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Old 07-27-2018, 07:28 PM   #1
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Going Back??

My "dripless" seal is leaking like a sieve. Next week I will haul the boat and replace or refurbish it. I am thinking that removing it entirely and replacing with the old style packing box would be an improvement.


1) dont have to replace it every 5 years!


2) Can replace the packing while in the water.


3) Much cheaper to maintain and no adjustments


4) Drill and place a zerk fitting so a squirt of grease is the only maintenance at the end of each run.



What am I missing here? I cant imagine why anyone would want a failure prone, difficult to maintain and 5 year lifetime seal?


BUT the question is, what was removed and would have to be sourced new when they converted? I am sure the Mainship Mk1 didnt come with a dripless seal 40 years ago.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jimisbell View Post
My "dripless" seal is leaking like a sieve. Next week I will haul the boat and replace or refurbish it. I am thinking that removing it entirely and replacing with the old style packing box would be an improvement.


1) dont have to replace it every 5 years!


2) Can replace the packing while in the water.


3) Much cheaper to maintain and no adjustments


4) Drill and place a zerk fitting so a squirt of grease is the only maintenance at the end of each run.



What am I missing here? I cant imagine why anyone would want a failure prone, difficult to maintain and 5 year lifetime seal?


BUT the question is, what was removed and would have to be sourced new when they converted? I am sure the Mainship Mk1 didnt come with a dripless seal 40 years ago.
Dry bilge may be an answer.

L
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:57 PM   #3
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Well, I have heard all that "dry bilge" stuff and wondered about the attraction. In over 50 years of messing around with boats I have never had dry bilge. Is a dry bilge to be desired?
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:59 PM   #4
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jimisbell,
If faced that recently and stayed w the dripless.

Remember the packing gland acts like another bearing so it will need to be aligned as if it was. A misalignment can cause it to run hot. If it’s aligned too low it can put pressure on the stern bearing causing heat and excessive wear there too.

By contrast the dripless is almost entirely self aligning and shouldn’t cause any alignment problems. Since yours is already installed it should be aligned. I’d check before moving fwd. Alignment is obviously more important w the stuffing box.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:08 PM   #5
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Well, I have heard all that "dry bilge" stuff and wondered about the attraction. In over 50 years of messing around with boats I have never had dry bilge. Is a dary bilge to be desired?
I would say thatís a wood boat question.
With plastic itís not important at all. However it would introducing moisture low in the inside of the boat. Could be a mould or corrosion issue. My bilge has a low spot where the water in the bilge goes and only presents about 1/3 of a square foot of water. My bilge pump sump intakes are galvanized and have considerable rust and corrosion. But nobody seeís them but me.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:05 PM   #6
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I would never be motivated to move from packing to dripless since in our last boat I had repacked with Gore 100% GFO and I actually had a dry bilge with little to no leaking and it never ran hot. If I had dripless already however I am not sure that I would go to the trouble of changing it back. Tough call.
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:28 AM   #7
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Unless it is a simple fix, or you are obsessed with a dry bilge, I'd consider going back to a quality packing system. I like to keep things simple unless the alternative offers significant advantages.

A bit of water in the bilge doesn't bother me, unless I drop something in it. A few years ago I lost a 2 day old Samsung phone was while checking the oil. Since then I've installed a perforated cover over the sump in the bilge which catches any dropped phones or bolts or pistachio shells that could jam up the bilge pump. Simple fix.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:14 AM   #8
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Just curious, which dripless seal do you have?
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:34 AM   #9
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Unless it is a simple fix, or you are obsessed with a dry bilge, I'd consider going back to a quality packing system. I like to keep things simple unless the alternative offers significant advantages.

A bit of water in the bilge doesn't bother me, unless I drop something in it. A few years ago I lost a 2 day old Samsung phone was while checking the oil. Since then I've installed a perforated cover over the sump in the bilge which catches any dropped phones or bolts or pistachio shells that could jam up the bilge pump. Simple fix.
Great idea.
i also like having some water in the bilge as I want the bilge pump to be exercised routinely.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:10 AM   #10
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My "dripless" seal is leaking like a sieve. .
Jim
A bit of history on your current seal would be helpful. Such as when installed, by who, brand and what caused the current leakage. Also, the condition of the shaft around the current seal area should be determined. Some vessels cannot get a good seal with any type of packing due to shaft damage. This damage can be caused by boating in gritty water, corrosion, age, erosion or shaft metallurgy.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:16 AM   #11
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I think you will want to understand why the dripless you have doesn't work, before you replace it with anything else. A good, properly installed dripless seal will work for a decade or two, without leaking and without maintenance. If you have a cheap or off brand dripless, then all bets are off. If you have a bent or misaligned shaft, worn out engine mounts, or a few other maladies all betts are off. But the same is true for a stuffing box too.

