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Running Gear Repairs

If you need a boat propeller removed, a Cutlass bearing replaced, or strut and rudder repair, we have years of experience in these types of repairs.

  • Remove and replace shafts
  • Remove and replace propellers
  • Replace couplings, rudders, and struts
  • Cutlass bearing replacement
  • Replace or service  shaft & rudders shaft seals, like PYY – Tides marine, etc
  • Engine alignment


If you own a boat with an inboard motor, it is important to perform regular maintenance to the motor’s power train annually

Propeller Blades – No matter what type of boat you own – carefully inspect the propeller blades for damage. Each time you haul your boat out of the water – inspect your prop.

Look for dings, nicks and missing chunks

Bent blades are difficult to see, but you can often feel it because it usually creates vibration.

One way to Looking at a prop from the side makes it easier to spot a bent blade.

Major damage such as broken or bent blades requires the expertise and equipment of a prop shop for repair and rebalancing. While many shops can perform near miracles in fixing mangled props, sometimes a propeller is beyond repair and you’ll need to buy another one.

Shaft & Bearings – A shaft bearing (sometimes called a Cutless bearing) is a rubber-lined composite or brass bearing through which the propeller shaft turns

It is the last component in the drivetrain before the prop.  The cylindrical bearing normally has a grooved inner surface so water can flow through for lubrication.

The bearing assembly also supports the shaft –  When the bearing and the engine and shaft are correctly aligned, the result is vibration-free running under power.  If there is any movement or wiggle on the shaft or if there is uneven wear around the lip of the bearing, the engine could possibly be out of alignment

Replacing the bearing is a bit more complicated. Your boat should be hauled out of the water for this work.

Feeling vibrations in your steering wheel while underway can also be an indicator of a bent prop shaft or bent propeller blades. Any variation in the distance between blade tips and a fixed point, or a visible wobble, can also mean a bent shaft.  If you suspect a shaft is not true, have it checked and replace or retrue it. Absolute Boat Care will check all the components such as bearings, seals and couplers, which can be damaged by running a boat with a bent prop shaft.

Rudders – A rudder is a device used to steer vessels through the water and operate by re-directing the flow of water past the hull.

A rudder is a flat sheet of material attached with hinges to the craft’s stern and are often shaped so as to minimize hydrodynamic drag.

In larger vessels, cables, pushrods and hydraulics may be used to link rudders to steering wheels and these components need to be inspected often.

Seals –  Errant fishing line  can cause seal damage  – the line quickly melts and become a very sharp once it gets wrapped around a prop shaft.

If you have been running your boat for a long period of time with fishing line wrapped around your prop shaft – that line can slice into the prop-shaft seals. If there is any indication of fishing-line damage, you want to replace your seals.

On outboards and sterndrives, you need to remove the propeller and hardware and check for fishing line or any material that can cause damage. It’s a good idea to have the gear case pressure-checked. If the lower unit does not meet its pressure specifications, it’s advised to have the seal replaced, and then refill the gear case with fresh lube.

Engine Alignment – If you have an inboard engine on your boat and have excessive vibration, the engine may not being properly aligned with the shaft.

A worn cutlass bearings and/or leaky shaft seals are additional clues (beyond vibration) that the alignment is out.

Check the engine mounts to make sure the rubber is still attached to the metal and also that there are no breaks in the metal.Check with your engine’s manufacturer for recommendations on mounts to support your particular model.  If you have a broken one you should replace all of them as a set.

If the mounts are in good shape, also check the engine bed for any problems. Check the strut supporting the shaft on the outside of the boat. It must be securely fastened to the boat and that the bearing has no play in it.

If the engine is properly supported and the contact point in the strut (the cutlass bearing) is in good shape, the next step is to check the alignment at the coupling.

Absolute Boat Care is your trusted vendor to help you maintain and repair your boat, yacht or sailboat.