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Old 05-03-2015, 18:04   #1
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Weighted pot entanglement causes weeping stern tube

I've looked through Calder and done a fair bit of online research, but could use some more expert opinions. On the overnight hop from Fort Myers Beach to Key West, I got a pot rope tangled in my prop/shaft. I was sailing at a good clip (5+ knots), with the transmission in neutral per the Universal manual, and was a bit groggy so it took me probably 20 minutes to realise what was going on and to get the boat free; with full sail up there was certainly some force applied during that time, but I never started the engine. What happened is that the freewheeling prop created enough vortex to wrap the shaft once around the line, and then wedge the buoy in. The pot was one of those that are connected to others in series, so it stopped the boat pretty dead.

I checked the stern tube for leaks during my inspection and it was dry at rest and had an infrequent drip running under load, that was a week ago. Now it drips every couple seconds at anchor, not moving. It's a flexible stuffing box. The only thing I can think of that caused this was my entanglement with the trap yesterday, but I'm not sure if I should be looking for other damage. Should I just tighten the stuffing box nut and forget about it?

I did look at the shaft coupling at the transmission and it looks okay. The prop strut is attached at the centerline but v's out a fair bit, but judging from the angled engine stringers the Universal 11 HP rests on, the shaft was supposed to be mounted out of centerline in order to compensate for prop rotation. I ran the engine for three hours coming into Key West, and didn't hear or feel any significant vibrations.

Thanks for the help, and just for giggles, as I was checking my alternator belt tensioning, I spilled a case of pencils into the engine compartment opening which was promptly chewed up by the now-tightened belt. On the plus side, from four pencils, I now have eight.
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Old 06-03-2015, 17:09   #2
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Re: Weighted pot entanglement causes weeping stern tube

Took her out briefly this morning and put her in full forward and reverse. No undue vibrations so I think maybe things just got a little rocked up in the stuffing box. I'll tighten it and hope for the best!


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Old 06-03-2015, 17:14   #3
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Re: Weighted pot entanglement causes weeping stern tube

I'd hold on for awhile before tightening it, to see if the packing shifts back into place on it's own, or if you tighten it, keep an eye on it for a while. A little too much water hurts nothing, but if the leak stops completly, well you know,


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Old 06-03-2015, 17:55   #4
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Re: Weighted pot entanglement causes weeping stern tube

Good point. When I get out of the constrained channels for the next passage, I'll put the boat on auto and go down to look at it while the boat's under power. Thankfully I have great access


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