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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Replacing Motor Mounts & The Obstacles > After Cutlass Removed
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After Cutlass Removed

I get lots of comments to the effect that I make these jobs look too easy. They are easy. It does not mean they don't get frustrating though! I wanted to use this post to assure readers that I face the same obstacles as everyone when working on sail boats. This post is how boat jobs often go with one problem leading to or unmasking yet another. I call it the snowball effect.

This job was to be a simple shaft, cutlass, coupling & prop replacement but oh how things change when you get going. The boat, a mid eighties Ericson 34, has relatively low engine hours for her age but exhibited a very high level of vibration.

After I pressed out the cutlass bearing it became very apparent just how badly the vessel was misaligned.

Not only was the engine sitting far to low in the shaft log, and the shaft was thumping it when the engine was in gear, but it was also not passing through either the shaft log or the cutlass even close to parallel. The minute the cutlass came out the shaft sprang up and into the top of the strut. While boats can lose some alignment out of water it is usually in the order of thousandths of an inch when measured at the shaft coupling. My own CS looses about .001" from in water to out in terms of alignment and she has a longer shaft. This boat has a fairly short shaft and robust engine bed area so flex was clearly not causing this level of alignment issues. Read on and you'll find out the real reason this motor was so badly aligned.

Nikon D40
1/60s f/5.6 at 55.0mm iso560 full exif

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Jeff 20-Apr-2017 21:21
Jeez man, it's a Cutless bearing, not cutlass. No pirates here. Sorry, pet peeve.
geralyne 30-Aug-2016 00:34
My 1999 Catalina sailboat with a universal 25 diesel just started making a thumping noise mainly in reverse at low speed. it does not start immediately but after a minute or 2 it does not happen in neutral at all. I just discover one of the mounts forward starboard seems to be collapsed there are 4 mounts. I am wondering if this is the same problem as you describe here the engine has only 890 hours.
Compass Marine How To12-Dec-2013 13:56

Cutless® is a registered trademark of Duramax Marine® LLC. It is a brand name not one of the commonly accepted generic terms. Companies, such as Vetus, use the generic term "cutlass". Some use the term stave or sleeve bearing because they can not use the trademarked brand name Cutless®. Anyone using the term Cutless® has to be referring to Duramax Marine's product.
Joe 12-Dec-2013 02:53
It is a CUTLESS bearing, not a cutlass.