loosing the driple$$ seal and getting stuffing box - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 11-26-2007
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Another vote for dripless. We put the PYI on our last boat during a haulout, and all went well. It was great for the dry bilge and the fact that it was a Vdrive installation which made access a pain as the old stuffing box was underneath the engine itself.

Current boat has a standard stuffing box, may change it one day but it works for now - it's not at the top of my wish list yet. Standard aft gear so access is not such a big issue.

One warning about dripless seals - be wary of doing any engine work like a tranny change in the water... the only thing holding the seal in place is the shaft position in the boat - if the engine or gear is shifted/removed, then the seal may not hold. Tape it up tightly to the compression tube before you undo your coupling.

Also, a mechanic once told me that the dripless types don't work as well on small single cyl diesel engines, as the vibrations can "pop" the seal occasionally.

But we were happy with ours, and one day we'll do it again.
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2007
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anyone thinking of switching - don't do it! we have a pissr on our Cs 36T, and I would like to go back to stock. when we had our prop wrap it buggered the seal and let a whole lot of pacific in through the shaft log. i first noticed the bilge pumps running like made and thought wtf??? pulled off the companionway stairs and found water spraying everywhere. had to reset it twice. as if the problems presented by the prop wrap - like no engine - wasn't enough to deal with.

having nowt but a little rubber bellows the only difference between the surface and the bottom is one of the safe-harbour convenience things like microwave ovens and 36" tvs, but i don't think has any place on a serious boat.
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2007
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Yes, when the dripless variety fails, it tends to do so catastrophically. They are hardly "install and forget" items.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2007
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thanks all for the great input! On my boat the shaftlog is about 18" behind a stringer that supports the engine so in a way it has it's own bildge. It's pretty accessable too! I plan to put a bilge pump there too. I don't like having just one pump in the main bilge. Decision made! I'm getting a SB!
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2007
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I prefer the traditional stuffing box, especially on newer boats where access is usually pretty good. I bought a new boat three years ago and it came with a dripless. I don't trust them. My other boat has a regular stuffing box and hasn't failed me in twenty years. The water usually evaporates so I don't get anything in the bilge, if I do it's time to crank it down a turn.

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  #16  
Old 11-26-2007
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I am a fan of the stuffing box. Like the man said, when the dripless fail they tend to so dramatic manner.

BTW, I was told recently by a reputable boat yard that the manufacturers of the dripless shaft seals recommend the replacement of the bellows every 6-7 years. This would be about the same interval to repack the old style stuffing box. Repacking is a lot less trouble than decoupling the shaft to replace bellows.
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  #17  
Old 11-26-2007
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There is a lot of mis information out there pro vs. con regarding dripless shaft seals.

Myth #1: Traditional seals are safer because you're not dependent on a rubber bellows.

Reality: Both types of stuffing boxes whether it be the PSS dripless type or the traditional stuffing box are 100% dependent upon a rubber hose. I have seen a first hand demonstration of a PSS bellows twisted two full turns around then let go and it sprung back to it's original shape losing none of it's elasticity. When you do this with the hard, and rather in flexible, rubber hose of a traditional stuffing box the hose will rip at less than one full twist. The bottom line is that BOTH designs are 100% dependent upon a rubber hose and BOTH of these hoses can fail!

Myth #2: The traditional stuffing box is longer lasting.

Reality:
My PSS had over 2700 hours on it before I changed it and even then I found I did not need to. My prop shaft and PSS had been installed at the same time during a motor replacement. The boat then made three+ trips up and down the ditch from Maine to the Carib thus wearing out the shaft itself due to silty water wearing it at the cutlass bearing. When I replaced my prop shaft due to wear around the cutlass I ordered a new PSS but sent the old one in for testing so I could possibly keep it as a back up. It had NO wear on the stainless steel rotor and the carbon disc was like new. PSS also tested the bellows and confirmed that it too had plenty of life left in it but just because they are nice they threw in a free replacement bellows for only the cost of my shipping.

In 30+ years of boating I have replaced 4 or 5 hoses on traditional stuffing boxes and no less than three prop shafts that had been damaged by the standard stuffing box. I have yet to replace a prop shaft due to wear caused by a PSS or dripless type seal and I've now owned five boats with dripless seals. Yes, perhaps the bronze pieces will last a lifetime but so will the stainless steel rotor or the carbon rotor if my 2700 hours are any indication. The hoses however on BOTH types need periodic replacement.

