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.

Steve Staten
C’Est La Vie
26’ C&C
Langley, OK, USA

From: CnC-List [] 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 
on top.
Love to hear thoughts from listers with some experience.
Bill Walker
Evening Star
CNC 36
Pentwater, Michigan

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