Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-28-2019, 12:40 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
City: Yelm, WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: "Convergence"
Vessel Model: Camano Troll
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 292
A Leak!

Funny the emotions that play out, even in a relatively benign situation.
We were headed up to the Camano gathering on Pender Island in BC on Saturday. Left Tacoma about 10 and pulled into the marina in Port Townsend about 4 pm. As we're docking, Sara hears water running. Look around and its a pretty good stream (light garden hose?) running out of our boat. Ooops, dat be the bilge pump. Did some investigation and lo and behold, we've got a bunch of water coming through the formerly dripless shaft seal. Enough so it keeps the bilge pump running about 60% of the time.
Check with the haul out guys at Boat Haven marina. Sure, we can call guys in and pull your boat as an emergency, but you still can't get parts etc until Monday. Or, you could leave it in the water, watch the pump, and we'll pull it Monday at about half the price.

So we decided to wait until Monday. We had the lift guys' cell phone numbers and they promised to get us out promptly if things got worse.

Tied up and enjoyed the town for a couple days. On Sunday afternoon, noticed that the water was coming out from the opposite side of the boat. Huh. Only dawned on my in the middle of the night that the switch was caused b a failed bilge pump. water rose over a small bulkhead to the next compartment, where that bilge took over. So NOW I'm concerned. Naturally didn't sleep a wink the rest of that night.

Bright and early Monday boat is out and on the dirt. Pulled the seal loose and slid it forward. Was able to slide the shaft back enough so that the seal could come off without pulling the shaft. The seal was melted into a big blob. Hot enough to mark up the shaft pretty well. Fortunately, Fisheries had a Sure Seal in the right size, which they shipped over to Pt Townsend for free. Back together and in the water by Tuesday afternoon.

Failure was caused by something blocking the water flow into the seal. There is a gravity feed water line coming off the aftercooler that feeds the seal. Once that plugged, the seal just plain melted.

Had zero warning on this. Not a drop of water before we started the trip. On the Camanos that seal is way back in a recess pretty deep in the keep form hull, making it harder as hell to get to.
the new seal has two water inlets, which lessens the liklihood of both being plugged. It also has a spare seal fastened to the shaft in front of the one in use, making a change out pretty painless.

The only think I can think of to try and anticipate
this more is to use an infrared gun to check the temp of the shaft while running.

sorry about the large photo, but its of the seal after removal
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	shaft seal.jpg
Views:	151
Size:	117.1 KB
ID:	91572  
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Toni Froehling
Day Island Washington
1997 Camano Troll
"Meannder"
ctjstr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 12:55 AM   #2
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,039
That certainly could ruin your day... Glad you got it fixed.
__________________

Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 01:44 AM   #3
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9,812
Well saved. Something to be said in favour of the old stuffing box, it usually fails slowly and warns in advance.
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 02:21 AM   #4
Guru
 
AusCan's Avatar
 
City: Adelaide
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Kokanee
Vessel Model: Cuddles 30 Pilot House Motor Sailer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,853
I'm glad you caught in time. Finding water flowing into the bilge always makes the heart skip a beat.
Dripless shaft seals are great...until they're not, and it happens fast.

Doing occasional temperature checks on a standard gland packing is adequate, but with a mechanical seal an infrared sensor with an alarm may be worth considering.

Something like this.


or you could pick up the components and build your own for less than $100 if you are into that sort of thing.
AusCan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 05:29 AM   #5
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19,510
" Something to be said in favour of the old stuffing box, it usually fails slowly and warns in advance."


An old style stuffing box with modern packing would be a great upgrade.
FF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 05:51 AM   #6
Veteran Member
 
SailorGreg's Avatar
 
City: Newport
Country: US
Vessel Name: Privateer
Vessel Model: Kadey Krogen 52
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 75
I have the same seals (twin engine). User manual calls for testing the water flow regularly. With twins I have some advantage that the water can cross feed ( that extra feed line) but it still is a concern. As you know, the spare seal can be replaced in the water, although it is not for the faint of heart because the water flow during the operation is significant.
Of course this option is only of value if you can get at the seal and it sounds like maybe you cannot. You need to be able to get two hands in there to swap the seal. I had to do some mods to be able to access one of the engines.
You mentioned gravity feed... The user manual calls for a minimum 3 gal/minute, if I recall. Do you get that with gravity feed? I would look over all the plumbing to the seal and make it as fair as possible, and minimize any constrictions that might cause a problem.
I use a heat gun during engine checks but I really like the previous post for a remote temp sensor. A wireless remote would avoid the long wire to the pilot house if I can find such ( a slight creep from the OP?)
SailorGreg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 07:56 AM   #7
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,792
Interesting idea, infrared temperature sensors. I could see using a dozen or more all over the ER, tied into the NMEA 2000 backbone.

