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Old 04-06-2010, 21:47   #1
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Leak at Shaft

I am on the market to buy a boat. I had zeroed on this 1968 Newport 30'. As you can imaging I am very concerned with the age of the boat. My worries are worsened by the seller slipping up and telling me than he has to keep the bilge pump in auto because boat picks up about "three drops a minute"(according to him) through the "inboard-outboard"(propeller shaft bushing). He said this is normal, he also said that a boat is very solid and has about 3" think fiberglass hull.

Should I be concerned about this leak?
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Old 04-06-2010, 22:04   #2
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I am not sure what you mean by "inboard-outboard" prop shaft bushing. I would have thought a boat that old would have a common stuffing box through which the prop shaft passed. If this is the case, repacking the stuffing box is very easy to do and can be done with the boat in the water. You will need a wrench big enough to loosen the stuffing box nut. You will also need some packing material. This is like string but is made from waxy flax. You may also need a little corkscrew tool to pull out the old packing. The whole operation will take you 10 or 15 minutes.

As for buying a boat that old (1968) that is a matter of taste. You will end up pouring a lot of money into the project. When you are all done the boat will still be a 1968 Newport. So this has to be a work of love because there ain't no big pay day when you sell it.
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Old 04-06-2010, 22:14   #3
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FWIW:

If the owner is as wrong about the "three drops/min" as he is about the 3 inch thick glass hull, then there's likely to be a real need for the bilge pump!

I too am unsure of your description of the shaft, but agree with Sam... a stuffing box is easy to repack, or just tighten up for that matter.

And in case I was too obscure about the hull thickness, there is no way that a Newport 30 will have that thick a hull. Perhaps around an inch at the keel root and /or the stem, but likely less than 1/2 inch in most places. Either he was deliberately misinforming you or he is hopelessly ignorant about his boat,

Neither of these facts should scratch the boat off your list, but DO get a good survey by someone not associated with owner or brokerage.

Cheers

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Salamander Bay, NSW, Oz enjoying some really crappy wx
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Old 04-06-2010, 22:36   #4
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The whole operation will take you 10 or 15 minutes.
Oh yeah?Standing on your head trying to pack an old packing gland in a 1968 30 ft.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:32   #5
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Oh yeah?Standing on your head trying to pack an old packing gland in a 1968 30 ft.
and access in a Newport 30 is less than desirable.......


OP,
this is normal. the part will require some attention. But it is a normal maintainance item.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:26   #6
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Originally Posted by Sam Plan B View Post
I am not sure what you mean by "inboard-outboard" prop shaft bushing. I would have thought a boat that old would have a common stuffing box through which the prop shaft passed. If this is the case, repacking the stuffing box is very easy to do and can be done with the boat in the water. You will need a wrench big enough to loosen the stuffing box nut. You will also need some packing material. This is like string but is made from waxy flax. You may also need a little corkscrew tool to pull out the old packing. The whole operation will take you 10 or 15 minutes.

As for buying a boat that old (1968) that is a matter of taste. You will end up pouring a lot of money into the project. When you are all done the boat will still be a 1968 Newport. So this has to be a work of love because there ain't no big pay day when you sell it.
"Stuffing Box" - That was exactly what he said! I forgot the name. Sorry. I am fairly new in the world of inboard motor sailors. So are you saying there should be zero water? Just like this guys says?



I am not afraid of working on the boat, but I am concerned with buying a boat that has significant structural problems(such as leaking hull). Currently boat is out of the water, getting some work done to it (repaint). This is I cant witness the problem first hand.

I also have located a surveyors in my area and I might enlist their help.

If you have any other thoughts, please keep them coming!

Thank you guys
Very helpful!
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Old 05-06-2010, 13:20   #7
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Originally Posted by ukrsindicat View Post
"Stuffing Box" - That was exactly what he said! I forgot the name. Sorry. I am fairly new in the world of inboard motor sailors. So are you saying there should be zero water? Just like this guys says?



I am not afraid of working on the boat, but I am concerned with buying a boat that has significant structural problems(such as leaking hull). Currently boat is out of the water, getting some work done to it (repaint). This is I cant witness the problem first hand.

I also have located a surveyors in my area and I might enlist their help.

If you have any other thoughts, please keep them coming!

Thank you guys
Very helpful!
the "stuffing box" you pictured is a PSS system. It's designed to be dripless. But in reality it will spit some water from time to time.
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Old 05-06-2010, 19:01   #8
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A leaking shaft is not a sign of a structural problem, unless it is not the shaft/seal that leaks but rather the adjacent area of fbglass. But this would be very unusual - the fbglass can indeed be 3'' there.

Ask the owner to have seal replaced, check and all is fine then all is fine.

BTW I would replace the seal with a drip-less one. Why carry salt water in the boat if you can have it dry and sweet?

b.
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Old 14-06-2010, 17:10   #9
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I had some anxiety when I repacked the stuffing box on my Columbia 41. It had started to drip a bit and I was afraid that it would get worse when I was away from the boat. The moment of truth came when I loosened the packing box nut and started to pull the old packing material out. It did drip a bit. I would say a couple of table spoons of water by the time I had the new packing in place. By the way, there is a special way to lay in the packing material. Three individual pieces go around the prop shaft. Over lap the pieces so the joints are well covered. Slide the nut back and tighten by hand and then finish up with the wrench. Not too tight; just till the water stops. You can get the packing and the little corkscrew tool at West Marine.
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Old 14-06-2010, 17:47   #10
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In reality the traditional stuffing box shouldn't leak when the shaft is stationary, but they ususally do if they're hard to get to. But they do need to leak a little when the shaft is turning to cool the packing. There are some newer materials out there that claim to need no water to lube and cool them.........if you trust that sort of thing.
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Old 14-06-2010, 21:51   #11
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Since your boat is on the hard just now you should take the opportunity to check the through hulls. If, and this is unlikely, any of them are gate valves (like you find in a house shore side) replace them with marine type that close with a quarter turn. I think bronze is best but many people like new style nylon through-hulls. While you are at it, replace the hoses to the through-hulls especially the raw water feed to your engine and the exhaust too. Put two stainless hose clamps on all through-hulls below the water line.

Check the keel bolts if your boat has an external keel. My keel bolts were originally of mild steel and showed a lot of rust. I replaced all of them with stainless steel and new stainless nuts to match.

Lastly, check the rudder gudgeons if the rudder is hung off of the transom. replace the gudgeons and pintles if they appear to be worn or pitted.

The above is not glory work. No one but you will know it has been done. But if you do it you will be able to sleep much better at night.
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