Well and truly shafted by a speed boat...
QI’m based in Chester on the river Dee and bought a 1958 wooden boat last year. Today a boat passed at speed, we started to pitch and roll and then I heard a loud clunk and, on engaging the engine, there was a loud rattle and clunking. An ‘A bracket’ has broken and the shaft seal has pulled. Where can I get a replacement ‘A bracket’? DAVID EVANS, via email
ATONY REPLIES… It looks like a form of ‘P bracket’ rather than an ‘A bracket’ and there seems to be a piece missing. I don’t think you can dismiss the problem as simply ‘the shaft seal pulled’. I don’t think it is the shaft seal which will be inside the boat, I think it’s a rubber bearing from the P bracket and it should not have undone itself.
The nut between the prop and the bracket should have some form of locking device so it cannot unscrew. The bearing might have been unscrewed for some time allowing the prop to thrash the shaft about. This could work the bracket in/on the hull and contribute to the damage.
Look at the ‘arm’ hanging down at an angle, this would normally terminate in a flat plate that bolts through the bottom of the log (keelson). It would all be in one casting with a Cutless shaft bearing. However, that part of yours has two bolt holes in it that presumably mate up with a pair in whatever is fixed to the bottom of or inside the hull. If the parts screw together, I would just bolt that arm back into place and again take care over locking the threads.
If you Google ‘P bracket suppliers’ you will find a couple of makers, but it will not be cheap. Maybe Crowthers of Oldham, Norris of Isleworth or Steel Developments at Merton could give you a lead.