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Old 31-05-2010, 17:17   #1
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Atomic 4 Stuffing Box

Hi all,

Proud owner of a new-to-me Islander 29. Spent the weekend tearing things apart, cleaning, and finally took a short test sail. When we got back, there was a new noise, a dripping noise. About a drop every 1-1.5 seconds.

I found the source, and it's the stuffing box. It's rather corroded, as you can see in the picture.

Obviously it's overdue for maintenance. My questions are:

1) Can I try to clean the stuffing box threads off and tighten/adjust it in place without making things worse? Can I do this in the water or am I pretty much hauling out asap?

2) What is the hose connecting behind the stuffing box? It ties into the raw water intake line.

3) This has inspired me to install an automagic bilge pump; in the photo, the corrugated hose in the foreground is from the installed diaphragm manual bilge pump, and it runs into the bilge below the stuffing box. I presume this is the lowest point in the bilge and where I should install the pump; would I tie it into the same outlet hose at some point? I can probably research this on my own, but wanted some ideas from the experts.

Thanks!
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Old 31-05-2010, 19:55   #2
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Hose is used to make sure that water is in stern tube.

Two good pipe wrenches should get nut loose.

Sometimes a couple of good whacks simutaneously on each side of the nut will crack it loose.

Separate hose for bilge pump.....Buy Calders Book. Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual
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Old 31-05-2010, 20:04   #3
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Hello Dissent,

The standard for an automatic bilge pump is independent piping from intake to thru hull fitting. An active bilge pump supported by an energy source certainly is something that you should have, especially with any possible other sources of hull leaks. It is not possible to assess conditions from photos and your description, If your boat is in the water and unattended for any period of time, you should definitely take some steps to eliminate the source of leaks, and provide for unattended elimination of bilge water.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:18   #4
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Quote:
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Hose is used to make sure that water is in stern tube.

Two good pipe wrenches should get nut loose.

Sometimes a couple of good whacks simutaneously on each side of the nut will crack it loose.
Haha, I know you're right, but I hate whacking on a 50 year old nut that's keeping the ocean out. Has to be done though! I'll look into Calder's book.

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Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere
If your boat is in the water and unattended for any period of time, you should definitely take some steps to eliminate the source of leaks, and provide for unattended elimination of bilge water.
Agree on both points!

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 01-06-2010, 15:29   #5
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You are not going to be pounding the beejesus out of it....jusat a few sharp raps from both sides simtaneously.

Try to back off the locking nut first
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:38   #6
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Maybe try dousing in PB Blaster or Kroil prior to whacking as well. Once loose you can try tightening. If that doesn't work or the nut heats up under power you can replace the packing (I really like the Teflon stuff) with the boat in the water by first diving and packing rags between the shaft and the stern tube. This will slow the leak when you remove the nut and repack. Make sure your bilge pumps are working first!

Mike
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:46   #7
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You shouldn't need to dive on the boat.........and I have done Tugboats with 12" shafts in the water.
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Old 04-06-2010, 15:11   #8
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Worked

Hi all,

Got the leak under control, took only a bit of a tap on the locking nut. Will have to keep an eye on it and make sure it's dripping appropriately under power, but looks like it'll be good for now. Thanks all for the advice!
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Old 04-06-2010, 20:15   #9
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I learned that trick from My Port Engineer

On a Tug I worked on, It was commisioned for the Navy Dec 8, 1941, there were a ton of bolts that hadn't been off in years, painted over a mazillion times. Som of these nuts were what held the Engine Room Overhead/Stack to the top of the engine room.

When I went to work in a Yacht Yard....the younger mechanics were in freakin awe when they would come to me with a frozen nut problem....
a couple of whacks and voila!!!!!!!

I loved the look on their faces.


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Hi all,

Got the leak under control, took only a bit of a tap on the locking nut. Will have to keep an eye on it and make sure it's dripping appropriately under power, but looks like it'll be good for now. Thanks all for the advice!
Well done my friend
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