Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

I've just bought a PSS dripless also. Not tested it yet but the rubber is quite thick and feels sturdy. I believe that with regular inspections and changing as eherlihy said it should be fine. I plan to reinforce the stainless steel ring that keeps the compression on with perhaps a spare anode to prevent any possible slip.
Despite that I must admit the fact that the sea would come rushing in with a failure and little could probably be done to stem it is somewhat disconcerting.
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post #12 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

Installed my PSS in 1998. Changed the bellows this spring (2012) as a matter of maintenance during haulout. Saved the old one for a spare because it appeared very serviceable. Never had a blow-out. Follow the directions for installation. Don't deviate for any reason.
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post #13 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Are there any statistics supporting the assertion that a traditional stuffing box is safer than a dripless shaft seal (DSS)?

I would think the insurance companies would consider a DSS an additional risk factor and increase the premium if this were true, especially if its failure results in a total loss.

I have read and heard merely anecdotal evidence of DSSs failing, including an article in Boat/US magazine. A DSS is a moving part, which needs periodic inspection and replacement in due time (10 years?).

I am not surprised that a production builder would use a less expensive traditional part based on an unsubstantiated belief among buyers.
I don't think the insurance companies really put that much thought into there premiums. Size, experience and some fictitious chart and out comes the rate. Also they likely have that factored into the original rate for boats that come with them from the factory. I doubt there are that many adding them to make much of a difference statistically and that is how they are supposed to set rates.

Your surprised a production builder would use a less expensive part? Seems to be there modus operandi as long as they can say it is for the benefit of the customer. Also the warranty work is much cheaper as well. I think you are giving the corporations way to much credit, both boat builder and insurance. While customer satisfaction is important, profits rule all decisions.

As far as traditional vs drip-less goes, it really makes a lot of sense. Advance warning, gradual failure and much cheaper repair seems to win out. While I think some of the claims that drip-less will sink your boat are a bit exaggerated. For me looking at used boats it is one less thing to worry about, How long has it been on, and has it been maintained? Don't worry about it just replace the packing is a lot easier. But if the boat had a drip-less I would not run out and change it to a packing, just keep an eye on it and maintain it on a better than recommended schedule and you will be fine. I don't think there is that much of an advantage to swing one way or the other.
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post #14 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

My current boat has a drip-less. It was on when I purchased it, otherwise I would keep to the old stuffing box technology.

I'm pretty far out on my own mooring so I rely on neighbors in the mooring field to keep an eye on things.

If/when the time comes, I'll probably go back to a traditional stuffing box with the high tech stuffing material.

My mast is keel stepped so my bilge is rarely completely dry so what's the point in pretending
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post #15 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

My mast is keel stepped too, and the bilge is completely dry with the PSS Shaft Seal.
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post #16 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

Who cares if you have a dry bilge. Any time you do some serious ocean sailing your bilge will get water in it. So what, boats are made to get wet inside and out. If your boat cannot handle a little water, somthing is wrong.
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post #17 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

A good link from someone who should know:
Dripless Shaft Seals
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post #18 of 62 Old 08-21-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

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Who cares if you have a dry bilge. Any time you do some serious ocean sailing your bilge will get water in it. So what, boats are made to get wet inside and out. If your boat cannot handle a little water, somthing is wrong.
You may not care, but I, and several others, do. I do not want stagnant water to collect in the bilge. For more on why see this thread. It can also lead to that "boaty smell."

If you don't mind water in your bilge, that's your business...


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post #19 of 62 Old 08-22-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

Not all dripless shaft seals use bellows like PSS. Take a look for instance at the Lasdrop Gen II dripless shaft seal. There is no bellows to tear or give way.

Nautical Specialties manufacturer of Lasdrop Shaft-Seals
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post #20 of 62 Old 08-22-2012
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Re: Dripless Shaft Seal versus Stuffing Box

Interesting article Casey. He makes some good observations about what can go wrong and that maintenance is required. Bottom line: the author has a dripless shaft seal on his boat.
I put a shaft zinc on forward of the stainless ring on the seal instead of a hose clamp.

John
SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

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