Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-11-2017 Thread Starter
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Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug

My boat has a ST60 paddlewheel-type speed gauge that I've never used. The blanking plug was in place when I bought the boat last summer, and it stayed there until today. The paddlewheel needed cleaning up, and I also wanted to practice removal/replacement while on the hard to make sure nothing catastrophic happened when I first tried it.

So today, while on the hard, I cleaned up the paddlewheel and also removed the blanking plug and cleaned it up too (see attached pic). Upon inspection, it looks like there are two O-rings missing from the plug's shaft (though there are still two O-rings at the top of the plug). Based on the dirt that was present (before I cleaned it up) there is definitely water that entered the annulus around the plug's shaft, but no sign that any of it leaked past the other O-rings at the top.

The paddlewheel insert also has the two O-rings at the top, and one lower O-ring in the shaft near where the ones are missing from the plug.

I'm curious whether others have all 4 O-rings on their ST60 plugs, or have the two lower ones missing like on mine. I don't want to add them if they're not supposed to be there. In fact, it looks like they could cause more harm than good. If you read the link below, you'll see that water can get between the O-rings and freeze, causing the through-hull casing to crack:

https://forums.sailboatowners.com//i...series.140420/

So maybe Raymarine/Airmar opted to remove the lower O-rings from the plug's design, which would allow water to drain from the annulus upon haulout, preventing ice damage if someone were to forget to remove the plug while on the hard.

Just curious to hear all of your experiences with this, and whether you think I should get some additional O-rings for the plug.
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Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-11-2017
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Re: Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
My boat has a ST60 paddlewheel-type speed gauge that I've never used. The blanking plug was in place when I bought the boat last summer, and it stayed there until today. The paddlewheel needed cleaning up, and I also wanted to practice removal/replacement while on the hard to make sure nothing catastrophic happened when I first tried it.

So today, while on the hard, I cleaned up the paddlewheel and also removed the blanking plug and cleaned it up too (see attached pic). Upon inspection, it looks like there are two O-rings missing from the plug's shaft (though there are still two O-rings at the top of the plug). Based on the dirt that was present (before I cleaned it up) there is definitely water that entered the annulus around the plug's shaft, but no sign that any of it leaked past the other O-rings at the top.

The paddlewheel insert also has the two O-rings at the top, and one lower O-ring in the shaft near where the ones are missing from the plug.

I'm curious whether others have all 4 O-rings on their ST60 plugs, or have the two lower ones missing like on mine. I don't want to add them if they're not supposed to be there. In fact, it looks like they could cause more harm than good. If you read the link below, you'll see that water can get between the O-rings and freeze, causing the through-hull casing to crack:

https://forums.sailboatowners.com//i...series.140420/

So maybe Raymarine/Airmar opted to remove the lower O-rings from the plug's design, which would allow water to drain from the annulus upon haulout, preventing ice damage if someone were to forget to remove the plug while on the hard.

Just curious to hear all of your experiences with this, and whether you think I should get some additional O-rings for the plug.
Thanks for the link.

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Re: Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug

Hey,

Mine has just the upper rings like in your pic.

The plug gets installed in the late fall when the boat gets wet stored and the speed transducer installed in the spring when the boat gets recommissioned.

Barry

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Re: Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Mine has just the upper rings like in your pic.

The plug gets installed in the late fall when the boat gets wet stored and the speed transducer installed in the spring when the boat gets recommissioned.

Barry
I don't have the bottom rings on mine either. We leave the plug in all the time and pull it and replace with the paddlewheeel whenever we feel we want to use it. Not much water gets in.


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post #5 of 6 Old 02-13-2017
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Re: Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug

I had the same thought when I looked at mine a couple of years ago, so I "fixed" it by adding another O ring. Big mistake. That ring jammed in the little trap door in the thru hull that limits water inflow, so that I could not get it out no matter how I tried. A brute force yank finally did it, but it broke the the little door. I fixed the door, and now leave well enough alone :-)

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-14-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Missing O-rings on ST60 paddlewheel blanking plug

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Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
I had the same thought when I looked at mine a couple of years ago, so I "fixed" it by adding another O ring. Big mistake. That ring jammed in the little trap door in the thru hull that limits water inflow, so that I could not get it out no matter how I tried. A brute force yank finally did it, but it broke the the little door. I fixed the door, and now leave well enough alone :-)
Interesting, and that's something that I had worried about also.

But here's the odd part - the paddlewheel insert does have an O-ring down near the same location. (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that one.) So why doesn't it jam the trap door in the same way? Just some food for thought. I'm not planning to add an O-ring to my blank, but wondering if I should remove the O-ring from the transducer. Since I've got the paddlewheel inserted right now, maybe I'll try to remove it and see if I have the same problem you did. I was careful to lube it first - could that make a difference?

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
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