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Old 02-18-2016, 03:50 PM   #1
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Dampness under prop shaft, not packing leak

Just noticed seepage under the packing gland hardware, maybe called the shaft log? It is wet under the bronze piece that the packing gland collar tightens into. How is this piece attached to the hull and is it common that after 32 years I should expect water intrusion at that point? (This area behind the other engine is dry.) What kind of fix is required for this problem, average cost, specialty yard required, etc? Any help much appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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A picture would help. What you are calling a packing gland collar can be interpreted in very many ways. You may just need to tighten your packing. Alternatively you may need to do something with what you are calling a collar. For certain when sitting quiescent there should be no leak.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:31 PM   #3
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I have dripless logs now, but previously had "stuffing boxes". I was always taught that you tighten them to the point where you get a small drip about once every 30 seconds to a minute when sitting.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:07 PM   #4
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I understand both responses above, Poach and obthomas. This dampness is apparently coming up under the "unit" (includes packing gland, collar, etc.) that takes the prop shaft thru the hull I think I've heard it called the shaft log or the sleeve (through which the shaft goes after, as in behind, the packing gland.) Any other thoughts about this?
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:40 PM   #5
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Edited...
Never mind, I don't know what I was talking about.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:47 PM   #6
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The stuffing box (packing gland) is attached to the shaft log by a short length of heavy duty hose. Those hoses do need to be replaced periodically. Check the hose for soft spots. It may not be the hose, the clamps holding the hose to the shaft log or the stuffing box may simply need tightening/replacing.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poach View Post
I have dripless logs now, but previously had "stuffing boxes". I was always taught that you tighten them to the point where you get a small drip about once every 30 seconds to a minute when sitting.
The teaching should have been a drip when the shaft is turning. It should not drip when quiescent. http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/stuffing-box.asp
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:11 PM   #8
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Dampness under prop shaft, not packing leak

Sounds similar to a problem I had on my boat a few years ago. The stern tube had perforated and water was seeping into the bilge. The stern-tube was encased in concrete and it was quite a job to chip it out. Never did get it all, without dismantling the boat and was unable to replace the tube, which was some form of stainless. This was on a 33 year old boat.
BTW the seeping accelerated dramatically, necessitating an emergency haul-out. Yard slipped a FG tube over the original and encased the whole thing in Resin and some form of sand.
Pretty pricey but it included new shaft and dripless seal and cutlass bearings.
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:48 AM   #9
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Borrow the brides hair blower and slowly dry the area .

Find what is actually allowing the moisture to seep .

Bring a cushion , it may take a while.
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:12 AM   #10
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Following FF's advice dry the area, then lay strips of cardboard around the suspected moist area. The cardboard with darken and provide a visual moisture indicator. By using strips, you can more easily check each and try to localize the problem.
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:31 AM   #11
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I second FF's idea. Also consider condensation. Not uncommon in the winter time for metal parts exposed to cold water to form condensation inside the hull. Of course that is ruled out if you have a steady stream...

If you do have a leak around the shaft log thru-hull or fixed bronze packing gland attachment you will most likely need to haul your boat to fix it. The fixture will have to come off to check for corrosion or worn out sealer then a proper repair made.

If your prop shafts are original their is also a chance you may find problems there too. Angus99 recently posted a thread that shows what crevice corrosion looks like on rudder shafts. It is likely on original propeller shafts in a boat the age of yours.

Check the whole underwater gear if you have to haul to address the leak. Strut bearings, shaft & engine alignment, propeller shaft and whether to go back with same type seal arrangement. Once you start repairs or replacement of some or all may be necessary. Planning for that eventuality can help avoid unexpected expenses. Not that you should avoid them just be prepared if they are necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Borrow the brides hair blower and slowly dry the area .

Find what is actually allowing the moisture to seep .

Bring a cushion , it may take a while.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:25 AM   #12
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Here is a link to a good explanation of shaft stuffing boxes. The usual source of leaks is warn out old packing but anything is possible.
Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
Repacking stuffing boxes is usually not very expensive
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:30 AM   #13
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Not all packing is designed to drip. I assume that you are not the original owner as I don't think any packing lasts 32 years.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:03 PM   #14
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The Eagle had a leak be hind shaft log where the log connects to the shaft tube. Had to pull the boat, pull back the shaft, take out the log, cut out the punk wet wood, fill with area with epoxy, install a new SS backing plate, reinstall the shaft log. Took about two weeks most of the time was drying time. Cost 2 to 3 grand.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:31 PM   #15
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This is TF at its best! The info is exactly what I need to figure out next steps. The problem is clearly not the packing gland, the dampness is behind (downstream) that unit. I hope it is the hose that TDunn mentioned. Access to that requires removing the large s/s water lift muffler that is mounted on the diamond plate right over the hose area. I'll try to unfasten the muffler and peer in that space, avoiding taking off the 8" very stiff exhaust hoses. Wouldn't you know that all of this came to light a month after my 3 year haul out routine. Nothing turned up with the running gear then. Murphy....I really worry about what ianonhercules said--that his problem "dramatically worsened." At 33 years old, and my owning and maintaining it for 25, I thought I knew, or should have expected, it all. I'll let you know what I find. Has anybody other thoughts on this?
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:53 PM   #16
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In that case you really need to dry the area and watch for the first drop. I have seen weeping actually through fiberglass. Strange as it sounds.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:06 PM   #17
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Got to the boat this weekend and pulled out the tools. First thing I noticed was that the nuts holding the entire prop log/packing gland "system" in place were a bit loose. Took up almost a half turn on the four 3/4" nuts and the dampness soon dried. While under the the diamond plat n that area (removing bits anchored on them) I also got an easy quarter turn out of the nuts holding the prop support in place (home of the cutlass bearing,forget the name of this piece.) I did the same on the starboard side. In all, 16 3/4" nuts were each a bit loose. Lesson learned: there a plenty of places in the engine room that are completely out of sight...look around, regularly.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:22 PM   #18
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Great news. I had missed the fact that your boat has twins....which is an entirely different situation to a single engine installation, which was my case.

Ian Munro
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ex Hercules(DeFever type 39' trawler)
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:27 PM   #19
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Sounds like what I just went thru. Took our 37 ' Pacific Trawler to have a packless system installed. they found that both seals on the shaft were leaking. plus corrosion to the shaft. ended up having to have both bearings replaced as well as the SS shaft. I was glad I had a co-owner to share the cost with. Lots of issues with ours. $5000+. Modutech Marine in Tacoma did the work. that also answered the question of why we had so much vibration anytime we got above 1750 RPM.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:00 PM   #20
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Ouch! But I don't understand where the seals that went out were located. I thought that the packing material was the seal. And the corrosion on the shaft where was it located? Caused by crevice corrosion I;m guessing. I don't have any vibration all the way up to WOT at 2800 RPM but am always worried that something completely out of sight is going south on me.
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