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Old 28-09-2015, 23:47   #31
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Re: Simple question. Bilge pump coming on

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Given that you are fairly new to this stuff, I would not touch the stuffing box. It is likely to be corroded and hard to turn. You also need two wrenches to loosen it - and know which way to turn. Mainsail has a good set of pictures that covers also changing the packing.

Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com


A dripping stuffing box does no damage. Even if the bilge pump broke, it would take a long time to bother the boat. The drip keeps cool aerated water around the shaft. A slightly too tight stuffing box can destroy the shaft from overheating or galvanic corrosion - a really expensive repair. Let a yard do it. They may have to replace the packing. Or better have a knowledgeable friend show you how. But there's really no hurry if this is the only source of water.

Instead, install a backup 2nd bilge pump higher than the old one on it's own float switch. This will protect you from other mysterious leaks if the existing bilge pump or switch fails - which they do with alarming frequency. While you're at it, install a loud alarm in the 2nd pump circuit that will get attention if it ever starts pumping.

I will call tomorrow and ask if they repacked it. My guess is they did, they are a pretty high end engine shop.

So for today's adventures in sailing, there was a Be utiful sunset. And then I ran aground. I see people at my marina run aground weekly. We have this weird channel and outside it it get shallow. I throw this out there because when I got back my bilge pump kicked on and made noise but nothing came out. I stuck a hose down there to add some fresh water, wondering if I got some mud in there from running aground, and after a while, maybe 15 minutes of making noise, water came out like normal.

Do you think running aground had anything to do with this? Anything I can do to prevent it becoming clogged in the future? There is actually no way to get to it. It is about 3 feet down, below the plastic tray the engine sits on. I can't even see it, just the hose that comes from it, which doesn't look old.

Funny you should mention it, because there is a square opening further back from the engine and this pit of doom, and this part slopes down to the pit. It has my lightning thing, the wood and metal block contraption that has the wires that come from seemingly everywhere and another bulge pump higher up. Nice!

I'm going to go ahead and leave the stuffing box alone. It doesn't look new, I can see two big nuts, but they are blue. Unless it gets worse I think I'm sitting this one out.

I did however look at the prop shaft while sailing in neutral and it wasn't spinning.
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Old 29-09-2015, 15:15   #32
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Re: Simple question. Bilge pump coming on

nob,

If you noticed this after your "soft" grounding, just make sure the stresses of that incident didn't open up something else that is an as yet unrealized source of water ingress. Use of small pieces of toilet paper at suspected locations can tell you pretty quickly, the damp shows up fast.

Ann
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Old 29-09-2015, 19:35   #33
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Re: Simple question. Bilge pump coming on

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nob,

If you noticed this after your "soft" grounding, just make sure the stresses of that incident didn't open up something else that is an as yet unrealized source of water ingress. Use of small pieces of toilet paper at suspected locations can tell you pretty quickly, the damp shows up fast.

Ann
Not much to open up that could have been affected by that soft of a grounding with a full encapsulated keel.
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Old 30-09-2015, 04:24   #34
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Re: Simple question. Bilge pump coming on

No, no, hanks, but there wasn't more water than normal in there. It wasn't like it was full of muddy water. In fact since I have Been thinking about my bilge and prop and I have been working with the way the folding prop stops the shaft spinning I think I had less water. I only thought maybe , well, I don't know what I thought. It just temporarily stopped working right after, I didn't know if it was a coincidence. The grounding was so soft I never felt anything. I just slowly couldn't tack, then my speed went down and I stopped. It was very weird. Not like I pictured my first running aground to be, like a thunk or something.

I don't have water in the bilge tonight.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:30   #35
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Re: Simple question. Bilge pump coming on

NorthOceanBeach
Here is a great link to information on the "Stuffing Box" Newhall's recommendations are smack on. I have a difficult to reach stuffing box that dripped constantly. Made a great friend in the slip next to mine who helped me through the process. We were guided by the ideas expressed by "MaineSail" from the Sailboat Owners forum.

His link to stuffing box is here: Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

You might find additional articles of interest on his website.

I read today that some cruising captains have two operating bilge pumps and one in spare when venturing onto the high seas. Keeping an eye on your bilge is one of those essential tasks for the skipper. One you can not delegate.

John
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