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Old 08-05-2020, 02:11   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: South France
Boat: Chassiron GC
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Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

I would like to provide this as a information resource for anyone that needs to replace a shaft seal and CAN NOT HAUL the boat.

I've googled a lot and watched every video on youtube, to get a sense if it could be done. Videos like this one: https://youtu.be/NkhRmkQRTIo really helped me a lot.

I took some photos from my boat (34ft ketch) here for reference:

https://imgur.com/gallery/wyi0et0

It actually was quite easy, but getting all stuff sorted out and have everything on hand is crucial :-) Also very important to have your shaft and shaft tube diameter measured VERY exactly! (Double check, that the new seal will fit)

Steps I took:

1.) Unmount the shaft coupling from the gear box.

2.) Loosen the shaft hose clamp of the old seal, so I could slide out the shaft further. (I did this until the prop touched my rudder) A slight amount of water to entered, but not even enough for the bilge pump to kick in.

3.) I was lucky that my shaft coupling was a split-style, the ones that simply clamp to the shaft (see photo) And so it was quite easy to remove :-) The locking screw (Allen key) was so rusted, that it broke when I first attempted to unscrew, but could pull her with a bolt pulling tool.

4.) I got all the new shaft seal parts in place (PSS dripless shaft seal) and also arranged all tools I might need for the process, to be easily and quick to reach.

5.) I loosened up all hose clamps, that secured the old seal to the hull and the shaft. Then pulled the seal off its hull mount (towards the engine) and off the shaft.

6.) The amount of water gushing in now was FRIGHTENING :-) Bilge pump kicked in immediately. I wrapped an old towel around the shaft and pushed it towards the hole, to minimize the water influx. (I have a very deep bilge, but it filled up about 1/2 in no time, the pump wasn't able to keep up)

7.) With one hand holding the towel in place, I took the rubber part of the PSS seal and put it in place on the shaft, same with the SS ring that is supposed to sit on the shaft and to push on the rubber part.

8.) I released the towel and quickly pushed the rubber part in place, then compressed it against the hull with the SS ring.

9.) Step by step I pulled the shaft inside the hull again, reattached the coupling to the gear box... Done! :-)

Hope this might help you guys if you have to replace your shaft seal and can't haul your boat.

Disclaimer: The provided information is no professional advise in any manner, and should not be attempted by anyone! All boat work and maintenance should be carried out by trained professionals, by following the manufacturers guidelines. I'm not responsible for any damage or loss, should someone perform this operation.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:21   #2
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

Thanks for posting. I've never had to do this but have thought about it. I did once remove a shaft and cut out and replace a cutless bearing. I also nearly sunk a boat once when the hose for the stuffing box popped off the shaft log. Decided on the following tactic if I ever needed to deal with anything like this again:

Tools: piece of inner tube, or anything rubbery in wide strips. Two or more hose clamps. Screwdriver.

Plan: from the outside. Put hose clamps loosely on the shaft. One needs to be big enough to go around the shaft log or cutless bearing or whatever pokes out of the boat. Wrap a long strip of rubbery stuff around the shaft and the bit that pokes out. Clamp it in place. I figure that should stop or at least drastically reduce the water ingress and provide plenty of time for working on the inside.

Anyone done anything like this?
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:17   #3
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

I tried putting a thick plastic bag (trash bag) around the propeller and fasten it with cabel ties to my external stern tube.
But I couldn't get it tight enough to stop water intake. (I have had no diving equipment, so I had to do only with mask and snorkel).

I think if you have scuba equipment, it could be possible to get it almost water tight.
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:35   #4
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

Wax from a toilet bowl wax ring works great to seal the shaft. Just squeeze some around the shaft in the stern tube. Even if you don't get it all out no problem, as the wax is soft enough to not cause an issue.
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Old 08-05-2020, 13:55   #5
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

When we replaced a seal while in water ,used thin food cling wrap wound around the shaft from outside. Where the shaft enters the hull/cutlass bearing. The surrounding water pressure forces/holds the food wrap in place with minimal water ingress.
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Old 08-05-2020, 15:42   #6
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Location: Key Biscayne, Florida
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

My PSS shaft log rubber bellows split suddenly when arriving at the dock luckily. I took plastic grocery bags and wrapped about 4-5 twisted and stuffed around the shaft from the outside taking several dives to do so. They stopped the leak and several days later my mechanic installed the new one from Defender. After installing the new log, I dove in and pulled the bags out and not losing any.
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Old 09-05-2020, 17:57   #7
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesauvage View Post
I would like to provide this as a information resource for anyone that needs to replace a shaft seal and CAN NOT HAUL the boat.

I've googled a lot and watched every video on youtube, to get a sense if it could be done. Videos like this one: https://youtu.be/NkhRmkQRTIo really helped me a lot.

I took some photos from my boat (34ft ketch) here for reference:

https://imgur.com/gallery/wyi0et0

It actually was quite easy, but getting all stuff sorted out and have everything on hand is crucial :-) Also very important to have your shaft and shaft tube diameter measured VERY exactly! (Double check, that the new seal will fit)

Steps I took:

1.) Unmount the shaft coupling from the gear box.

2.) Loosen the shaft hose clamp of the old seal, so I could slide out the shaft further. (I did this until the prop touched my rudder) A slight amount of water to entered, but not even enough for the bilge pump to kick in.

3.) I was lucky that my shaft coupling was a split-style, the ones that simply clamp to the shaft (see photo) And so it was quite easy to remove :-) The locking screw (Allen key) was so rusted, that it broke when I first attempted to unscrew, but could pull her with a bolt pulling tool.

4.) I got all the new shaft seal parts in place (PSS dripless shaft seal) and also arranged all tools I might need for the process, to be easily and quick to reach.

5.) I loosened up all hose clamps, that secured the old seal to the hull and the shaft. Then pulled the seal off its hull mount (towards the engine) and off the shaft.

6.) The amount of water gushing in now was FRIGHTENING :-) Bilge pump kicked in immediately. I wrapped an old towel around the shaft and pushed it towards the hole, to minimize the water influx. (I have a very deep bilge, but it filled up about 1/2 in no time, the pump wasn't able to keep up)

7.) With one hand holding the towel in place, I took the rubber part of the PSS seal and put it in place on the shaft, same with the SS ring that is supposed to sit on the shaft and to push on the rubber part.

8.) I released the towel and quickly pushed the rubber part in place, then compressed it against the hull with the SS ring.

9.) Step by step I pulled the shaft inside the hull again, reattached the coupling to the gear box... Done! :-)

Hope this might help you guys if you have to replace your shaft seal and can't haul your boat.

Disclaimer: The provided information is no professional advise in any manner, and should not be attempted by anyone! All boat work and maintenance should be carried out by trained professionals, by following the manufacturers guidelines. I'm not responsible for any damage or loss, should someone perform this operation.
Why the disclaimer?
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Old 09-05-2020, 18:55   #8
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

Good idea altogether but very little or no room to backup the shaft That is why the bag system might work better.Still it is all ideas, not done it proved it.
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Old 09-05-2020, 19:02   #9
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

My apologies to Boatyarddog I am new here and that previous post was intended for DefinitivelyMe idea's
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Old 09-05-2020, 19:13   #10
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Re: Shaft seal change in water (no haul)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jieff lerenard View Post
My apologies to Boatyarddog I am new here and that previous post was intended for DefinitivelyMe idea's
Yea I was thinking the shaft would already be backed out before the 'seal' went on. I like the cling wrap idea. Wax sounds nice too - wouldn't have to go swimming twice - but wouldn't it be easy to break the seal when working on the shaft?
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