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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this at the end of the other post about another members shaft log leak but I realized I might be hi-jacking his thread so figured I would just start a new one.

Boat just went in a few weeks ago and just this past weekend as I was playing around with the stuffing box I noticed a small leak coming from the platform the muffler is screwed onto. It only leaks when the engine is in gear and at cruising RPM and it sprays a very small amount of water from a small pin sized hole. The muffler seems to sit on a raised platform of fiberglass ontop the solid fiberglass of the hull so that the screws don't screw into the hole. It is inbetween these two layers that I notice the leak. At first I thought it might be the muffler but I took it out and it is dry. Also it does not leak at all unless this boat is cranking under power so I think it could be the shaft log leaking.

Also as you can see from the 2nd pic, the boat does not have an external shaft strut - the shaft just comes right out of them hull.

Is this something that is a major problem? Should the boat be hauled or is this something that can wait till end of season? Is this type of thing normal?

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Also what is surrounding the shaft log? Meaning in the part of the boat you can't see from the prop to where it enters the cabin near the stuffing box? Is it hollow? is it fiberglass? I'm trying to figure out that if water is getting outside the shaft log, what it might be damaging

Thanks
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It seamed to be clear but it is such a small amount that I am not sure. Also I took off the muffler which was screwed in with four 1 inch long screws and the whole area seemed to be solid and no water was seen in or around the screw holes. The only reason I am thinking it is the shaft log is because where else would the water be coming from? Also it only happens when the boat is in gear at cruising rpms/speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also what do you think is in that raised platform that the muffler is screwed onto and the shaft log enters? Do you think it is hollow? Would it make sense to drill a tiny hole into the front facing triangle to see if water really is getting in there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its def not the muffler or the stuffing box - I am sure of that. Thats why this is confusing me so much because I cannot see what is going on inside of that fiberglass triangle that the muffler is sitting on and the shaft log goes in to.

What is usually surrounding the shaft log? Is it solid fiberglass or is it a hollow area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If it is a crack in the fiberglass, it will need a proper repair. That meens hauling the boat, grinding out the bad spot, and then laying in multiple layers of glass to restore the hull thickness and strength. Just drilling holes and injecting epoxy is NOT the way to fix something like this below the waterline.
I agree - I am just looking to properly diagnose what is wrong before I do haul the boat and spend weeks on the hard making a repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions so far. I actually took the muffler off and disconnected all the hoses and filled the muffler with water over the galley sink to see if it leaked anywhere, epecially from the bottom but it didn't leak at all. Also the hoses all connect from the top of the muffler so if they were leaking I would be able to see it. When I re-installed the muffler I dried and cleaned the whole unit as well as the area where it screws into.

When I ran the boat again the spray came back from the same spot but the muffler and hoses were totally dry so I'm pretty sure I can rule out the muffler. I just can't think of anything else it could be though? I think I am going to try drilling a very small hole into this area just to the right or left of where the shaft log is and see if water starts coming out or to see what is behind there. I know it is not the exterior hull or bottom of the boat as that is much lower. Other than this I can't think of anything else to try?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, so here is my GUESS. I think that your cutlass bearing housing, is leaking around it's perimeter, where it exits the hull. If it were mine, and after reviewing the other suggestions, and ideas, and it still seemed plausible, I would haul the boat, pull the shaft (into the boat), make an airtight plug and insert it into the stuffing box inside. I would get some butyl tape, and tape an area off completely surrounding the cutlass bearing area 2-3' cover with poly so you have an airtight bag, and insert a vacuum source. check and halt any air leaks. Now look for water being pulled OUT of the hull. My 2 cents thinks its going to be leaking on the outer perimeter of the cutlass bearing. For a good vacuum source, go to your local refrigerator repairman, and ask him for a refrigerator compressor. These will draw a nice vacuum to about -25psi. Do not think you can use your own, by cutting it out of your old fridge, Let a professional empty and dispose of the refrigerant. Good luck.
Say you are right and this is the problem, how severe is it? I just had the boat hauled last month and put back in before the spring rush, bottom cleaned and painted, also besides all the regular maintenance, I got hit with rigging failure and am spending mucho dinero replacing all of that. To be 100% honest I do not have any money left as I just spent over $10k last month on repairs to the boat. To spend another $1500 to $2000 to haul the boat, plus not to mention just about every single hauler is slammed busy putting boats in and does not have room until June to take boats out, is not something I am anxious to do.

I am not the type of person to let problems go so this is absolutely killing me and I know boats cost money so I am not trying to cheap out by saying I am too cheap or lazy to have it hauled. I am just trying to think of any other way to find out 100% what the problem is before I haul it or take action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also if it is the permimeter of the cutlass bearing leaking, is there anyway to apply some 5200 or other water proof sealant while the boat is in the water to test that theory?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
John - Yes I can say by just the picture of your boat in your signature it looks exactly like mine. I am thinking along the same lines as you right now by trying to seal the leak in the boat and then once the water warms up a bit diving under and applying something on the underside. I am curious and tempted to try drilling a small hole into that platform that the muffler is screwed onto just to see what happens - if it is solid or hollow and if water comes out. What do you think? Dumb idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
That would yield some valuable information. I'm guessing it would yield some increase in your heart rate while the hole is being drilled though. You'll need a plan to stop the leak if you strike a gusher.
Yes I will be prepared to stop the leak but am only planning on drilling a very very tiny hole so even if water does come out I can stop it with my pinky. More so it will tell me the seriousness of the problem and if I do need a haul now or can wait till end of season
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
True - I think I will do both - take a look at other boats and then also try a small pin hole to see. I figured worst case water comes out but since the hole I drilled is so tiny I can easily patch it up then haul the boat. Best case no water comes out and I am able to investigate further with a possible larger hole. If it is a leak in the shaft log I would hope that area under the platform is hollow and so long as there is no water in there I can cut out a section of that platform, locate the leak in the shaft log, and seal everything up. But first I am going to start with the tiny hole. Wish me luck :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Hey Barry - Congrats on getting the boat in. I'm sure your excited and we def have to have a beer in person one of these days!

Don't know when I'm going to get down to the boat next since the weather is supposed to suck for the next few days but myself and the rigger are going to attempt to finish up with my rigging tomorrow. If I do go down there I figured I would mess around with it a little more but at this point I'm not too worried about it.

Anyway I'm sure I'll see you down there soon

Take care,
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
****UPDATE*****

So today I was down at the boat and really took a look at this little problem. It turns out my shaft log and that whole area is fine and there is NO LEAK!:) Turns out the glassed in piece of plywood that the water lift muffler sits on, is not even connected to the solid fiber glass of the boat below and around it. It is just glassed in on the sides and over the top but I can stick a piece of a sail batten all the way through the slow between the fiberglass and the plywood where I original thought it was leaking. The forward and rear edges of the plywood are exposed and the whole piece of wood over time has become water logged between the shaft drip spray, the rudder log and just general wetness in this area. The "spray" leak I saw when the boat was in gear was just the vibration rattling water out of it.

Well as I said, I pried it up with the piece of sail batten and let the whole area get some air under there. Problem solved! No leak what so ever as right under that plywood is solid fiberglass. Also today my rigging got finished and the furler installed and genny bent on! Boat is now 100% ready to go so today was a good day.:D
 
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