More about Cutlass Bearings & Shaft Logs

In the previous chat about shaft logs, I went through a long description of inserting a dowel or pipe in the main pipe shaft log, sliding the cutlass bearing over that, then filling the area with Chock fast Orange or some other epoxy. That seems like an absolute pain in the behind….

I’d simply take the shaft log pipe and the cutlass bearing to a good machine shop, and tell ’em to machine the end of the pipe to hold the bearing. That’s far simpler and not to expensive. However, if you’re building out in the bush, the other system will work. EXCEPT, I just got this email from Jared Crane, in Maine, who was kind enough to share this idea with us. It sounds the simplest and least expensive way of all!

I was reading through your random thoughts section and read your little article on shaft logs. Another way to make a cutlass fit an oversized shaft log is to take the cutlass and wrap it with fiberglass boat cloth and resin. Once it’s kicked you can then take it to a machine shop and machine that to fit the pipe. you could even turn it down on a wood lathe and sandpaper for those who are really too cheap for a machine shop!

Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting solution. I’ve used this technique to repair older boats where the cutlass was rotating in the log and had worn the tube.

I should have thought about this one. Now that he says it, it makes much sense and is how I’d do it. If I was doing it for a boat I was going to go distance cruising in, I think I’d make up two cutlasses this way, and carry one as a spare. That way in the unlikely event you have trouble in some distant place, you wouldn’t be stranded. Never hurts to worry about such stuff and the spare cutlass and the machine work wouldn’t cost much. In this country anyway.