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ctalmage 07-04-2014 02:15 PM

E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
After repowering our E32 and running the boat under power for 6hrs, we discovered a minor leak near the prop shaft which we thought was the stuffing box or rubber tube on the stuffing box. After tightening all the rubber tube clamps and tightening the stuffing box seal, leak was still there. Ran the boat under power for another 1.5 hrs, leak was worse, a lot worse. Upon careful inspection, boat still in the water, I found the leak was coming in around the nut that tightens/seals the stern tube. Hauled the boat out, now time to pull the stern tube and fix the leak. Has anyone tackled this type of repair -- any helpful hints would be appreciated. Can this be fixed without pulling the shaft out of the boat?
Thanks, Cal
s/v Agave Illusion

Jaramaz 07-05-2014 09:00 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
Why is it leaking? Caused by ...?

Not just curious, depending on reason then it may more or less important to dig deep.

If it is "Just a leak" and your only ambition is to tighten, then it may be possible to to without removing the shaft. If you want more, and really be sure to make a good job, then I recommend to remove everything that just might be in your way.

Done similar job, had to remove shaft otherwize I wouldn't have sufficient access. Job in itself is rather strightforward. Important to see to that no water stays "inside".


ctalmage 07-11-2014 08:00 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
J - Thanks for the input. I'm not sure what caused the leak. The boat was on the hard for two years before we bought it and then we repowered. We never had it in the water before the purchase, may have had the leak all along. Anyway we are going to pull it all apart, clean and check for possible causes other than the old sealant just gave up, reseal and reassemble.

sailcarole 04-01-2015 07:46 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
My 1986 Ericson 32 sailed in 2-3' seas on Sunday, docked with dry bilges at 1500. Tuesday 0900 found cabin 6" underwater. Bilge pumps running, but inundated. 45 minutes of 3 pumps running emptied the water and a search located the source of the flowing water: the stern tube for the prop shaft was cracked. Boat was hauled, rudder dropped in order to pull shaft. The interior of the boat will have to be sawed open to actually see the tube which is loose and turning below the visible platform for muffler, hot water heater,etc. Has anyone an easier less costly way to change out that tube or fix the leak? Has any other Ericson owner experienced this unviewable, uninspectable catastrophic phenomenon? (Assume some ocean trash wrapped on prop/shaft while motoring created original stressor. But no symptoms--vibration or unbalanced motoring issues--followed.)

ctalmage 04-05-2015 12:16 PM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
Hi Sailcarole - on our Endeavour 32 the shaft through hull, or shaft log as I am told is the correct term, is accessible but difficult to get to behind the motor. Yesterday due to a visible drip coming out of the boat below the shaft while dry docked caused us to pull apart the assembly. We found the nut that tightens the shaft log inside the boat was both corroded and cracked not allowing us to tighten it sufficiently to make a proper seal. We were able to cut the nut off with a dremel but damaged the shaft log tube threads so we are looking to replace the whole assembly....anyone know of a source? In any event once the nut was off the tube slid outward toward the prop. We will pull the prop shaft and remove and replace the shaft log assembly. Is there anyway for you to get to the nut and spin it off or is it totally inaccessible. If inaccessible, things will have to come apart until you can get to that nut to remove it and slide the shaft log out.

sailcarole 04-07-2015 08:20 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
My Ericson 32 (1986 hull 671) is now awaiting the hunt for the strut nuts and for access to the shaft log. I will attempt to post a picture here of the only 2 inches viewable before cutting into the interior section of the boat below the muffler and aft to the exit point (probably 14-18 inches). I know of no nut or threads. The tube is dark--like fiberglass and nylon/rubber/? and is apparently fiberglassed into the hull. Anyone have any ideas on the proper re-assembly?

My guess for reconstruction is: after the strut which also must be replaced and the shaft slid into both strut and coupling to transmission and engine aligned simultaneously, then the shaft log can be attached permanently. The labor is extraterrestrial. ($$$(#@!) The yard will have the shaft log built, as well as a new strut fabricated.

Any other Ericson owners faced this? Is it time to walk away from a 30-year-old boat???

As for the Endeavor with a screw-in log. If the placement of that nut is at all apparent after you sawed it out, replacing it precisely would save the above process. I'm no boat builder and welcome any ideas to cut back the labor . My yard is telling me $4-6k just for the shaft log.

I am holding my breath awaiting my insurance adjustor's decision. I am the sole owner of this boat and can't imagine life without.....but the engine has some blowby and is the original, too. I read the thread on hard starting engines and replaced the starter motor the day before my boat sank. The engine started instantly and performed in perfect running order. Was intending to cruise to the Keys this week.

Sorry, I can't figure out how to post a picture here.

sailcarole 04-07-2015 08:23 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
Can anybody explain how to post a picture from my camera here? I just downloaded to computer, but a URL???????

ctalmage 04-10-2015 06:43 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
Hi Sailcarole - sorry, can't help with posting pics. I was able to find a replacement bronze shaft log, this one is made by Buck Algonquin. I am ordering through my local boat yard ($115.), it's almost an exact match to the current one. Hopefully being able to seal and tighten the new one properly will solve the problem. In talking to the master boat builder at the yard (40+ years experience) he advised there are two ways to go, my route with the bronze machined part or fitting in a fiberglass schedule 80 tube (must be sch 80 thick walled) and fiberglassing that in place. Good alignment with the shaft is essential to make sure the shaft seal runs true to prevent vibration and shaft wear. He said to loosely install the fiberglass tube, reinsert & connect the shaft to the motor, check alignment and use spacers between the fiberglass tube and shaft to maintain alignment while fiberglassing. He says that's the way most newer boats are constructed. I figured staying with the OEM route was my path of least resistance so that's what I'm trying. Hope this is helpful.

sailcarole 04-18-2015 05:54 AM

Re: E32 Leak around stern tube for prop shaft
That description of replacing the shaft log is what I can only hope my boatyard performs. My boat has been there 3 weeks, but the build of a new strut took 3 days and the yard has no known schedule for me. I am concerned that the fiberglass tube the yard bought for replacing the shaft log does not have standard 1/4" walls. They are speaking about building up one end with fiberglass in order to attach the stuffing box hose. (?)

Anyone know the exact dimensions of the original Ericson 32 shaft log? I assume with a 1" shaft, 1/4" clearance and 1/4" walls, the outer diameter should be 2".

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