Meanwhile, I try to remember to do regular engine room checks underway, and shooting various things with the IR thermometer is part of the routine. I'm not sure it would have been possible to spot the OP's failure in time, though.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 08:22 AM   #8
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,156
And obviously you need to solve your bilge pump issues. IMO:

1. Get a quality switch, the Ultra Safety Systems Pumpswitch Senior which includes high water alarm capability.
2. Install back up high capacity high water bilge pump.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 09:51 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: Boston
Country: US
Vessel Name: Adelante
Vessel Model: IG 30
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 588
Hmmmmm. Think I might add a third bilge pump.
SoWhat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 10:51 AM   #10
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,261
I have investigated a few flooding losses caused by "dripless" shaft seals. My personal boat uses a simple bronze packing gland for this very reason.
Ski in NC is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 11:26 AM   #11
Guru
 
Russell Clifton's Avatar
 
City: Anacortes Wa.
Country: usa
Vessel Name: Sea Fever
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 572
I had a stuffing box overheat one time when a small piece of rubber from the impeller on the raw water pump got stuck in the coolant hose running from the engine to the stuffing box. It was jammed up in a small fitting.
Russell Clifton is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 11:56 AM   #12
Guru
 
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,760
The old stuffing boxes with new packing are far better IMO.
bayview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 01:05 PM   #13
Guru
 
ancora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,676
"Maintenance Free Dripless Shaft Seals,"...I'll stick with packing every time.
ancora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 02:56 PM   #14
Guru
 
FoxtrotCharlie's Avatar
 
City: Mississippi
Country: USA
Vessel Name: ADAGIO
Vessel Model: CHB Present 42 Sundeck
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 553
Yep, modern packing is the way to go
FoxtrotCharlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 03:09 PM   #15
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17,028
More bilge pumps but also bilge alarms.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 03:10 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Brisyboy's Avatar
 
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Malagari
Vessel Model: Island Gypsy 36 Europa
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 261
Just a check on the gravity feed that was mentioned - our water feed for the seals comes from the back of the engine coolant heat exchanger (FL 135s) so it is delivered under pressure to the seal - not gravity. Is that the same coming from an intercooler?
__________________
George
Brisbane
IG 36 Europa
Brisyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 04:22 PM   #17
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post
Hmmmmm. Think I might add a third bilge pump.
The AT came with on bilge pump. I now have 4. One in each compartment.

I believe I have 2 or maybe 3 spare dripless shaft seals mounted on the main shaft. It's not worth crawling down, removing all the crap, lifting the floor boards to count the spares. I know they are there because, I put them there. SMILE
__________________
SPAM on a tacco? Pork favor.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 05:25 PM   #18
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Caroliner
Vessel Model: 28' Spira San Miguel
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,340
A bilge pump that is always running as long as the shaft is turning and doesn't hurt fuel economy until it's needed. Could be a lifesaver in some situations. No affiliation.


Fast Flow Emergency Bilge Pump
__________________
What a pain in the transom.

ben2go is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 05:48 PM   #19
Guru
 
FoxtrotCharlie's Avatar
 
City: Mississippi
Country: USA
Vessel Name: ADAGIO
Vessel Model: CHB Present 42 Sundeck
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisyboy View Post
Just a check on the gravity feed that was mentioned - our water feed for the seals comes from the back of the engine coolant heat exchanger (FL 135s) so it is delivered under pressure to the seal - not gravity. Is that the same coming from an intercooler?
Same with our 135's.
FoxtrotCharlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2019, 05:55 PM   #20
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
I have investigated a few flooding losses caused by "dripless" shaft seals. My personal boat uses a simple bronze packing gland for this very reason.
I know personally of two boats almost lost by the failure of their "dripless" shaft seals.
Not worth the risk.
__________________

__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012