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Old 06-12-2006, 19:30   #1
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Hate to say it!

After being a staunch supporter of the dripless systems out there I have to revert to the K.I.S.S theory. Checking the shaft alignment last weekend on Windthief I followed all of the suggestions from the, I must say great, company who I will not mention. I some how miss aligned the self aligning cutlass bearing in the system. This caused the system to overheat just enough to bond the aft stationary section to the shaft. Supposing we had left the slip for who knows where it would have evenually tore the bellows and caused a severe leak.
I was getting ready to order replacement parts when I thought about another company who has flax and dripless packing. Something I could fix anywhere and deal with in a pinch even if we were out of the special dripless packing stuff. So next week when I haul out it will be off with the super cool system and on with the old tried and true packing box.

P.S. if anyone has a dedicated system p.m. me and I will see if ours is the same( I.E. spare parts for you) 1 1/8 inch shaft 2 inch pedro tube.
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:12   #2
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Aloha Brad,
In my humble opinion you are making a good move.
Kind Regards, JohnL
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:22   #3
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Thank you, I just couldn't believe I was going to re order the parts to put it all back together. Sometimes we under think systems too much, or is it under think?
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Old 06-12-2006, 21:00   #4
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I purchased one of those systems for the trimaran. Recently, my neighbor's boat, a BCC, with one of those systems, broke the bellows, and started leaking. The shaft stuck to the seal, and spun the bellows. I managed to get the leak to a manageable level for him until he could haul out, but it really made me rethink my purchase. I have the darned thing, and it cost a mint, so I hate to not use it, but These two occurances, really have me concerned.
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Old 06-12-2006, 21:02   #5
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Old 06-12-2006, 21:11   #6
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A dripless packing. I forgot the brand, but I bought it at West Marine, so you know it was expensive.
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Old 06-12-2006, 21:39   #7
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Wow... good thread. I had thought about "upgrading" as well. I'm not such a great doer of the packing gland and nut. In fact, I have never been able to get one loose! Those wrenches they sell in West Marine for it don't seem to hold and my other techniques cut up the nut.

Whew... it's late. A little off topic. Anyway, good post. Guess I'll try and learn to do the adjustments rather than "upgrading".
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Old 06-12-2006, 21:41   #8
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It's the PSS.

http://www.shaftseal.com/

Over heating? That's probably why you cannot buy them without the water fitting anymore. Water needs to be on the seal area at all times to prevent heat................................_/)
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:33   #9
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I Just installed a new cutlass bearing, new 1.125" SS shaft, new prop, new Westerbeke diesel and trans, however, I left the old gland and nut instead of going Drippless. It is made of bronze and even though it is a tight fit I can get to the nut to tighten or add flax as needed. I really have zero experience with the drippless, it just appears to me that if something goes wrong I could be in trouble. So in my case, KISS and stay with tried and true.
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:38   #10
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I installed a drippless shaft seal on EZ Liv'n a year and a half age. I am quite please with the performance. I would however, consider other products as I have not fully become comfortable with not being able to make repairs easily in the event of a faillure.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:19   #11
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Dripless Seal

I have a Strong Dripless Shaft Seal on my P-36. Originally I had an Atomic 4 and had ir replaced with a Yanmar 3GM30F using a SS shaft both times. The first time I put on the seal, never leaked. When I had the engine replaced the marina put on the seal, it never leaked.

Would highly recommend this manufacturer of the dripless seal; will never go back to a dripless. I too always had trouble adjusting the nuts and it is in a tight spot.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:48   #12
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I have a dripless and it has been trouble free for the last 7 yrs... which replaced the original which lasted 14... I might go before the shaft seal!

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Old 07-12-2006, 09:43   #13
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Our system states that as long as you don't reach a hull speed of more than 10 to 12 knots you don't have to route water from your engine to the system. I think I mentioned before that the unit worked very well for almost ten years.
Thanks guys for the reaformation of our decision to go old school.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:39   #14
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What started this thread is a classic case of what an engineer would call "failure mode and effect analysis".

When you look at what can go wrong with a packing gland, you can damage the shaft by overtightening, you can have the packing harden and fail to fully seal... and that is about it. Nothing that will put the boat in immediate danger. Yes, a slow packing leak in an unattended boat can eventually overwhelm the bilge pump system, but it is still a slow process. and with a little monitoring shouldn't be an issue.

All of the dripless systems have one or more catastrophic failure modes which put the boat at risk from rapid flooding NOW. They might be rare, but when they happen...

There are all kinds of wonderful advantages of the dripless shaft seal systems. It can be hard to balance the cost benefit equation here, but for an offshore cruising boat that is our full time, and only home, the choice seemed obvious, and we went with the old fashioned solution.

Bill
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:10   #15
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Just for the record

If a PSS boot fails, one can wrap rags around the shaft and force them into the stern tube/shaft log using a screw driver or ?. And that works just like a regular wick packing. It may leak a bit, but will still get you down the road to a fix.

Either way, you'll have to haul out to take care of a serious problem. What I don't like about the wick seals is, unless one has pulled their shaft recently, they don't know how worn the shaft might be. Some people have never seen their shaft out in the whole time they've owned the boat. That's scary to me.

It all comes down to how well one can manage emergancies (seamanship) as to what will most likely happen to them at sea, no matter which system they choose...................................._/)
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