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Old 21-05-2015, 18:10   #1
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Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

This subject is mentioned in replies to other questions but have been unable to find a thread that directly asks the question, and have read every discussion in prop seals I think.
Background: have a Beneteau with a Volvo Seal. The stern tube is seperatley irrigated, other than the water that come past the cutless bearing and up the tube. There is a valved through hull with a hose connecting to a gland immediately aft of the Volvo Seal. My drama is the brass hose tail in the gland was brittle as all @#$% and broke off. It appears to have been epoxied in as there is a slight rise on top of stern tube where it is screwed directly into the fibreglass tube.
A pic of my temporary repair.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sxdn83l6sn...G0472.jpg?dl=0

Have been told that it might be possible to do away with the through hull, hose and gland altogether, provided the seal is "burped" after haul outs, and it seems probably after extreme use of the prop with little forward motion of the boat; prop sucking water out of tube???
The other proviso is that as long as the rotation of the shaft doesn't pump water out. Max speed under power would by 7kn. Haven't checked rotation direction of the 2040D Volvo, yet. Also I suppose it might be possible so much water forced up the tube in reverse it puts undue pressure on the seal but unlikely.

I think it has been mentioned in other threads that the gland could be used to vent the seal. But as it is below the seal, this would be ineffective I think.

So, bottom line is, has anyone run a Volvo Seal for an extended period without this type of cooling/lubrication via a separate seacock and hose to stern tube gland,with seal functioning as intended without damage?.

As an aside, my other issue is the hose tail debris that is almost certainly in the stern tube that might find its way to the seal, rip it and ... more drama.

Thanks in advance and especially to Pete7 who has already enlightened me somewhat.
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Old 22-05-2015, 19:13   #2
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Shouldn't be an issue with the sort of speeds you're talking about. Is it possible to drill & tap then fit a grease nipple? Our littgle boat has a very similar seal arrangement as the Volvo one and doesn't have a water lube line.
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Old 22-05-2015, 20:38   #3
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Thanks No Ties. Hadn't considered a grease nipple. Have since had a suggestion that the setup might be to lube a bearing, at top of tube. Need to che k out if there is one.
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Old 22-05-2015, 21:10   #4
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

My Volvo seal had no nipple, just had to burp it whenever the boat was launched.
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Old 22-05-2015, 22:10   #5
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Thanks Olaf. I think I might have been distracted by the irrigation, a I put it, of PSS [seals] and assumed this was a similar function. And this set up is not for the seal but for a bearing. Although, in hunting around on the net the first impression is there is no forward shaft bearing the in the vicinity either. Will see if I can go to the source, Beneteau, and ask them what they were thinking when including this. Cheers
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Old 23-05-2015, 04:42   #6
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

I'll be interested to hear what the answer is on this. One issue I've had is that it's pretty much impossible to winterize with antifreeze for in-water storage. The solution has been to put a light bulb near it - but this is not ideal.
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Old 23-05-2015, 08:51   #7
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Boat goes in the water, I just grab the seal and squeeze it some (just some) and the water comes out. And that's that.

On our boat there are cuts and pipes that go into the stern tube at the other end (just fore of the aft cutlas, on the outside of the boat). It seems they are there to feed more water into the tube. I say aft cutlas because a volvo seal has a cutlas inside it too.

Now what was the question again?

Mind this seal (as well as all other rubber boot glands, e.g. PSS `drip-less`) have life limited to some 8 years or so. At least this is what the manufacturers say in their booklets. Act according to your mileage.

If your older volvo seal drips, ease the clamp a bit and turn the seal round a bit. Re tighten the clamp. This may help stop any odd drip leaks.

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Old 23-05-2015, 18:37   #8
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Thanks barnakiel. Ok, so another beating in the Volvo seal, makes sense. The Seal itself has no lubrication mechanism, unlike PSS dripless seals so am inclined to agree that provided one burps after haul out and occasionally the water line to tube probably isn't necessary. As for wintering, can't offer anything on that subject. Start of winter here and think we are expecting 23C today.
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Old 23-05-2015, 18:51   #9
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

It's not the seal that's being lubed. It's the stern tube. Many Beneteaus were equipped with brass rather than bronze nipples and they corroded fast. I would epoxy another bronze nipple on and connect the nipple to hose that lubes it. With or without the nipple and lube you still need to burp the Volvo seal when launching after a haul out.
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Old 23-05-2015, 19:21   #10
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

There is also a grease you have to apply to the shaft where the seal contacts it, comes with the seal and we applied it ever time the boat was up.
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Old 24-05-2015, 06:26   #11
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Thanks once again. Vasco, not sure what you mean by it lubricating the tube. There should be nothing touching the tube except the cutlass bearing and the Volvo seal (including bearing).
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Old 24-05-2015, 06:59   #12
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Have a look at the radice seal. Might be an easier way to avoid Having to reglass in a bronze tube as it's basically a Volvo seal with the tube moulded in place.

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Old 24-05-2015, 07:25   #13
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

Yes.

There is a 'special' grease that comes with this seal. And we all know it is something plain, just re-packed by Volvo. I used vaseline when I lacked the 'special' grease.

The way I understand this grease is just to keep the rubber from drying out. It is not a grease to keep the seal tight or anything.

When the boat is on dry, one can squeeze small amount of this grease into the slot BUT I found it much easier to simply undo the clamp, slide the seal forward, grease the shaft generously then slide the seal back and give it a couple of turns. Then I slide it again forward, remove excess grease from the shaft, slide the seal back and fix it. Very very easy job, provided you have some kind of access to the seal and shaft (I have seen boats where this access was most difficult).

It will not hurt the seal if you apply some vaseline to the outside too. Just as you would do with a window seal.

Resultados de la Búsqueda de imágenes de Google de http://www.volvopentastore.com/mall/image/view/3/4/grease_5.jpg

The seal is very robust. It is rated at 10 years I think, and ours lasted well beyond. It still looked 100% sound when I replaced it with a new one 2 years ago. I keep it as a spare.

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Old 24-05-2015, 09:58   #14
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

The instruction sheet that comes with the Volvo shaft seal indicates that the seal "lips" should be lubricated with 1 cc of the silicone grease that is included with the seals at the earlier of every 200 hours or 12 months. The easiest way to accomplish this is by measuring out the correct amount of grease into a nylon syringe (available at West Marine), discharging that into the end of a flattened plastic drinking straw, squeezing the end of the seal together from either side of the seal to create a small up-lifted area between the seal and the shaft that the straw can be slipped into and than releasing the seal and squeezing the straw together, forcing the grease into the seal. The rotation of the shaft will spread the grease around the entire circumference of the seal. One is advised against using hydrocarbon based greases which are prone to softening the synthetic rubber seal. According to Beneteau, the seals should be replaced at roughly 5 year intervals (although some may last longer).

FWIW...
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Old 24-05-2015, 11:18   #15
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Re: Volvo seal - to irrigate or not?

I have had 2 Jeanneau boats with the Volvo seal. Firstboat it lasted 9 years and I only had a slight leak. The seal was installed just as it came out of the box. I was not very good at using the lube. Mypresent boat has a seal the is 6 years old and I am sure it has never been lubed. I just bought some lube from Volvo and plan on using it more often. The seals are a simple design and
d really work. THey are almost bullet proof. Go buy a new one about $130. Or just plug up the hole and throw the tube away.
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