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Old 12-17-2011, 06:03 AM   #1
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Stuffing Box

Put this up on the owners site but thought I give it a shot here too...though not much activity here!

My 40 foot trawler has the stuffing box under the aft head sink...difficult to get to so I'd love to know what I'm getting into for preventative maintenance versus emergency repairs.

It looks like the box is lag bolted into the hull with stainless lag bolts (or bolts into threaded inserts as there is no access that I can figure out to have nuts on regular bolts...any input?

I guess the dsame is true on the outer cutlass bearing?

Thanks

Scott
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:03 AM   #2
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RE: Stuffing Box

Answered my question yesterday...went ahead and tried to remove the stuffing box assembly. The stern tube WAS just lag bolted to the hull...glad I dug into the setup. The clamps holding the hose to the tube looked good on top but were rusted through on the bottom, the bolts holding the packing adjuster were wasted from galvanic corrosion and 2 of the stainless lag bolts were wasted away for more than half of the threads and only tight from the caulking on the heads.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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I read your last two posts and don't understand why you attacked this area. I'm just now moving from a 40' schooner to an Albin 40 and wonder if you had some inkling that promted you to go to it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
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The hollow keel was full of water, where screw holes were into the keel were leaking into the boat, it may be weeping through cracks, etc..etc...

I had heard that after 25 years, the shaft logs were often in bad shape and needed to br replaced to avoid all of the above...after seeing and hearing how labor intensive it was...and it wasn't absolutely critical...I decided to wait and see.

I had to grind off much of my bottom because severe hydrolysis...so as long as I was spending that much time and effort, the thought to do everything right was a fleeting fantasy...
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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So, it would seem prudent, on my part, to thoroughly evaluate the keel, stuffing box, and external assembly during the pre-purchase survey of the Albins we're considering (a 36 and 40 foot). Is this a "common" issue with all Albin trawlers? And, did you find a problem with osmosis (blistering)? Any other issues I should be wary of during a survey?
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Westpfahl View Post
So, it would seem prudent, on my part, to thoroughly evaluate the keel, stuffing box, and external assembly during the pre-purchase survey of the Albins we're considering (a 36 and 40 foot). Is this a "common" issue with all Albin trawlers? And, did you find a problem with osmosis (blistering)? Any other issues I should be wary of during a survey?
You'll never find what I did or can even look for it on a prepurchase survey unless you are willing to pay for repaits to destructive testing...unless you find a surveyor with some real talent and sophisticated equipment.

You have to pull the shaft to look up the shaft log and drill into the keel to see if it's full of water.

Osmotic blistering is a symptom of hydrolysis...but severe hydrolysis can be there without any blisters and difficult to detect by hammering/moisture meters. My surveyor noted the blisters but missed the hydroysis (to be fair...it's almost impossible to detect without coring/grinding)

Hydrolysis is going to be the worst (or most likely) in boats kept in warm water all year round. Mine was a Florida boat, kept in a warm canal for 25 years with minimal bottom care. There was evidence of severe blistering all along (maybe a factory issue)...but was impossible to understand without removing a lot of bottom paint/gel coat. The price was right and I expected to do a blister job...not a grind down 1-3 layers of roving beyond the gel and refiberglassing. A $25-$30,000 job that fortunately I did myself for a couple of grand (and a lot of that was barrier coat/bottom paint that was needed anyhow).

However I did spend a week washing boats around me and thoroughly pissed off the marina manager...
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Whew! I was beginning to worry that osmotic blistering is a common problem with Albins. Neither boat we're looking at "lives" in Florida or in the water for extended periods of time. Your extended details regarding the repairs to you boat are much appreciated. Now if I/we can only make a decision about the 36 vs the 40. The salon's potential seating other than the settee is a big plus.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #8
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Whew! I was beginning to worry that osmotic blistering is a common problem with Albins. Neither boat we're looking at "lives" in Florida or in the water for extended periods of time. Your extended details regarding the repairs to you boat are much appreciated. Now if I/we can only make a decision about the 36 vs the 40. The salon's potential seating other than the settee is a big plus.
If I were just extended cruising...I would have gotten a 36. Because I'm living aboard...now I wish I had bought a 43 at least. The extra 3 feet mean the room for a washer/dryer and more outside storage liveaboards need.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:01 AM   #9
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We have yet to get on board a Albin 40 but the diagrams and pics we've seen make it suitable for our needs- another couple (our children and spouse) with their children. Although the galley appears a bit limited (I do the BBQing outside), the smaller galley allows for more inside seating- not just a settee and perhaps a stool. I love the 36 but on foul days the fly bridge and the up and down hike for my dark-n-stormies or coffee could get tiresome. The 40 really pleases my wife needs for a centerline queen AND a comfortable saloon. Me...I sweat the stuff like leaking windows/ports, water intrusion into teak decks, engine condition, electronics, etc. Can you point out anything I MUST pay attention to beside stuffing box issues?
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jim Westpfahl View Post
We have yet to get on board a Albin 40 but the diagrams and pics we've seen make it suitable for our needs- another couple (our children and spouse) with their children. Although the galley appears a bit limited (I do the BBQing outside), the smaller galley allows for more inside seating- not just a settee and perhaps a stool. I love the 36 but on foul days the fly bridge and the up and down hike for my dark-n-stormies or coffee could get tiresome. The 40 really pleases my wife needs for a centerline queen AND a comfortable saloon. Me...I sweat the stuff like leaking windows/ports, water intrusion into teak decks, engine condition, electronics, etc. Can you point out anything I MUST pay attention to beside stuffing box issues?

The 36's have inside steering too...just in case you haven't seen one.

