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  #1  
Old 06-20-2012
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How common is water in the keel

I just looked at my first sailboat, I haven't decided if I want to get it surveyed yet or not. I'm gonna wait a day to settle down before I decide to get it surveyed. The bilge had about an inch of disgusting brown water in it. the owner had told me it is common in sailboats and the water wasn't yet high enough to have the pump pump it out. Is this really a common problem and is this really not that much? The boat has been sitting in fresh water for about 1.5 years and the leak is comming from the prop shaft seal, which he said I could tighten. I saw the dripping by the way and it didn't look to bad. Also is that a lot of corrosion on the seal? Here's a picture to show everyone. Sorry if I shouldn't have posted it in this thread.
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How common is water in the keel-bilge.jpg   How common is water in the keel-prop-shaft-seal.jpg  
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Old 06-20-2012
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Re: How common is water in the keel

Yes it's normal.. and because the water is nasty is even better .. it means that water doesn't enter the boat often. and yes a packing should drip
what make/size boat would help those wanting to help you.

the bilge water in my boat gets real nasty because I have a dripless seal

the photos show a nice dry (ish) bilge and stuffing box and the green is good.. pink is bad.
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Re: How common is water in the keel

It wouldn't hurt to replace the packing in that box, use graphite, or teflon. It shouldn't leak when stopped, only when running. That is a periodic maintenence on that type of packing, every couple of years depending on use. Every few months or when it leaks, you need to adjust it.
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Re: How common is water in the keel

That's Great to know. Now I don't remember if I saw the leak when the engine was running or not. I don't think it was but I can't be 100% sure.
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Re: How common is water in the keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgdesigns View Post
I just looked at my first sailboat, I haven't decided if I want to get it surveyed yet or not. I'm gonna wait a day to settle down before I decide to get it surveyed. The bilge had about an inch of disgusting brown water in it. the owner had told me it is common in sailboats and the water wasn't yet high enough to have the pump pump it out. Is this really a common problem and is this really not that much? The boat has been sitting in fresh water for about 1.5 years and the leak is comming from the prop shaft seal, which he said I could tighten. I saw the dripping by the way and it didn't look to bad. Also is that a lot of corrosion on the seal? Here's a picture to show everyone. Sorry if I shouldn't have posted it in this thread.
Now and then I pour a bucket of clean, hot water down there which a) exercises the pump and b) stops the water getting too disgusting.
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Old 06-21-2012
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Re: How common is water in the keel

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Originally Posted by surgdesigns View Post
That's Great to know. Now I don't remember if I saw the leak when the engine was running or not. I don't think it was but I can't be 100% sure.
It should have leaked MORE when running. A properly adjusted stuffing box should be dry when the engine is stopped and drip every few seconds when running.
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Old 06-21-2012
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Re: How common is water in the keel

With a packed shaft gland like that, a little water dripping is necessary to lubricate and cool the shaft packing. As SJB notes, when properly adjusted, it will not drip when the shaft is stopped, but you will have a slow drip when the shaft is turning.

The amount of water you get in bilge will also depend on how the mast is stepped. On my previous boat the mast was deck stepped and my bilge was pretty dry. On my current boat, the mast is keel stepped, and after a heavy rain, there will be a bit of water in the bilge from all the penetrations in the mast for the internal halyards and other lines.
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