Will try to get some photos taken and post them later tonight.
As for the second query, as an inspected passenger vessel, subchapter T, the United States Coast Guard has the final say on just about every last thing on my boat. Ironically, had the inspector not required new bearings, I very well may not have been aware of the dangerous nature of this mis-alignment.
From the records that I have, there is no evidence that the cutlass bearings were replaced in 2007 at our last haul, which would mean that they were last replaced in 2004.
At our second most recent haul (2007), it was suggested that we replace the intermediate shafts and the muff couplings at either end. It would be wonderful to know that this problem would go away if we replaced these shafts, but it would mean coming out of the water again.