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Dripless Shaft Seal leaks

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by jonelli, Sep 30, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. jonelli

    jonelli

    Joined Jun 2, 2014
    254 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina 30 mkII - 1987
    US Long Beach Shoreline Marina
    Wow. Lots of information and discussion here! A little bit overwhelming actually.

    So, back to my original posting for a second and then we can move on again. Based on what I saw down there at the shaft, I really doubt my seal rotor moved. I just have the feeling based on the shaft having some light corrosion (definitely not shiny smooth), the original install marking at almost an inch away, and the stuck set screws, that it probably didn't move. I bought the boat three years ago and it was supposedly serviced (including the PSS) 6 months prior.
    I had a completely dry dusty bilge until the beginning of this summer. Based on what I've learned, I feel it is more likely that air, salt, dirt, whatever, made the seal less effective while underway (it still stays dry at the dock).
    I just recently cleaned it up the seal a little and let water flow through it, so MAYBE it will be better now. I'll find out on Friday when I take her out 30 miles. I wish I could compress the bellow more but it just ain't gonna happen right now because of that stupid stuck screw.

    This winter, probably in February, I will need to haul for new paint. At that time I need to do whatever else I need to do for out of water service for the next 2-3 years.
    I'm not sure I want to start planing on replacing shafts, cutlass bearings, trans couplings, entire shaft seals and replumbing a water vent just because I have a stuck set screw and the seal got dirty or air in it.
    I don't think I would even be able to handle all of that myself. I would need expert help to do most of it.

    That said, I also want to make sure I do what is necessary for trouble free operation over the next few years.
    I have never hauled a boat before. This is new territory for me and my first time. I know the basics and have talked to all my acquaintances about their recommendations. I kinda feel like at this point, maybe with a month or two before hauling, that I need to get hep from an expert to go through my boat to tell me what I'll need to plan for before I even get close to doing it? The last thing I want to do is to haul it and then find out I need to go machine something or wait a week for something to be delivered.

    I'm in Long Beach, CA. Do you have any suggestions for me along the lines of my plan or am I going about this all wrong?

    I don't have a specific boat mechanic or know anybody actually that I can just call and get help. This forum is pretty much it for me right now. I do have the boat broker I bought it through who is a family friend I can call if that's what you guys think I should do.

    I'm all about DIY but even I have my limits and inexperiences.
     


  2. JamesG161

    JamesG161

    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    1,783 posts, 243 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    I have a list that I keep in my Captain's Log of items needed when I take out my boat next year.
    _____
    As you might have noticed, I am always concerned about the Safety of my Crew and boat.
    A few from my list might help your planning.

    1) Replace all Seacocks and sea water hoses as needed.
    2) Make all new "Through Hulls" for instruments. I have one I have been aching to install.
    3) If Cutlass bearing needs replacement, Replace PSS, Engine mounts if needed..
    4) Inspect all Standing rigging before hand and be prepared to replace if needed.
    5) High mast work from ground based lift. Mine is 75' up there.

    I am lucky to have 2 Healthy Son-in-Laws who used to own their own boat yard and still do boat repairs [for fun].
    I watched them change my AC cooling water seacock while in the water. [ of course I was prepared to prevent boat sinking] They just grinned and condescended to my worry about the fix. Less than 1 gallon of sea water entered.:waycool::waycool:

    Finding that kind of help?
    Marianas, Yacht Clubs, web search and interviews.
    My first mechanic was 1000 miles aways. He batted 950. He forgot about the sailboat water line and thats how I became familiar with my new PSS, in which he installed the water purge incorrectly. PYI, my Son-In-Law and I redid it right.
    Jim...
     


  3. dziedzicmj

    dziedzicmj

    Joined Aug 13, 2012
    350 posts, 38 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Ottawa,ON Ottawa
    +1 on that one. It eliminates completely the issue of the set screws not grabbing correctly.
     


    Meriachee likes this.
  4. dziedzicmj

    dziedzicmj

    Joined Aug 13, 2012
    350 posts, 38 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Ottawa,ON Ottawa
    A new look to the website! Cool.
     


  5. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    1,816 posts, 288 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    @Maine Sail , as always, thanks.
    We've had the McMasterCarr discussion before. They think anybody outside the borders of the US is unworthy. We think the same of them. Take that, campers. :)
     


  6. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    1,816 posts, 288 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    It really is a cool product and as a sidebar, it's quite entertaining. There sure do seem to be quite a few discussions about how the boat's going straight to the bottom, immediately, if it hasn't already. I haven't cleaned the floor of my engine bay in two years leaving way more time to try and see a landmark hazed over by the smoke from BC.
     


