• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Leak at shaft

Aug 22, 2018
59
Hunter 33 Free Indeed Prinyers Cove, PE County, ON
Hello,
I got the boat into the water on Saturday. After a couple of hours I noticed some water in the oil pan below the engine. I moped it up and didn't find any obvious leaks then went home.
Returned to the boat yesterday and there was probably 4 or 5 liters. So I got the water out then went hunting.
Finally found a small drip where the shaft is attached to the gearbox. I cannot remember the technical terms. It looks like a compression fitting held by 2 brass nuts. It is definitely not the gear clamps for the rubber hose. I could get a couple of wrenches and try to tighten up this joint. I didn't do it yesterday because i needed to make the trip home. So my question is, should I go for it and try to tighten or should I get somebody to look at it?

upload_2019-4-29_7-17-34.png
 
Dec 5, 2015
84
Oday 272LE Louisville, KY
That is your stuffing box that is leaking. It should not leak when the boat is docked and not moving. You should see a few drops per minute when you are motoring. The stuffing box contains 3-4 rings of a flax packing material. You can adjust the rate of drip by tightening the large brass nuts. You have to turn the nuts in opposite directions and one nut locks your adjustment in place. Loosen the locking nut, put your boat in gear tied at dock and see if you can slow the drip rate by slightly tightening the other brass nut. Do this very gradually. If you get it to only drip a couple of drops per minute while running in gear, then tighten the locking brass nut. Shut your engine down and check to see if it still drips at rest. If it doesn't drip at rest, then you have sucessfully adjusted the stuffing box. Your prop shaft is water lubricated and cooled, therefore you need to see an occasional drip while motoring. If you over tighten the adjustment, you can damage your prop shaft. If you cannot correct the problem by adjusting the brass nuts, then the flax packing material will need to be replaced. If you go to Compass Marine's Mainsail website, you will find an excellent tutorial on the stuffing box.
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,559
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
I will add.. You can do this without the engine running by tightening until the leak just stops then backing off a little .. if the drip re-starts, tighten a very little again until it just stops then lock the nuts. Start the engine and check that it drips a very little while in gear but not when the shaft is stopped.. If you try to adjust with it in gear.. please remove any jewelry and sleeves that could be caught in moving parts.. The protruding, moving parts can hook anything that is loose and break arms, throw wrenches into important body parts, etc..
 
Jul 7, 2004
6,357
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Good advice already. Educate yourself on the purpose of the shaft seal. It's an important system on your boat.
 
  • Like
Likes: kloudie1
Aug 22, 2018
59
Hunter 33 Free Indeed Prinyers Cove, PE County, ON
Thank you for the advice so far. I shall give it try tonight.
Not as bad as my neighbors boat. He forgot to connect the hose to the sink outlet. Luckily he decided to call in on the marina the next morning on his way to work. The Anchor was touching the dock. He was maybe 1/2 hour from complete sinking. Just goes to show. take your time, check check and check again.
 
  • Like
Likes: kloudie1
Aug 22, 2018
59
Hunter 33 Free Indeed Prinyers Cove, PE County, ON
Hey guys,
Got it fixed. It was an easy job once managed to loosen off the locking nut.
Thanks for all of the helpful advice and links.