main outhaul drive shaft removal

Mike Ondra

Many of us have been challenged with the removal of the drive shaft for the mainsail outhaul drive shaft. I have broken the top of the gear box with too much pounding from below. Last fall it took an hydraulic jack with cribbing down to the deck to press the shaft out. When reinstalled a liberal amount of grease was used. That was less than a year ago.  Yet it was still incredibly stubborn to remove less than a year later. Simple prying or pounding did not break it loose. The ultimate combination that worked was to drive shims between the black plastic adapter and the boom to provide solid support to the plastic and not stress the plastic or bolts (see picture). Screwdrivers were driven on either side of the shaft just under its cap to tension it up. Pounding up from below broke it loose. There was no obvious excessive rust or corrosion to explain the stubbornness. After Polishing the shaft with sandpaper and filing and sanding the inside of the gearbox spindle to remove any residual rust, Molykote was liberally applied and the shaft reinstalled.  We’ll see in 6 months if the shaft can be removed more readily.


Mike Ondra

Aletes SM#240

Rock Hall, MD

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