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Old 03-07-2015, 12:38   #1
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Plug shaft log on sailboat?

Hello,
I was planning an engine replacement, bought a new diesel engine, had it shipped to the marina, then ran out of money. Meanwhile, the marina admittedly "jumped the gun" and went ahead and took the old Atomic 4 out. Now, the boat is on the hard and not even seaworthy. Evidently, they had to cut the propeller shaft to get the old engine out. Basically, there is a hole in the back of my boat. I'm not going to have the money for the installation of the new diesel this season. But I would like to sail this summer, perhaps using an outboard. What are my options? Is it possible to plug the shaft log on a sailboat? How? Are there fittings for this? Is it crazy to think about glassing over the hole temporarily?
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Nesanel
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:49   #2
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

I would punch out the cutlass bearing so you have a clean hole. Fill it with something thats easy to remove, like a cork
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Old 03-07-2015, 13:03   #3
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

If they had to cut the prop shaft to get the engine out, there ought to be a short hunk of shaft left to plug the stuffing box.
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Old 03-07-2015, 13:10   #4
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

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If they had to cut the prop shaft to get the engine out, there ought to be a short hunk of shaft left to plug the stuffing box.
Assuming that's the case, how do I keep the hunk of shaft in there?
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Old 03-07-2015, 13:28   #5
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

Hose clamps.
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Old 03-07-2015, 13:35   #6
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

Get a barb fitting the size of the hose where the shaft log is. Put a hose cap on the barb fitting and clamp the fitting in place of the shaft log/stuffing box. Or a barbed gate valve etc. Or anything solid and water proof the size of the shaft log hose.
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Old 03-07-2015, 13:50   #7
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

Great! I'm starting to see various ways how I can do this (...though I do think I'll continue to use cork only to plug wine bottles).
What a relief! Thank you, everybody.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:00   #8
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

get a dowel the size of the shaft and slide it into the packing tube...with packing and tighten the packing nut tight there won't be enough water pressure to push it through and it's not heavy enough to slide back down the shaft log. a five dollar fix that will last long enough till you have the money to Finnish the job.
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Old 04-07-2015, 14:57   #9
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

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Originally Posted by nesanel1a View Post
Great! I'm starting to see various ways how I can do this (...though I do think I'll continue to use cork only to plug wine bottles).
What a relief! Thank you, everybody.
Screw caps on wine bottles are better. The wine doesn't "cork".

All those suggestions are good. Another possibility is a specialised bolt shop might have a bolt presumably 1" / 1,1/4" diameter. Then you could retain it with a nut and locknut. Wouldn't matter if it's too long so as the heads clear the hull. You could coat it with "Rescue Steel" and it won't rust. (I think the product name is spelt differently) There is "The Bolt Shop" near me that sells such bolt sizes, which is not much use to you.
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Old 04-07-2015, 18:53   #10
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

I'd use threaded rod right through the stern tube with a tapered wooden plug at each end.

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Old 04-07-2015, 19:40   #11
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

I see so many post like this on CF. I suggest some of you folks get to know your neighbors in the marina. Someone is always working on their boat and a lot of these guys are pretty handy. Especially people working on their boats ''on the hard''. Strike up a conversation with them. Be friendly. If the guy looks like he knows what he is doing, ask him if he would mind taking a look at your boat. Offer him a beer, that works wonders. Most boaters are usually more than willing to lend a hand or give you an idea or two.
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Old 04-07-2015, 19:57   #12
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I'd use threaded rod right through the stern tube with a tapered wooden plug at each end.

Sent from my HTC_0PCV2 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

This sounds like the safest option.


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Old 04-07-2015, 20:28   #13
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

I had to pull the prop and shaft from my boat while in the water. Prop and shaft came out and I pushed a tapered wood plug into the hole while holding my breath. Boy, was I surprised when I got back aboard and heard all this sea water running in. Then, "duh!", the external fitting allows water in to the stuffing box to cool the shaft. No shaft, no sealing by the packing gland. Quickly screwed another tapered plug from the inside. As the plug absorbed the sea water it swelled up tight enough to stop any leaks and make it a little difficult to remove a coupl of days later. No greater teacher than experience. Too bad I'm getting too old to remember what the experiences taught me.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:14   #14
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Re: Plug shaft log on sailboat?

I'd put all those ideas past my insurance company because if you get it wrong your boat will go glug glug. If they approve an idea you should be right. If you don't tell your insurance company they won't cover you I imagine.
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