Yes I didn't want my galley in my living room...but that's me and many liveaboard's mentality. If I wound up with a 36...I debated turning the whole vee berth area into a galley/laundry room and suffered with guests in the main saloon the few times they would be aboard...the other 95 percent of living aboard requires the true way you like things.

My boat sufferes from every ailment there is. Thee previous owner did very little except the best thing I can think of....a new engine in 2009. If the hull had been more sount I feel I would have done well in terms of deals.

Most trawlers in the 39-42 range had 2 categories. Disasters for $10,000 to $60,000 and fairly well kept ones for (asking) in the $90,000-$120,000 range. I got mine for $57,000 with 400 gallons of fresh fuel. Most of the older tired boats would have required engine work, pump out several year old fuel, add fresh.....that would have been at least $2000 so I look at my real price at $55,000. When all is said and done...my new bottom, all new decks, new aluminum framed windows, one new head and completely redone sanitation/shower sump system, new faucets, some new canvas and a few other nice projects....should all come in under $15,000.

So I see a boat that will be the way I want it, the model I wanted and most important thing less than 5 years old when I start serious cruisin' for say $20,000 less than any serious competitor at the time. Lot's of sweat equity...but I live aboard and my job is a few slips down.

So my advice is you just have to roll the dice and pick a boat you like.

You may not find a lot of issues on the survey...let's say you bought one of those "nicely kept" models...it may have severe hydrolysis like mine did...and if you can't do the work yourself...bingo...you now have a trawler that cost well over $100,000. So in that case...it's luck of the draw.

The bottom, decks, engine(s), generator, windows are all major projects whether you or anyone else does them. Electrical, plumbing, minor cosmetics are all something you, a friend or even a yard can straighten out without doubling the cost of the boat.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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I ave to pretty much agree with what Scott said. We like the seperate salon and galley. Our particular boat has nothing at all built into the salon and that is one of the big reason we bought it.
No stuffing box issue here...at least not at the moment. I changed to dripless, but that's a personal choice.
Wish I had a nice new Cummins 6BT...but the old Lehman with 4100+ hours is ticking along nicely. Decks are still sound, I've redone several windows, yada,yada the list will likely never end.
We have been out cruising in Canada now for 3 months and discussed a "shortfall list" today, but the boat is doing everything we want right now.

Best of luck in your search and decision.
Jay
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:35 PM   #12
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Although this conversation got off the original title I want to add my comments on the 36. We have had our 1983 for 3 months and we still can't get comfortable with the side berth in the aft cabin. There is enough room but no air circulation on the side against the hull. The V-berth bunks are also uncomfortable due to the shelves being too low. It is not easy to roll over without hitting them.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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You fellas offer some great food for thought. The issues raised about the albin 36 are the same as ours. At my age getting up at night is routine. I'm not thrilled with the notion of climbing over my wife (a light sleeper) to find my way to the head. I tried the v-berth and found it okay, but in need of a "stiffer" foam mattress. The albin 40 we're looking at seems to offer everything we want, except the galley being a bit tight. The wife doesn't seem to mind so why should i get crazy. I'll be doing the grilling outside most of the time. I'm taking my friend, a retired boat yard owner and surveyor with me to evaluated the boat. I've already figured i should take a change of clothes so i can spend time in the bilge, and a plastic hammer to tap the teak decks, and a list of items to check into. Although it won't be a formal survey, it should give me enough info to make a decision of whether we should persue things further (make a bid). By the way, i've never spent this much for a boat; all others have been project boats with a 3-5 year window for perfection. My wife has decided i'm too old to be so involved.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:18 AM   #14
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Jim, that sounds a prudent approach, you are fortunate having a friend`s help. A checklist ensures you look at every item you want to. It helps making notes of what was found, as a memory aid and to distinguish between boats if you look at several similar ones.
Galley can be overdone, at the expense of saloon seating. My IG galley is excessive, occupying one whole side of the saloon, eliminating a possible "conversation" area,ie seating both sides facing.
Check the refrigeration:does the volume and type suit your needs,how is it powered, does it actually work?
To a varying degree, any used boat purchase (maybe even a new one) involves some compromise; it`s getting as close to what you want, at a price you are willing to pay. I hope it goes well. BruceK
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:17 AM   #15
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Again, I really appreciate the encouragement and support offered at the site. I'll be sure to take notes, as you suggested, and use my iPhone for some pics of things that may need to be discussed during "negotiations." I must keep reminding myself that boats built in the mid-to-late 1980s have equipment that is approaching 25 years of time on the water. Refrigeration, generator, fresh water pumps, fuel and water tanks, and electronics, even though they are likely to be newer but subject to corrosion. The Albin history of leaking windows, ports, and doors should be fairly easy to evaluate.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:19 AM   #16
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Oops! I neglected to mention an important issue, I took a deposit on our schooner yesterday with a closing date of late September, pending a survey and some "improvements" agreed to by both parties. Yeah! More money to spend on a trawler.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:14 PM   #17
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Use a good camera to take high res pics BEHIND things where you can't see. Then study those pics after the inspection.
Look for stained teak under the windows and you will know if they leak...that is easy. Look to see if the track drains are clean. If not they will leak soon if not already.


(FYI...I would not be happy if a potential buyer banged on my decks with a hammer even though they are sound. A surveyor...maybe, but my surveyor did not use a hammer on the decks.)
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #18
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Many surveyors use a light-weight plastic hammer. Amazing how much is revealed with this method. I watched one surveyor locate a "patch" made after damage (3'X3') from a hurricane on the side of the boat. Owner had no intention of revealing the damage and stammered when confronted. I will take high-rez pics of the areas I'm most concerned with. thanks for reminding me to take my camera, not just my iPhone.
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