Re: broken bolts off the flexible coupling

Craig Briggs

Hi Phil,
This is a common problem - see several old posts by searching Vetus Coupling.  

Basic issue is the bolts will not come out unless you slide the engine back 2 or 3 inches and remove the coupling from the shaft going into the C drive. Moving the engine takes about an hour or two and is not difficult to do: take the nuts off the unbroken coupling bolts,  remove the 4 engine mounting bolts then take the weight off the engine with line run through the mainsheet block on the mizzen from the engine lifting rings to a primary winch - belay that line forward with a snatch block so it doesn't load up against the engine room hatch cover. 

The next step is you've got to remove the Vetus coupling from the C drive shaft. This can be easy or nearly impossible.  I've done it on a couple of Santorins and actually broken a very beefy wheel puller - finally fabricated one of 1/2 inch plate steel and it worked. Got another one off with a hand sledge hammer and several different chisels and steel wedges and about 5 hours of frustration.

I'd say give it a try but if the coupling is really stuck, give up early and go to Plan B, which is to cut off the heads of the broken bolts with a hacksaw and get them out - then replace with threaded studs with nuts on both ends. Or just go with Plan B only.

By the way, Amel had welded a little angled rod onto the bolt heads that goes into the Vetus coupling and keeps the bolt from turning when you tighten the bolts - that nice but not needed as you can easily get an open end wrench (spanner) on both the bolt head and the nut.  Do use Nyloc nuts and do not overtighten the bolts which is likely the reason they failed in the first place as the Vetus Flex coupling is by definition going to flex.

Good luck with it,
Craig Briggs, 1992 SN#68 Sangaris

---In amelyachtowners@..., <no_reply@...> wrote :

Hello everybody,

I discovered a few weeks ago a broken (off) locknut under the engine ... i discovered it was one off the 4 locknut/bolts off the flexible coupling/ generator .

I tigthened the three remaining locknut bolts and continued sailing motoring in the bocas del toro area panama.

It was mostly motoring and no heavy seas i useally motor my MD22 L at 2400 revs and do more or less 5 to 5.5 knots depending on the seastate.

Yesterday i motored out off an anchoridge and noticed more fibrations and tougth i had something in the propeller... took a dive and checked it... nothing .I went in the engineoom and discovered two more bolts and lock nuts from the flexible coupling had broken off . i motored backslowly and i am  now in a safe anchoridge.

All my plans to go north are gone... 

Does anyone have any experiance with this problem? All the advice, suggestions  are wellcome

Chased murphy off the boat and hope he stays away.

Thank you in advance


Miles ahead

Santorin 1994 nr 101


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