Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-15-2019, 11:18 AM   #1
Veteran Member
 
flboy's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota
Country: United States
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 27
New Shaft Seal?

Hello

The shaft going down to my props is starting to leak, it's always been dry before. It drips almost once per second so I'm assuming I need to replace a seal? If so is this something that can be done while the boat is in the water or would it need to be hauled out? Thanks in advance for any help. I've attached a pic for reference.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	shaft.jpg
Views:	124
Size:	182.5 KB
ID:	96468  
__________________
Advertisement

flboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 11:28 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: 5,978
It needs to be tightened or repacked. If the packing is still good then you can tighten the bolts a bit and it will compress the packing which will make the packing squeeze the shaft more and stop the dripping. However if the packing is too old and is getting hardened then you can score the shaft which isn’t good. You can repack it if the packing is too old. How long have you had the boat and do you know when it was last repacked? You can repack it in the water but you will get a good size gusher of water when you remove the old packing. You will probably need a packing pick, kinda like a corkscrew to pull the old packing out. You need to know what size packing you need. I would recommend getting someone who know what they are doing to do it in the water the first time you are going to do it.
__________________

__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 12:09 PM   #3
Veteran Member
 
flboy's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota
Country: United States
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 27
Thanks for the reply. We've had the boat since January and I'm not sure when the packing was last replaced.
flboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 12:36 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Pete Meisinger's Avatar
 
City: Marinette, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Best Alternative
Vessel Model: 36 Albin Aft Cabin
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 258
It being dry until recently is a bad thing. Those seals need to drip to stay cool. If it did not drip and now has started I believe it is an indication that it became overheated and needs to be repacked.

Although it can be repacked in the water, it is not a job for an amateur
or the feint of heart. Best to pull the boat and then do it yourself or have the yard do it. If you have a few dollars laying around you can have the yard install a new dripless seal. These dripless seals force water from the exhaust line into the seal. They actually still drip, but the drip is from the front and out the back of the boat. Mine cost around a thousand a few years ago but the plumbing was already in place. I'm guessing you are looking a couple thousand.

pete
Pete Meisinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 12:44 PM   #5
Guru
 
AKDoug's Avatar
 
City: Kenai, Alaska
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Melanie Rose
Vessel Model: 1999 Willard PH
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 815
The packing hardens over time and won't tighten down, depending on the material the packing is made of. IF you can seal off the shaft at the cutless bearing on the outside of the hull you can repack it yourself, it's not hard. If you can't there is a fair amount of water flow while still in the water that would make repacking harder to accomplish.

Look for an article on repacking online so you know what you are looking at having to do.
AKDoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #6
Veteran Member
 
flboy's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota
Country: United States
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 27
Thanks Pete

how much should they drip when working properly? Do they only drip when the boat is being run? I'll definitely have someone else fix em
flboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 01:36 PM   #7
TF Site Team
 
Baker's Avatar
 
City: League City, Tx
Country: Texas
Vessel Model: Carver 356
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,288
I have done it in the water many times. And I am not terribly handy. I have not seen a packing gland like that though...I am used to the screw and counter screw setups. Anyway, while working properly they should drip once every 2-5 seconds maybe?? That is just a WAG. And maybe no drip while not underway. A drip here and there at rest is no cause for concern.
__________________
Prairie 29...Perkins 4236...Sold
Mainship Pilot 30...Yanmar 4LHA-STP...Sold
Carver 356...T-Cummins 330B
Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 01:45 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
firehoser75's Avatar
 
