How to Remove a Sailboat Cutlass Bearing

How to Remove a Sailboat Cutlass Bearing
Removing a sailboat cutlass bearing can prove to be an easy project or a difficult one, depending on the amount of corrosion found on the bearing. While there are many tools specific to cutlass-bearing removal, there are a few other reliable techniques that you can perform to remove the cutlass bearing without having to buy expensive tools.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Allen wrench
  • Hacksaw
  • Maple dowel
  • Pliers
Step 1
Remove the screws that are set to the bearing with an Allen wrench. If the screws are particularly gutted or filled with foreign material and rust, you'll have to clean them first before you can remove their heads.
Step 2
Cut the bearing almost all the way through with a hacksaw. You should cut directly opposite of the top or bottom set of two screws that fasten the strut to the bearing.
Step 3
Pound or pull the cut bearing with a hammer so that it splits inward. When you're doing this, don't hit or pound at the strut, just the bearing. Because it has been cut so thin, it should bend fairly easily.
Step 4
Press or pound a dowel (preferably not a metal dowel but a dowel made of a lighter composite, such as maple) between the bearing and strut. This should further bend the bearing inward.
Step 5
Fasten pliers to the bearing and twist it counterclockwise to loosen it from the strut. As you twist, lightly pull the bearing toward you. With this motion, you should be able to remove it cleanly from the strut.

Tips & Warnings

If you're unfamiliar with boat repairs, consider consulting with a certified technician to help you remove the cutlass bearing to prevent damage to your sailboat.

Article Written By Jessica Jewell

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.

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