Systems & Propulsion

This off-center shaft indicates that the cutless bearing is clearly worn. An obvious wiggle or audible thunk also suggests its time for a new bearing.

Prop and Shaft Check

A vessel’s drive train is typically defined as the components between the engine transmission coupling and the “bitter end” of the propeller shaft. For traditional drive trains, this includes the propeller, shaft, cutless bearing and packing gland, although the list could also be expanded to encompass ancillary items such as the rudder, engine mounts, and engine bedworks. Here’s a look at two major drive train components you should know and what to look for when inspecting each. Next month we’ll look at the components inside the boat—stuffing box, shaft, and coupler.

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