City: Nanaimo
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Pilitak
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 348
Flboy,
If it were me, and I didn't know a whole lot about how to repack a shaft seal, I would not attempt it with the boat in the water!
Remember, that packing is what keeps the water out, and if something were to go wrong after the removal (or partial removal) of the old packing, it could mean TROUBLE. Now remember, I am often considered conservative in my thinking
As far as repacking the old seal or moving to a new dripless seal, there are pros and cons to both.
Good luck
__________________
Tom
Nanaimo, BC
firehoser75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 03:15 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
City: Hughesville, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 411
I wanted to repack my stuffing boxes the first time with the boat in the water - I'm a risk taker - but I didn't want to do it alone. Several threads here on the topic ranged from "it's no big deal" to "I'd never do it, too scary." I prepared my wife to be my repacking partner: "I'm going to unscrew the packing nut (or gland), slide it down the shaft, and the water is going to come gushing into the boat! It'll be scary!" I told her I'd knock the water down by wrapping it tightly in strips torn from a cotton T-shirt (read that somewhere) and that the bilge pump should easily handle the water coming in the boat. I assured her that if we were uncomfortable at any time, we could back up and start over or save it for another day.

Of course I checked to make sure that the bilge pump's float switch was turning on the bilge pump and that the bilge pump was actually pumping water. I had tools ready to dig out the old packing, new packing cut to length, and T-shirt strips nearby. My packing is only 1/4-inch, and I was concerned there wouldn't be much room to work at digging it out, so we had options.

Here's a picture of the water flow after removing the nut and wrapping the shaft several times with a 4-inch strip of T-shirt and tying it tight (I was going to wrap the T-shirt strip with the rope you see there but decided that it wasn't necessary):

Click image for larger version

Name:	BranwenShaftPackingInWaterOct2019.jpg
Views:	97
Size:	136.1 KB
ID:	96478

I can't comment on the amount of water coming in the boat before wrapping with the T-shirt, because I was busy. It wasn't scary, and the water wasn't a significant distraction. Those are my wife's hands to the left, busy digging out the old packing while I watched, cheered her on, and took pictures. The bilge pump was running every 4 or 5 minutes.

After it was over, my wife said that I'd gone too far describing the experience as "the boat's sinking while we're working," and that it was no big deal.

Hope this helps, but I'm sure every situation is different.

Greg.
GregBrannon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 06:48 PM   #10
TF Site Team
 
Baker's Avatar
 
City: League City, Tx
Country: Texas
Vessel Model: Carver 356
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
Several threads here on the topic ranged from "it's no big deal" to "I'd never do it, too scary."

Greg.
The "It's no big deal" people are likely the people that have actually done it. ANd I agree...it is no big deal.

The "I'd never do it " people are obviously the people that.....wait for it.....HAVE NEVER DONE IT!!!!!
__________________
Prairie 29...Perkins 4236...Sold
Mainship Pilot 30...Yanmar 4LHA-STP...Sold
Carver 356...T-Cummins 330B
Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 08:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Pete Meisinger's Avatar
 
City: Marinette, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Best Alternative
Vessel Model: 36 Albin Aft Cabin
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 258
There are two schools of thought on packing placement. One is a one piece wrap of about 5 turns around the shaft. The preferred method is to cut 3 to 5 loops with tapered ends and place them alternatingly so the joints do NOT line up.Cut the packing ends at an angle giving water less of a path.

In your instance you can have these rings of packing precut to the proper size beforehand . Once you pull the gland apart and dig out the old packing it will get wet but the gush will slow as soon as you insert the first ring and stop almost entirely by the third or fourth loop.

Tighten it down until you get just on occasional drip. Run the engine and tranny and it should drip every few seconds. You might get or borrow an infrared heat sensor and shoot the gland when you are underway. I'm not sure what it should be but guessing under 100 degrees.

pete
Pete Meisinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 09:34 PM   #12
Guru
 
City: Anacortes
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 794
Back the two nuts of, left and right. Then back the outer side of the gland off.

Stop.

Too much water? If so, just put the gland back together.

Next, pull the first ring out.

Too much water? Stuff it back in and put the gland back together.

If not, grab the ring, stuff a paper towel in there and put the gland back together and go shopping for packing.

You get the idea. If you go slow, most people are amazed at how little water actually comes in.

First time, buy a little extra packing. Buy an extra corkscrew removal tool.

Bet your heart rate never gets up.

The whole point, is that you can control the situation each step of the way. Itís a stuffing box, at any time you can stuff whatever you like back in there, reassemble the gland and stop the water. Might not want to run it that way, but if you need to go home, come back tomorrow, lots of options.

