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Old 28-12-2019, 18:04   #16
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Bilge water test - salty or fresh? Sea water is more buoyant than fresh water. If you have a persistent slow accumulation of water in the bilge, try this instead of tasting it.
Get a float - say a cork. Put a screw in the centre of one end to weight it so it floats vertical & upright.
Fill a (disposable if possible) glass with bilge water. Float the cork in it & mark the waterline carefully on the cork.

Now fill the glass with fresh tap water & float the cork. if the waterline is the same, that tells you the bilge water is from an internal fresh water leak.

If the fresh water line is higher than the bilge water, then you know it is at least partly sea water in the bilge.

For completeness, you could also test it with sea water from overside.
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Old 28-12-2019, 20:25   #17
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Well, people HAVE been tasting their bilge water, for years! You don't drink it, just the tiniest drop will do and you can spit it out. As for dripless seals, the Volve one is pretty good, and very simple.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:38   #18
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Another vote for Teflon packing.

12 years full time cruising -, 2000 E.H. Finger tight, runs cool and no drips. AND it is simple and cheap.

IMHO mechanical seals are an unnecessary and expensive complication.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:09   #19
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

I wonder if most of the problems people have with dripless packing is that it seal too good and there is an air pocket at boat launch.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:59   #20
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

I adopted a Volvo shaft seal on my 40 mm shaft some 20 years ago, and according to instructions managed to change it every 5-6 yrs. The only case I saw some dripping was when I prolonged the maintenance to 7 years. Very easy to install and change, when discarded was still sturdy with no cracks and did not look prone to a catastrophic accident. My two cents.
https://www.svb-marine.it/it/volvo-p....html#fullSize
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:58   #21
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivevon View Post
Bilge water test - salty or fresh? Sea water is more buoyant than fresh water. If you have a persistent slow accumulation of water in the bilge, try this instead of tasting it.
Get a float - say a cork. Put a screw in the centre of one end to weight it so it floats vertical & upright.
Fill a (disposable if possible) glass with bilge water. Float the cork in it & mark the waterline carefully on the cork.

Now fill the glass with fresh tap water & float the cork. if the waterline is the same, that tells you the bilge water is from an internal fresh water leak.

If the fresh water line is higher than the bilge water, then you know it is at least partly sea water in the bilge.

For completeness, you could also test it with sea water from overside.
I thought this a brilliant idea and decided to get a cork and screw calibrated ready for when/if I ever have a leak and need to distinguish fresh for sea water in a hurry. Unless I am doing something incorrectly, the difference in bouyancy is not very much.

Since I am at home I made sea water by adding 10.5gm salt to 300ml of water. I then put a screw in a cork and floated in both salt and tap water. I found I needed two screws to get the construct to float vertically. The difference in water level on the cork is minimal maybe a mm

In the end I cut the cork into 1/4 lengthways to try increase the difference between levels as I though the slimmer the better. With the cork reduced to a 1/4 and a single screw, the difference increased to about 1.5mm difference. Not a huge difference, but easier to judge as very close to the top of the cork. Probably not so easy to see in a rocking boat when panicking.



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Old 12-01-2020, 10:17   #22
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

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Originally Posted by Tudorsailor View Post
I thought this a brilliant idea
Agreed, great idea, a simple fishing float with bands of colours will do this nicely.

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Old 12-01-2020, 10:59   #23
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Ah! Sorry - a small confession about my "floating a cork" idea.
I never actually did that.
What I actually used instead of a cork was a glass float taken from inside a battery testing hydrometer (like this one :
https://www.eurocarparts.com/p/top-t...yABEgL_f_D_BwE )
which I had on board at the time this happened ( I was using open FLA batteries at that time). That worked perfectly - being already the right weight & calibrated. You could very clearly see & note the difference between fresh & salt water.

When I posted the idea I thought (maybe mistakenly) that in these days of sealed batteries people were unlikely to have such an instrument on board - hence the cork idea.

A fishing float sounds like a good idea. Or you could by a hydrometer just for the calibrated float - they are cheap enough. Of course, then you would need to know where it was kept on board when it came time to use it - but thats another story.

Sorry again if I led people up the garden path...
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:58   #24
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivevon View Post
Ah! Sorry - a small confession about my "floating a cork" idea.
I never actually did that.
What I actually used instead of a cork was a glass float taken from inside a battery testing hydrometer (like this one :
https://www.eurocarparts.com/p/top-t...yABEgL_f_D_BwE )
which I had on board at the time this happened ( I was using open FLA batteries at that time). That worked perfectly - being already the right weight & calibrated. You could very clearly see & note the difference between fresh & salt water.

When I posted the idea I thought (maybe mistakenly) that in these days of sealed batteries people were unlikely to have such an instrument on board - hence the cork idea.

A fishing float sounds like a good idea. Or you could by a hydrometer just for the calibrated float - they are cheap enough. Of course, then you would need to know where it was kept on board when it came time to use it - but thats another story.

Sorry again if I led people up the garden path...
Why do you take the float out your battery tester? Can't you suck up the water into the tester and read the level?

Anyhow I will now buy a tester from eBay as its only £1.62 including postage (how is it so cheap?)

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Old 12-01-2020, 15:49   #25
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Why do you take the float out your battery tester? Can't you suck up the water into the tester and read the level?


UUUUH, yes....
You know how sometimes you just get fixated on doing something a certain way?
Anyway we now seem to have established that for very little money you can buy a device which will instantly tell you if your bilge water leak is fresh water or not... by measuring its specific gravity.

The problem with tasting bilge water is that you can never really be 100% absolutely sure that its not coming from the heads...
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Old 12-01-2020, 20:05   #26
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

Voltmeter would also work as salt water is more conducive and would read a lower resistance if the probes were a fixed distance
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Old 14-01-2020, 11:51   #27
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

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Originally Posted by AKA-None View Post
Voltmeter would also work as salt water is more conducive and would read a lower resistance if the probes were a fixed distance
Of course on board I have a tester for the water maker that gives the TDS - total dissolved solids in water. That will distinguish sea water from fresh.

Meanwhile I have test the hygrometer with home made sea water (10gm salt in 300ml water) There is a difference but not as big as I expected..

but different nevertheless

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Old 14-01-2020, 12:17   #28
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Re: Pan-Pan for a hurting boat!

If you continue to tighten it but it continues to leak after a short time, be aware that SS shafts often corrode inside the packing area. They do this mostly from the boat sitting unused. Oxygen deprived salt water sits in there and corrodes the shaft surface. That rough surface then tears up the packing. Don't ask how I know.
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