The last PYI I had was on a sailboat, 15 years on it was still dripless when I sold the boat. The trawler has a Tides, now 12 years and dripless. Neither required any maintenance. The PYI surfaces will stick together after a long period of non-use, it is a good idea to nudge it by hand before operation, which takes 30 seconds.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:18 AM   #12
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I think a dry bilge is mostly a matter of preference, but if a (properly) dripping packing gland is all that's keeping a boat from having a dry bilge placing a small plastic tub under it is the solution. I have done this on my twins and it works great. Only have to empty them 2-3 times a year.

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Old 07-28-2018, 11:18 AM   #13
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Unless it is a simple fix, or you are obsessed with a dry bilge, I'd consider going back to a quality packing system. I like to keep things simple unless the alternative offers significant advantages.

A bit of water in the bilge doesn't bother me, unless I drop something in it. A few years ago I lost a 2 day old Samsung phone was while checking the oil. Since then I've installed a perforated cover over the sump in the bilge which catches any dropped phones or bolts or pistachio shells that could jam up the bilge pump. Simple fix.
So now you drop your phone in other places ....
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:55 AM   #14
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I would say thatís a wood boat question.
With plastic itís not important at all.

I did have a 31 foot wooden sloop (1000 pound lead keel) sink in 300 feet of water (not recoverable) because of rot in the bilge....yes.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:23 PM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. AC. You have a PHONE in your engine space???? Wow. I'm impressed but I can't figure out how it fell off the bulkhead unless you used substandard fasteners...


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Old 07-28-2018, 12:59 PM   #16
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. A good, properly installed dripless seal will work for a decade or two, without leaking and without maintenance. If you have a cheap or off brand dripless, then all bets are off. If you have a bent or misaligned shaft, worn out engine mounts, or a few other maladies all betts are off. But the same is true for a stuffing box too.

.
14 years on my PYI with NO maintenance and NO issues...
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Old 07-28-2018, 02:58 PM   #17
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I did have a 31 foot wooden sloop (1000 pound lead keel) sink in 300 feet of water (not recoverable) because of rot in the bilge....yes.
Sounds like a freshwater job to me.
The salt in seawater usually keeps wood boats from rotting below the WL.
Decks, cabin and gunnels not so much.
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:16 PM   #18
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Sounds like a freshwater job to me.
The salt in seawater usually keeps wood boats from rotting below the WL.
Decks, cabin and gunnels not so much.

Yes, it was on lake Travis, TX. I sold the boat several years earlier and the new owner did not keep the bilge dry. Rainwater got in....duhhhh.....and it sank in the deep water near the dam.


I have solved my problem on the Mainship 34. I finally spent two hours getting to where I could take a picture and feel around a bit. Its an old fashioned stuffing box and is leaking very fast at the shaft/nut interface. Not dangerous, and easily fixable, in the water. No haulout needed. It was a good morning when I discovered it was a packing box. I dont like new fangled inventions!!! I now know it wont sink overnight!!!!



But its in a close area and getting a wrench on the locking nut is proving difficult. Its going to need lots of PB Blaster and elbow grease to free it up. AND I discovered a secondary problem that I would not otherwise have found. The Automatic position on the bilge pump switch is NOT WORKING!!! Good "catch". Maybe just a fouled float switch.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:08 PM   #19
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To me it makes no sense to have a piece of equipment aboard that could cause your boat to sink, that requires a haul out if it fails. I wouldn't hesitate to go back to the stuffing box with flax or Teflon packing.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:17 PM   #20
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I used to think that a dripless gland was the way to go these days, but after numerous discussions with commercial shipyards these last few years I have yet to find one who would build a boat with anything but a traditional packing gland.

However I understand that if you have a cooling water feed to it then you can install the new materials tight, and therefore be almost-drip free. A small catch pan draining to a sump solves that small amount.
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