It really doesnít need to be overly stressful.

Much safer to replace packing than risk tightening old hard packing. Thatís what you should fear most.
ghost is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2019, 11:56 PM   #13
Guru
 
kapnd's Avatar
 
City: hawaii
Country: usa
Vessel Name: #31
Vessel Model: ex-Navy MUB 50 fish/cruise
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
There are two schools of thought on packing placement. One is a one piece wrap of about 5 turns around the shaft. The preferred method is to cut 3 to 5 loops with tapered ends and place them alternatingly so the joints do NOT line up.Cut the packing ends at an angle giving water less of a path.

In your instance you can have these rings of packing precut to the proper size beforehand . Once you pull the gland apart and dig out the old packing it will get wet but the gush will slow as soon as you insert the first ring and stop almost entirely by the third or fourth loop.

Tighten it down until you get just on occasional drip. Run the engine and tranny and it should drip every few seconds. You might get or borrow an infrared heat sensor and shoot the gland when you are underway. I'm not sure what it should be but guessing under 100 degrees.

pete

Iíve never seen packing applied in a continuous strip, wound around the shaft.
IMO, that would not work well, if at all.
If you use a ďmodernĒ packing, such as GFO and plenty of silicone grease, you can expect no drip.
Care must be taken not to over tighten the packing, it needs to be tightened in small increments, to get it seated just right.
Search this forum for lots of discussion on the subject, Google it for more.
__________________
You can lead a horse to water,
But you can't make him ski...
kapnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 01:25 AM   #14
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: 5,978
If you put it in a continuous strip, I think that the water would just flow around and around until it came out inside.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 02:15 AM   #15
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 10,044
I`ve never done it. Even with ghost`s helpful "how to" crib notes, before losing my stuffing box virginity, I`d like someone with me who had "done it".
And, what`s that seal in the pic, and where did it come from?
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 06:56 AM   #16
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19,844
"how much should they drip when working properly? Do they only drip when the boat is being run? I'll definitely have someone else fix em"

NO drips ,not a drop , ever if repacked with a modern packing like Duramax.

The old flax , teflon and other styles has been replaced with far superior materials.

Your stuffing box would be really easy as its so easy to get to.

You can do it first time , but the challenge is having the correct size packing ready to use.

A full service yard should have the various sizes in there chandery .
If they do a short haul, staying in the straps , no blocking would be quickest and cheapest.

A half hour of work at the most.

Be sure they have Duramax its competition on hand so they dont stick you with 1950's vintage old stuff.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 07:33 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 237
I had a Willard 30 Searcher which is a unique style. Stuffing box was accessed via a small cabinet in the head that required a contortionist. This was long before the internet and I had the same question - did I need to haul to replace? Answers were far fewer, but were essentially the same as this thread - but came from books instead: ranges from its possible to don't do it. I was pretty broke and, with a pit in my stomach, decided to give it a try.

I was amazed at how little water came out even on this displacement trawler where the prop shaft was relatively deep in the hull/water. Bilge pump easily kept up. As a side note, the shaft was mildly scored, likely due to the lousy access to the stuffing box. I dressed the shaft - with the nut backed-off and the engine running and trans in gear, I held strips of wet/dry sand paper against the shaft. Worked like a charm!

I have since repacked many shafts (and field dressed a few more). My general rule is the stuffing box should not drop at rest, and at most drip ever several seconds when running. Also, when running, it should not heat up (if seen where they get so hot that water will steam). If this balance cannot be held, time to repack.

