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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My stuffing box had been dripping quite a bit more than it should have since I got the boat. Since we moved to a new marina it had moved from a drip to a stream. Something around 10-15 gallons of water in an eight hour period were coming in.

I got the water back down to a drip a drip every 30 seconds or so by tightening it up but I am thinking it needs to be repacked. While in there I noticed that the black hose that is attaching the stuffing box to the hull is leaking a bit and tightening the hose clamps did not completely stop it. It is leaking on the hull side not the stuffing box side.

Looking at it it looks like the boat needs to be pulled out of the water to replace the hose since it is around the prop shaft(If I am wrong on that let me know). If the prop shaft is coming out I may as well replace the cutlass bearing since the surveyor said it was a bit loose. Is there anything else that should be replaced while I have the shaft and boat out of the water?

Are the dripless shaft sealers worth the effort to put in especially if I am going to all this effort anyway? I read someplace that if they do fail they fail in a more catastrophic manner than the traditional stuffing box does. It sounds somewhat attractive to have one less thing to futz with though and they are only a few hundred dollars so not really that expensive on the relative scale of boat things. So any other cons to the dripless shaft seals besides cost and potentialy disastrous things should it fail?
 

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you will need to pull the shaft to replace it. but as you said its a great time to do things like cutlass, shaft seal etc. one thing you might want to do while its out of the water shaft related is get the prop checked for balance, shaft for straightness, etc.

and paint the bottom while its out if it needs it.

then check all the seacocks and other thru hulls

then check the keel bols and fairing

then check the rudder and rudder bearing

then..... see where this is going
 

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Are the dripless shaft sealers worth the effort to put in especially if I am going to all this effort anyway? I read someplace that if they do fail they fail in a more catastrophic manner than the traditional stuffing box does...
huguley,

I have had a dripless seal for a trouble-free 8-years now. When you get a chance to closely inspect one you will see that the likelihood of catastrophic failure is no higher than the traditional type. The initial cost however may be offsetting.

I can recommend one based on my experience.

Wayne
 

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Wow! 10-15 gallons over 8 h?

That's way more than a drip every 30 seconds. Being conservative one drip = 1/10 ml, so 5 minutes to make drip in 1 ml. Approx 3700 ml/gal so your looking at 18,500 minutes for a gallon. 60 minutes in a h converts to over 300 h, which is just under two weeks.

Since your saying that you're getting 10-15 gallons over 8 h, that is a pretty serious leak if you ask me and I don't think the actually SB packing is the major contributor here at 30 seconds/drip. Even if it was 1 drip every 3 seconds, your talking a gallon around 30 h. To get 10-15 g/h you'd almost need a thin steady stream of water, from the SB, to achieve those volumes. Something else is leaking also. The SB bellows hose may contributing, but probably not to significant effect.

Has it rained lately in your area? Could some of the water be from the rain? Are any thru-hulls leaking? What about your water tanks (if you have).

If the 10 -15 g/8 h is after you adjusted your SB to 30 seconds/drip, then I think it is wise to pull her and see what is going on. If you're getting a gallon or so every 8 h, then its a more difficult call. If is just packed out SB material, then I'd wait until the end of the season. If is anything that is thru-hull related such a thru-hull, seacock, or the actual SB bellows tube, I'd pull her now and fix.

DrB
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 10-15 gallons was before I tightened it down. yes it was indeed a steady stream of water coming out of it not a drip. :) I should have taken a picture so I have a reference for what it should not look like. After tightening it is a drip every 30 seconds or so.

I think part of the reason I got such a change after moving is that their is a lot more current where we are now and we have current right up our stern so it can push in a bit more.

The double scary part is that about the same time the rate increased is the time my bilge pump switch went out so for a few days I had to manually turn on the pump to pump it out. Had I been gone for a few days I would have had some serious damage and gone for a week a sunk boat. I have a new switch in now and the leak down to a reasonable amount. Now I am only worried about having tightened the stuffing box too much and it won't be getting enough water in! :)
 

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PSS dripless seal works so well dust starts getting in the bilge where water once laid! The main bilge water gets nasty since there is almost never any water intrusion now.
 

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Like Denise and Wilson, I can highly recommend the PSS Shaft Seal. I installed one on our Sabre 28 and it was one of the first things that I installed on our Sabre 38. It's easy to install and extremely reliable. I installed a new shaft, cutlass bearing (hint: store in freezer prior to installing; lube with dish soap for install), and shaft seal in about 2 hours with no need for a second set of hands. Removal of the old fittings took about the same amount of time. Like any other fitting, the shaft seal needs to be monitored for wear, leaks, etc.

I hate anything dripping in my boat. Makes me nervous, but more diligent.
 
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