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Old 08-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #1
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Survey or keep shopping?

Guys,

I am new and considering an upgrade to a 34 tolly. But when I went to spin the wheels, the shaft was super hard to turn in the strut and made a horrid squeaking. Both wheels. The owner swears he had the bearings etc done. Your thoughts please? This has become a point of good faith to me.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:19 AM   #2
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When you say "wheels" I assume you mean the props. It's not uncommon for cutless bearings to swell up a bit over time and tighten up on the shaft. When we bought our boat neither shaft could be turned by hand inside the boat. They could be turned by pulling on the props but they were still quite stiff. But we had no vibration and no noise underway and we ran the boat this way for some six or seven years.

Eventually we had the shafts out for other reasons and had the cutless bearings replaced as a matter of course. When the bearings were new it was very easy to turn the shafts by hand by grasping the shafts or the shaft couplers. Now, a number of years later, the shafts are stiffer to turn from inside the boat than they were when the bearings were new. If the boat's been sitting for a week or so it takes an effort to "break" them free at which point they turn fairly easily, but not as easily as when the bearings were new.

As the boat you're looking at is out of the water, that can can cause the cutless bearings to "stick" on the shaft as well as make the noise you're hearing. The real test is to see what they're like when the boat is in the water and the bearings are getting the lubrication they need from the water. But I wouldn't automatically assume the cutless bearings are bad just because the shafts are hard to turn by hand, particularly when the boat is out of the water.

Other causes, of course, could be bent shafts, out-of-alignment struts, or the wrong-size bearings.

But I'd put the boat in the water and see what difference that makes, if any. And even if it doesn't make any difference I'd want the opinon of an experienced powertrain person before passing final judgement.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:31 AM   #3
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thank you. and that is exactly how I will play it. sea trial and then detailed mech inspection.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Also just being out of the water I.E. blocked up or suspended in a travelift can cause the boat to flex thereby putting the shafts in a bind. Final engine/shaft alignments are done in the water as that is where they have to operate properly.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Cutlass bearings are made of hard rubber with grooves for water cooling. Yes, when new they are very tight. They will be hard to turn an squeak. If the shaft is in a bind it could also cause it. There is probably nothing wrong with what you found. If you go more deeply into the deal, have the engine alignment checked.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Yes this boat has been out for a couple of years. I am concerned that the shafts are binding in the strut due to sag. Interestingly the last survey did not review drive components. I will specifically request these.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Two years out of the water hasn't done anything any good. In addition to drying out, the rubber bearings have been subjected to heat, cold and perhaps freezing temperatures, dirt, pollution, and UV on their exposed ends.

I doubt shaft sagging is a concern--- gravity doesn't care if the boat's in the water or on dry land.

If you pursue the acquisition of this boat, and if it's determined that the cutless bearings are not up to snuff anymore, you might want to make cutless bearing replacement a condition of the sale. Either by the current owner at his expense or by reducing the purchase price by the cost of the replacement.

But regardless, I would suggest that if you decide to pursue this that you get a reputable sombody with expertise in these kinds of components down there to take a look at them. The rest of us are just guessing, and while some of the guesses may be based on a fair degree of experience, they are guesses nevertheless.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #8
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Yes indeed . That is the plan. Its great to have them checked. As I say I can't believe the last survey did not include this.I will certainly focus on it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
I doubt shaft sagging is a concern
Right, the shaft doesn't sag. The hull can flex.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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Yes, hook is what I meant. Everything sags with time and gravity.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:24 AM   #11
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Take a spray bottle of dish detergent and water and squirt the ends of the bearings where you can reach them, then try again.
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