By far the most difficult part of repacking for me has always been figuring out what size packing to purchase.
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 07:57 AM   #18
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,522
I have also repacked a box while in the water. Actually that's the only time I have ever done it, in the water.
Water did NOT gush in, it flowed gently. The aft, small bilge pump easily kept ahead of it.
I was always told 1 to 3 drips per minute was a good rate while under way. Less while at rest is ok.
As far as temperature, 10 degrees F above ambient is what I read is a rule of thumb.
Good luck with the project.
__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 11:01 AM   #19
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,201
Bruce:

A little arithmetic:
area of discharge hose= (inside diameter of outlet of Rule 1500 pump is 1"), so 0.78 sqin.
area of stuffing box empty = (1/2" stuffing around a 1.75" shaft) 5.94-2.40=3.53 sqin. so 5.8 times the instantaneous capacity of a Rule 1500.
Take 1 minute of full flow through your stuffing box with the stuffing removed and your bilge pump will clean it up in 6 minutes.
If, like most of us, you have more than a single 1500 gph pump, way less time.
Allow a realistic time of full flow, like 3 to 5 seconds, and your bilge pump will barely notice it.
__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2019, 11:09 AM   #20
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: B.C.
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: xxxx
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,509
I'm another who has done the repacking a number of times starting long before the internet was even around. I found the water inflow was not great and the BP easily kept up. Other than the available books I was on my own as there is room in there for one person at a time.

I made a couple picks to dig out the old packing and then found corkscrew type tools for this purpose are available at the chandleries. May have to be ordered.

https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...ct.do?pid=3861

Actually any good seal shop, Orings and packings, will have these things also.

I used razor blades to cut the packing into rings by wrapping a piece around the shaft using the part of shaft that was NOT in the stuffing box. They are sharp so be carefull. A very sharp utility knife such as the Olfa with a new blade will do well also. You don't need to press hard to get the stuff to cut. Even better would be approaching a prop/shaft shop and seeing if a short piece of shafting of your size can be had and then used as an arbor to cut them at home.

Cut the ends on an angle such as 45o. The angle does not need to be exact, just so the angle closes [mostly] as the ring is wrapped around the shaft.

Tamping with screwdrivers will likely punch a hole through the packing. It will close later as the box is tightened but better to not damage it.

Install the ring and use a tamping tool made of PVC pipe cut in 1/4's .
I made the tampers ahead of time. They only need to be 1/4 the shaft circumference and push gently working the ring into place. Then place the second and third rings repeating the tamping.

I used to install 4 or 5 rings but found it was not needed and actually made adjusting more difficult.

Install 3 rings [or a 4th] with the ends arranged approx 120o from each other so the ends do not line up , ring to ring.

Then install the stuffing box compression ring and tighten the nuts up EVENLY a bit at a time. DO not just screw one side down and then the other. The packing needs to be compressed evenly.

I would grease the stud and nut threads with water resistant grease. Outboard shaft grease is great at this but others are available.

Adjust so the water stops. Then run the engine in gear, it will likely start to leak again, and snug up some more untill the water is a slow drip of one drip every second or two. Do not just fast crank the nuts. Once adjusted set the jam nuts.

Then run the boat , a real run, for a couple or so hours and check and adjust again as needed.

I have gone through the typical wax impregnated flax packing, the TFE impregnated flax packing, the clay stuff [forgotten the name] and now use the GORE GFO packing. The older ones I repacked every two years.

THe Gore was last done more than ten or twelve years ago and all I need do once I got the adjustment is snug it once or twice a year to keep the water under GOOD control. It takes very little now. I do not try to totally stop a drip.

With all packings compress slowly allowing the packing to completely close any voids and conform to the shaft. It needs to flow slowly to do that.

I also cover the stuffing box. I use an old fender hacked to do that but other materials will work also. ALL stuffing boxes weep some water. Thats how even the so called dry seal ones lubricate themselves. There is more to it but they do allow a FINE spray. THe spray is so fine you can't see it except by holding a blue Scot paper towel next to it . A good one will take several minutes, maybe more, but it will dampen that towel. That spray will travel causing rusting of any engine or gearbox , or other steel parts, nearby.
The cover will stop that spray from spreading by collecting it and then the accumulated water will drop into the bilge. Just leave the bottom of the cover slightly open. The cover can be clamped lightly into place with a Tridon clamp or Tyraps. It is easily removed or moved at adjustment time.
__________________

C lectric is online now   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 11:03 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
×