There Is A Curse Word For Removing The Prop Shaft From A 40 Ft Wood Trawler.


The Boatress Running the Railway pulley.

I am not sure what the perfect curse word is, since we used all of them. But.. Since owning Sweet Pea, we have known she needs a new cutless bearing. It wasn’t all that bad, but over time had worked some leaks in the hull near her keel. Now, replacing a cutlass bearing on a Smaller Woody is not all that big of a deal. Removing a shaft out of a 18 ft boat is easy. But a 40 ft Trawler? JESUS! A 20 ft shaft. And man oh man!

Just keep going into the office

Power wash the bottom while we have her out


Don’t touch my bone. It’s mine, not yours.. Don’t you have a shaft to pull?

The shaft disconnected from the transmission

But with some perseverance and help from Wayne, Jimmy, George and Larry, with special tools. After about 5 hrs, she is out and we can start the process of installing new bearings and fixing the leaky spots with cotton and slick seam.

Wayne would turn the shaft while I pushed and pulled. And yes, there is a pervy way to read this. GROW UP! We are tugging on a shaft here!!!

SLOOOOOOOOOOWLY the shaft came out

Wayne laughing at some dumb shaft pun.. No HR dept at the Railway

One of two struts that need to be dealt with, and the black area is were the leak is on both sides

Old boat, old railway, old tools and old fools! Like peas and carrots.

A timeless scene. But is what is needed. George showed me how to install the cotton in the seam. There is a zen moment here. Some music, bad double entendre jokes and time freezes and all is okay in the world. A huge thanks to Larry at Jennings Boatyard for the cotton. One of the great things about being here is I am never alone in my craziness. Others are more than willing to share Knowledge. BTW, Jennings Boatyard is the former RICE Marine Railway where Sweet Pea was built. STORY HERE

10 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Looks like a great way to spend a sunny afternoon with your buddies. And now you will have a dryer bilge and a smooth turning shaft. BTW, I hope you never have to replace that shaft. $$$$$!!

  2. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Great story! Strut to strut to engine alignment is tricky and that forward strut is in a tight spot.
    Hope you do a follow up on shaft alignment.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Yes, the plan is to get in in the boat, and let it site for a day or two and then align. Let the bottom settle.

  3. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    No wonder Sweet Pea always circles to starboard, what with the shaft drilled through the rudder like that

  4. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Looks like quite a job. You finally got to use your railway for what it was made for. That had to feel good. It is nice to have friends who know what they are doing to help you. Keep us posted.

  5. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Good lookin’ railway operator! 😉 While the shaft is out, you may as well check it for straightness, clean it up and the cutlass wear will give you a read on the alignment of everything. Nice work!

  6. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Where do you get your slick seam? I have not seen a source for that in a couple years. Resorted to using wax rings for toilets.🤨
    It’s great to have the perfect facility to do a job like that yourself.

Comments are closed.