Five years ago, on one of my first solo sails on C’est La Vie, I allowed a jib
sheet to get overboard as I was motoring into the drowned ravine that is the
marina, here on the reservoir. I was focused on maintaining course. The ravine
is maybe 30 meters narrow, lined with expensive boats. The sheet and propeller
became enamored of each other and in taking the relationship to the next level
(the way snakes do), they managed to pull the propeller shaft free from the
coupling and the Westerbeke’s transmission. The coupling is a large rubber
donut about one inch thick and maybe eight inches in diameter. It was all
chewed up BUT the shaft bearing was not leaking. The boat glided to a complete
stop about 20 meters from the beginning of the dock.
I had not yet learned to scull so I dropped anchor and swam to shore with my
phone and wallet in a ziplock bag on top of one of those square floating seat
cushions pushed gently ahead of me. It was a Sunday evening with no one around
and the sun going down behind the trees. The next day, I returned to assess the
damage. The temperature was in the mid-nineties (F) and the boat was a
fiberglass sweat lodge. The largest washers available managed to keep enough of
the torn parts of the coupler together in one piece to allow me to restart the
engine and ease into my slip. I was not yet a lister here and had NO idea how
to replace the coupler.
In despair, I searched local roadsides for blown tires by the side of the road
(with polyester cords, of course). I finally found a good candidate and
fashioned a replacement coupler from the tread by dulling many box cutters. The
bolt holes needed a rat tail file to enlarge the drilled holes. The tire tread
has performed just fine since then.
C’Est La Vie
Langley, OK, USA
From: CnC-List [mailto:cnc-list-boun...@cnc-list.com] On Behalf Of William
Walker via CnC-List
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 3:17 PM
Subject: Stus-List Prop Shaft coupling
Some may remember that around mid summer I posted that my prop shaft had pulled
out of coupling. Mine has two bolts which go through coupling and into small
dimples drilled into shaft. They were wired in and over time the ends had worn
off and allowed shaft to pull out when reversed was applied to prop. Some on
list checked and had similar problems. I was surprised so many
Well, on haul out I discover it has happened again, with the new bolts.
Haven't pulled them yet to see, but shaft pulled enough to show key and the
dimples, still in place.
No excessive vibration or anything.
Bolts still appear tight.
Thinking maybe of going with two set screws in each hole, one snugged, another
Love to hear thoughts from listers with some experience.
This list is supported by the generous donations of our members. If you like
what we do, please help us pay for our costs by donating. All Contributions are