Hallberg Rassy Rasmus 35

Hallberg Rassy Rasmus 35
An Old Classic

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Removing the Cutlass Bearing on the Rasmus

I thought I was going to be clever and fashion a custom tool to remove the bearing for a few bucks, so I went to Home Depot and  bought some all thread, washers, and nuts and went home to quickly crank the bearing right out.  Like most projects on this boat, reality is much more difficult than theory.  The problem is that on the Rasmus's propeller shaft log has a restriction very near the inward end of the cutlass bearing that has nearly the same diameter as the cutlass bearing.  This restriction eliminates the possibility of using washers and all thread to remove the bearing.  So, I used the old tried and true method of hacking, banging, chipping, chiseling, and cursing the damn thing out.  That is not far from the truth, however, here is a bit more detail.  I used a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade and carefully cut a groove nearly all the way through the bearing at the six oclock position. If you wanted to make the job much easier and didn't mind scoring the inside of your shaft log you could cut all the way through the brearing, but I did not want to do that for obvious reasons.  Then I cut another groove nearly all the way through the bearing at the nine oclock position.  Now, here is the fun part.  I got a sharp 1/2 inch wood chisel and tapped the edge of the bearing near the groove being careful to stay clear of the log(the log is soft and that hardened chisel will do a number on it).  The wood chisel will grab the soft brass bearing and you should be able to get the bearing to work away from the log.  I kept pounding the bearing between the two groove I cut curling the bearing surface back towards the inside of the log.  At one point the bend of the bearing was getting so large it was hitting the other side of the bearing.  At that point I used my chisel and pound it until I had cut the curling piece of bearing off. I did this until the entire bearing between the two grooves I cut was out.  At this stage I just used my chisel to pound the bearing surface away from the log being very careful to keep the chisel off of all log shaft surfaces. It took a lot of pounding and cursing, but it worked without damaging the shaft log.  It might be easier to cut the grooves closer together, say in the 6 oclock to 7 oclock position.  That way there would be less bearing metal to bend over and cut as you pounded it back.  You also must be very careful about the length of your cut.  It is hard to see the blade as it reciprocates, thus, it's hard to see just how far in you are cutting. Good Luck!

I just got an email from Hallberg Rassy (above post) and the cutlass bearing for the rasmus measures: Outside diameter = 44 to 45mm    
Propeller Shaft diameter = 30 mm
Length = 127mm
Cost = $112 from Hallberg Rassy

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