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I just bought a 1974 Bristol 27 Sailboat that has been on the hard for 4-5 years. It needs lots of work!

Btw, this is my first sailboat with an engine. (and first monohull for that matter) I raced catamarans for about 12 years on the gulf coast.

Anyway, I was able to get the engine started basically on the first try after I figured out the weird start panel. I was thinking it was crank start only and tried that for a while until I happened to push the switch key in while turning it to stop which is momentary and clockwise! (I had already changed the oil and diesel fuel by this point..............plus filters) The engine is a Westerbeke Bukh 10 and has a generator/starter attached to the flywheel by a fan belt. I thought at first that it was a generator only.

My question here is about the propeller shaft. After I got the engine started and made sure it was pumping water, I put it in gear which was probably not the best idea with a dried out stuffing box. I'm guessing that it was is back there. The shaft is rather tight and was before I ran it.

Will the shaft rotate more freely after I put the boat in the water or get the stuffing material wet some way? And will it leak or maybe absorb some water and be fine after a day or so? Btw, the boat is about 75 miles from me so I'm just making plans for my next trip over. (and) I would really hate to have to change out the stuffing box wraps. It's almost impossible to get to.

Thanks,

Tom
 

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You really do NOT want to spin the prop shaft on land as the rubber bearing (cutlass bearing) that supports the shaft is lubed by water and can be dammaged pretty fast

As far as the packing being a PITA now it will be a much bigger PITA if it leaks after launch :) and the spraying water can do a good bit of dammage
 

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Shouldn't he change the cutlass bearing and packing now that the boat is on the hard? Dollar to a doughnut the items are original.
 

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It is already at least 5 years old. Time to change. It is something that can easily sink your boat. So, change the packing, change the hose and change the hose clamps and have peace of mind. You will be glad you did it.
 
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