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Old 09-16-2019, 02:11 PM   #1
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Dripless Shaft Seals

I need to replace my dripless shaft seal. I have no idea what is on there now or how long it has been there. I suspect it might be original (1999). It looks like it uses a piece of exhaust hose rather than a bellows.

The hose itself seems pliable and there doesn't appear to be any cracking, but it is showing age. The end of the hose shows the corrosion of the reinforcing wire where the hose was cut, indicating it wasn't replaced recently.

I was looking at PSS shaft seals at the Newport Boat Show this weekend.

I'm not exactly sure of the size of my shaft. The Pro Seals start at 11/4" inches. If it can fit, is there a pro/con for going with PSS Pro Seals vs PSS Type A?

Any pros/cons on PSS? Thoughts on alternative brands?
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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Iíve had Tides marine sure seals on my last 2 boats and they have been flawless. It uses a lip seal no bellows. Install a spare on the shaft ahead of the unit just in case.
Last boat 5 years no drips this one 14 no drips.
Tides used a silicone hose so maybe thatís what you have.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:05 PM   #3
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I was told mine was a lip seal as well. I was told that they typically need to be replaced every 10 or so years, though the same yard even admitted they've seen them go decades. Mine technically isn't leaking, according to the mechanic.

It is definitely what looks like exhaust hose. The closest I can find looks like a Lasdrop. I'll have to take a picture.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:33 PM   #4
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Whatever type you go with, 1999 is too long to go without replacing them. I would do it just for peace of mind. Unless you want to sell your boat to the insurance company...
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:49 PM   #5
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I might have made a mistake. My boat had the original 2003 Tides dripless seals. They didn't leak one drop. Last year I thought they were probably getting old and had them replaced. Now my port seal drips. I stuck a margarine tub under it until the next time the boat comes out of the water.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:00 PM   #6
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Many seals leak after not being used for a period of time until they are run for some minutes and all is fine again. As I got older I found it difficult to change the wax rings of a stuffing box. Twenty some years late it was the best move I made other than geniing rid of some ex-wives.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:48 PM   #7
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my boat has a stuffing box with the rope/wax packing. it failed Monday , thankfully the bilge pump saved a disaster. planning to have it replaced with a dripless seal. the boatyard also recommended having a spare installed on the shaft so as to make the next replacement of the dripless seal easier and cheaper .
my question is which brand of dripless seal is the best in your opinion ?
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:39 PM   #8
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"my question is which brand of dripless seal is the best in your opinion"

As an alternative to lip seals like Tides, PSS shaft seals are also widely used. I've had mine for 10 years....no problems.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:07 AM   #9
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Last two boats had PSS seals and I would buy again.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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They are great, until they aren't great. Only boat I ever actually watched sink was a sport fish that had a shaft seal blow out.

But, I have them on my boat and had them on the last one, too.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:49 PM   #11
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Shrew,
Both Tides and PSS have pretty good reputations. They use slightly different systems for sealing and each has owners who swear by them.
As far as the "regular" and the "pro" versions of PSS, the main difference is the stiffness and the material that the bellows is made of. The pro has a longer life before replacement is recommended by the manufacturer. There are many boaters who have PSS dripless seals installed that are a lot older than the recommended replacement interval. If treated well, they do often "last" much longer than the recommended replacement interval. However, remember that not only are you taking a chance (probably a small chance) if you exceed this time frame, but your insurance company may deny any claim resulting from a leak through this seal, as you did not conduct the recommended maintenance and "due diligence". If I remember correctly, the PSS Pro recommends a 10 year replacement interval.
Good luck,
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:11 AM   #12
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I had Tides on one boat with no trouble. Then I had PSS on the next boat and found them to be very fussy. Adjustment was difficult, and I always still had a bit of a spray/spit ring around the seal interface. I just don't think it's as robust a design as Tides, so I'm switching back to Tides on the current boat.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:19 AM   #13
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Does anyone have an opinion, good or bad, between Tides and Norscot Seals ? Norscot uses ATF between the lip seals. I put a set of Norscots on a previous boat and never had an ATF leak or problem.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:44 AM   #14
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I had PSS shaft seals on my last boat which I fitted while she was still in the water, 15 years and 9,000 miles later, still perfect).
My current boat had a stuffing box & packing rings which the PO had just kept tightening if there was a drip instead of greasing and re-packing, result ! Grooves worn in the shaft which I was fortunate to turn end over end and refit.
I fitted a PSS seal, 4,000 miles later I've never had a problem.
I wouldn't fit anything else but that's my personal opinion based on my experience.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:48 AM   #15
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"my boat has a stuffing box with the rope/wax packing. "

You are in luck!!!

The old stuffing box material worked as long as it was maintained. Either changed every so often or fitted with a remote cup greaser .

The ceramic shaft seals were an improvement , but early ones were a danger , as a major leak could occur if the thin rubber burst.The shaft had to be removed to replace the rubber.

Today that is all totally passe Duramax or similar fits where the old hemp or tefflon packing was used , and can be installed with no modification to the boat.

Sure it costs a bit more than the historic packing , but the shaft and running gear remain intact , and installation is really quick and easy.
Duramax Shaft Sealing Systems: Ultra-X High-Performance ...

www.duramaxmarine.com › shaft-ultrax

the competition

http://gfopacking.com/

Go modern , not historic!
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:38 AM   #16
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Go modern not historic

So Senor FF your recommending shaft seals?
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:18 PM   #17
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I've had Tides seals on the 2002 Camano I owned from 2004-2008 and on the 2003 Monk 36 I bought in 2008 till now. The only time one leaked was after I had changed one and apparently didn't seat the new one correctly on the shaft it had a slow drip. I called tides and their rep told me a process to do with it in place, boat in the water. Pull seal housing forward on the shaft, push back, lift, push down, twist, etc, some water came in, but, after doing this the leak stopped. Probably the lip of the seal may not have been seated evenly or rolled on the shaft.
Tides make a protective spare seal carrier which holds a spare seal mounted on the shaft. In case of a failure the new seal can be fitted without disconnecting the shaft or sliding it back.
I do check it as part of engine checks while cruising and check the cooling water flow per instructions.
So far so good!
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:27 PM   #18
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I wonder if the Duramax shaft seal company has attracted the attention of General Motors, who calls the truck diesel they build with Isuzu....Duramax.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:36 AM   #19
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"Go modern not historic"

"So Senor FF your recommending shaft seals? "

Never ever , and it would be a very poor choice for the OP as excellent modern packing can be installed in minuets rather than pulling the running gear.

Shaft seals were fine (tho dangerous) in there day , decades ago.
Today there is no reason to accept their risk.
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn6437 View Post
my boat has a stuffing box with the rope/wax packing. it failed Monday , thankfully the bilge pump saved a disaster. planning to have it replaced with a dripless seal. the boatyard also recommended having a spare installed on the shaft so as to make the next replacement of the dripless seal easier and cheaper .
my question is which brand of dripless seal is the best in your opinion ?
I have heard of the traditional packing boxes like your dripping excessively only to be repaired with a new bit of packing, but your description has a rather catastrophic feel. Can you give a description of how yours "failed?"

I have personal experience with the old fashioned packing, a unique grease and o-ring combination seal, the Lasdrop dripless (a face seal style), the PYI face seal (beefier than the Lasdrop), and the current Tides lip seal style on my Pilot.

If personally feel that of the two types of dripless seals the lip seal would be prone to leaking if there was a shafting issue like a bend while the face seal could more easily adapt to such a thing.
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