'try' to unbolt the shaft from the coupler but be ready to just cut it out since I am OK w/ replacing w/ new.  Take measurements of the log so that I can order the PSS dripless shaft seal.

Then send old shaft down to a prop shop where I would get a new SS shaft, split coupler 'fit and faced'.  Also send the prop to be balanced and possibly increase the pitch to 9.5. (Thanks @Kyle Ewing)

Then the big question is can the new shaft slide by the rudder.  One of the mechanics even said that he has seen people cut out a notch on both sides of the back of the rudder (as its turned over hard) so that the shaft can sneak by.  Then over the years, no concerns pulling it for maintenance. (thoughts?)

PSS Dripless People: So you guys go through this every 6 years, pull the shaft, cutlass (rudder?) so that you can replace the shaft seal?

@Karista
A year back or so my diver said he could replace it in the water as well.  That is why I have been surprised at how much of an issue this has been for this yard. $$$

-kable



Logged
1988 C34 #785 SR/WK Universal M25XP - "As We Wish" Bellingham, WA - San Juan Islands

Noah

  • Administrator
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 24
  • Posts: 2354
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2020, 02:10:42 PM »

The shaft WILL barely slide past the rudder but only if the cutlass bearing is removed. That small bit of wiggle room inside the strut is needed to align/slide the shaft out past the rudder.
Logged
1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Ron Hill

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 66
  • Posts: 8061
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2020, 03:43:18 PM »

kable : WOW

Like you said "cut the shaft" and then take a hack saw and cut up collapse the old cutlass and press in a new one after the new shaft is installed!!  NO removing the rudder!!

I'm surprised that that yard didn't even say "bend over and garb your ankles"!!

A totally inflated bill/estimate  A thought
Logged
Ron, Apache #788

kable

  • Forum - Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • ***
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2020, 03:49:45 PM »

No kidding ;>)

I guess if the cutlass can't get pressed out (5% say it doesn't work for them) I think I can at least still cut the shaft, pull it out (greased) and then hack/chisel out the cutlass (careful not to scratch the strut).

I just DO NOT want to remove that rudder.

Thanks everyone!!!
This forum really reduces my stress...
Logged
1988 C34 #785 SR/WK Universal M25XP - "As We Wish" Bellingham, WA - San Juan Islands

Ron Hill

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 66
  • Posts: 8061
    • View Profile
Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2020, 02:41:39 PM »

kable  : Like I said you can cut the shaft and then cut the cutless bear on the TOP inside.  Then use a screwdriver and collapse the bearing to remove it. Just be careful to not score the inside of the strut.
 
You will have to then install the new shaft (look at a flex coupling so you don't need a keyway on the new shaft).  You will have to press in the new cutless after the new shaft is in place.

A few thoughts Good luck   :thumb:

Logged
Ron, Apache #788
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up