  7. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,295 posts, 108 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    jonelli, send me a private message. I am in your marina and may have some suggestions.
     


    jonelli likes this.
  8. jonelli

    jonelli

    Joined Jun 2, 2014
    254 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina 30 mkII - 1987
    US Long Beach Shoreline Marina
    UPDATE:
    Small recap first - Cleaned the dripless seal with a cloth, burped the bellows, could not adjust the tension because the set screw stripped.
    Motor sailed this weekend a total of about 6 hours or maybe more and there was only a tiny bit of water in the bilge this time, myabe 1/3rd of a gallon, not the 1.5 gallons I was getting before.
    I suspect a little more cleaning of the seal and maybe the 600 grit sandpaper resurfacing might help too.
     


  9. dziedzicmj

    dziedzicmj

    Joined Aug 13, 2012
    350 posts, 38 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Ottawa,ON Ottawa
    a retention collar would help
     


    Meriachee likes this.
  10. smokey73

    smokey73

    Joined Oct 26, 2010
    436 posts, 51 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Beaufort, SC
    I noticed you said you "motor sailed". I was at the boat show in Annapolis this last weekend and had a discussion with the PSS shaft seal folks. I had the "gray line" and some dampness below the seal and asked him about that. He asked if I "motor sailed" and had the motor running (shaft turning) while heeled over some. He said that older motor mounts on the Yanmar would allow some lateral movement which could cause some slight misalignment leading to the graphite track and some spray. He said to go below when motor sailing and heeled over a little and see if that is when it is spraying. He said new motor mounts would probably cure it and of course recommended their replacement mounts rather than original mounts. Their price seems much better than the stock mounts anyway so I will go that route if it does it when motor sailing. Its probably about time I replaced the motor mounts anyway.

    Does anybody have experience with the PYI motor mounts? They look pretty robust and a nice design. They have a boat show discount of 15% too.
     


  11. seadaddler

    seadaddler

    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    5,029 posts, 77 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    Before doing anything gp to the PSS or PYI web site and look over the info to help learn what to do and how to maintane yourPSS.
    I have the newer PSS with the venting hose no burping,but any way since owning since 2007 replaced the bellows once
    out of the water and a lot of work but if not hauling try the burping also put some some very fine sand paper in between the two matting surface and with the fine sand paper in between turm the shaft many times to get the 2 surfices as clean as possible because over times the 2 surfaces get some corrison or pitting and the sand paper cleans it up to make a better sealing and yes water will piss out.
    Or try readjusting the bellows with PSS instructions and been there done it all and changing the bellows no easy job but check Mainsail's web page how to change PSS and how to remove coupler.
    Nick
     


  12. Alansails

    Alansails

    Joined Oct 3, 2011
    471 posts, 32 likes
    Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155
    US Lake Erie/Catawba Island
    we have owned our boat for 4 years, and she came with the Dripless shaft seal with the vent tube.
    engine only had 150 hours on it when we bought her and now has 445 hrs. we have no idea of how old this is and we sail in sweetwater, any thoughts on replacement time? our boat is a 2001.
     


  13. Larry -- DH

    Larry -- DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    123 posts, 35 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    Drill out the set screw. Then re-tap if needed. Eventually, you will need to do it for one reason or another. (Also, there should be 2 of them, one on top of the other in the same hole.)
     


  14. smokey73

    smokey73

    Joined Oct 26, 2010
    436 posts, 51 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Beaufort, SC
    Alan. I don't think its much of an issue of hours on the engine. The maintenance schedule is based on potential age related deterioration to the bellows which is made of a rubber like material (probably not actual rubber but you know what I mean). If the carbon ring and stainless collar are okay then those probably do not need to be replaced (other than the set screws and o rings that come in the maintenance kit). Of course a lot of variables enter into the equation on deterioration of the bellows like exposure to sunlight (not likely) or exposure to chemicals or other deleterious atmospheres. The replacement schedule probably has some built in "gravy" to it based on liability determinations by the manufacturer but none the less, the bellows will not last forever. If the bellows fail it could be a leak that your bilge pump probably couldn't keep up with so its a potential "sink the boat" event. If it was installed new then we're talking potentially 16 years and its overdue for a replacement. If it was installed by the PO then maybe you can find out from him/her? Your boat, your choice.
     


    Alansails likes this.
  15. Alansails

    Alansails

    Joined Oct 3, 2011
    471 posts, 32 likes
    Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155
    US Lake Erie/Catawba Island
    Prior to when we get launched in the spring I will have the yard look at it.
    The previous owner was NOT very communicative nor did he want to be...Sad but true and we have no known reason why.
    You have stimulated some thought processes as to where we might find out and I am going to follow that-Thanks very much for the input.
    I did find it-the installation date was 05/2004
    How does that fit into the time schedule for maintaince?
     


    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM
  16. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    1,816 posts, 288 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    For the few bucks and peace of mind, replace the bellows and put a retainer ring on it. Then you know, categorically, where you are.
     


  17. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,811 posts, 102 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    About seven years past the recommended service interval of 6 years.
     



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