Myth #3: Dripless seals sink boats:

Reality: More standard stuffing boxes are responsible for sinking boats, by a long shot, than dripless types. I got this data directly from a buddy who worked at Boat US Insurance Co.. He told me flat out that a large portion of sinking's and "total loss" claims are from leaking stuffing boxes and there was very little data on file for sinking's caused by dripless seals to compare against.

Myth#4: Dripless seals need to be burped.

While this was true of the older "slow speed" design ALL new PSS models are now vented and require NO burping. In fact for quite some time PSS would ship you the upgrade pieces to convert to a vented seal at no charge other than shipping.

Myth #5: Teflon, Drip-Less or GFO packing makes a traditional stuffing box dripless.

Reality:
Even with the Gore GFO, the best possible packing material available, it still must drip some in order to not RUIN the shaft. I have experimented at length with both GFO, Teflon and the brand Drip-Less Mouldable Packing which you can read about on my web site in my article on "Re-Packing a Traditional Stuffing Box" here: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/stuffing_box. You can also read my article on installing a PSS here: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/pss_shaft_seal
Trust me this teflon/GFO/Drip-Less Mouldable stuff should NOT be run dry no matter how hard the manufacturer try's to mislead you with marketing mis-speak & mumbo-jumbo like the difference between the phrasing "Dripless" and "Drip-Less" one is really dripless and the other just drips less..

Along with our very own, "test em hard & put em through the paces" US Coast Guard here are just a few of the builders who use the PSS right from the factory. Note the quality of some of these builder. The Coast Guard does not put anything on it's vessels that has NOT been fully tested and proven!!

ALDEN YACHTS
AZIMUT
BLACKWATCH (LITTLE HARBOR)
CATALINA YACHTS
CHEOY LEE SHIPYARDS
CORRECT CRAFT
DONZI YACHTS
DUFFY & DUFFY (ATLANTIC BOAT)
EGG HARBOR YACHT, LLC.
FOUNTAINE PAJOT
FREEDOM YACHTS
FERRETTI
GLACIER BAY CATAMARANS
HAKE YACHTS
HENRIQUES BOATWORKS
HINCKELY COMPANY
ISLAND GYPSY (HALVORSEN MARINE)
LEGACY
LITTLE HARBOR
MERIDIAN YACHTS
MAXUM YACHTS
MENORQUIN YACHTS

MORGAN YACHTS
NORDIC TUGS
NORTH END COMPOSITES (Sabre)
ALEXANDER MARINE
PACIFIC SEACRAFT
RAMPAGE SPORT FISHING YACHTS
RINKER BOAT COMPANY
RIVA (FERRETTI GROUP)
RIVIERA GROUP
RYBOVICH-SPENCER
SABRE CORP.
SEAVEE BOATS
SKI SUPREME
SWAN (NAUTORS)
SYMBOL YACHTS
TARTAN YACHTS
T.P.I. COMPOSITS
TIARA (S-2)
TIGE
U.S.C.G. 47’ M.L.B. (TEXTRON)
VALIANT
WELLCRAFT



Gotta run I can add more insight later...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-26-2007 at 11:03 PM.
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  #18  
Old 11-26-2007
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I think if we all step back and think... we can all agree the hose from shaftlog to seal or SB has the most potential to sink a boat. I'm surprised that there isn't a better way to prevent that.

Possibly owners of dripless seals don't have a back up plan if it were to fail? The "STRONgSEAL" seal on mine dripped bad in the spring, we fixed it by sliding the shaftlog hose forward about a 1/4". I know time is against me however and it will leak again. I don't know, but I think its been in my boat for over 10 yrs. I've only had the boat a lil over a yr now.
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  #19  
Old 11-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krogen38 View Post
BTW, I was told recently by a reputable boat yard that the manufacturers of the dripless shaft seals recommend the replacement of the bellows every 6-7 years. This would be about the same interval to repack the old style stuffing box. Repacking is a lot less trouble than decoupling the shaft to replace bellows.

On my Beneteau the dripless seal (Volvo) is to be replaced every five hundred hours. This is ridiculous but those are the instructions. Does the PSS say anything about replacement? On my CS36M I replace the packing when I can no longer turn it down. I do it in the water, just wrap some bicycle inner tube rubber around the shaft log and little if any water gets in the boat. By the way, the number one cause of boat sinkings is IO seals.


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Last edited by Vasco; 11-26-2007 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 11-26-2007
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http://www.pyiinc.com/images/pdf/pss...structions.pdf

According to the PSS web site the bellows should be replaced every six years or if inspection of the bellows warrants replacement sooner.
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