Tube Shaft inspection and leak repair

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by forever young, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. forever young
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Stuart Florida

    forever young Junior Member

    I recently purchased a 1983 Island Trader motor sailor and have been refitting the boat to live aboard and cruise the islands with my wife.
    The Keel under the sole in the aft cabin has concrete with fills the V of the keel for ballast and I assume the shaft tube is below this mass. ??
    I just has the shaft and cutlass removed and replaced with new ones done by the boat yard. Since the vessel was launched about a week ago it's seems I now have water under this area and also just forward of this area. ( photo left is looking forward into the fiber glassed tabbed area, this area is full of water below, I drilled a small hole and water started seeping up ( that's why you see the white putty 5200 ) The second photo is a hatch about 2 ft aft of the first photo hatch, this is the concete. If I reach my hand under the eshaust hose ( which is also brand new ) if is all wet. Again in the first photo to try and be clear, this fiberglass tabbed flat area with closes up what appears to be the rest of the V of the aft keel area seems to be completely full of water below it. If I push on it hard it flexes and you can hear the water under it?
    Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions on how to approach this new found problem and how to proceed to suss out the cause and repair?
    The bilge pump is cycling on every 5 minutes for about 5 seconds or so? By the way the bilge pump is 30 ft forward of this area. Thanks Steve
     

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  2. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    The cutlass bearing does not keep out sea water it just supports the shaft. There is a stuffing box some where that is the water seal. This seal needs greasing and or re packing.

    Ask your boat yard who did the job to explain where the stuffing box is and did they --stuff it.

    Every 5 minutes is a bad leak. Did you have a survey.

    It should be behind the gearbox along the shaft.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

  4. forever young
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    forever young Junior Member

    Thanks,
    Yes, I know the cutlass doesn't keep water out. I think the tube may be damaged since the the area where the tube is happens to be where the water is. My problem is the tube is buried under the concrete.
    I have a new drip less system that was also installed the same time the new shaft when in. There is no water coming in from the new drip less
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Which Island Trader is this? I can think of several. Can you provide a picture of the shaft, at the flange to the transmission?

    The likely solution is to remove the concrete, as the Island Trader's I know of, didn't use concrete as ballast. Some used iron casting, others lead, so the concrete is likely a previous owner's solution. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but. A saw can cut it into small enough pieces, so that the jack hammering will be minimal.
     
  6. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    I respond here because of the countless number of fishing and a few pleasure boats i've worked on with this problem. I've made a small basic drawing that roughly represents your set up (shaft removed) to point out some problem areas i've encountered. In addition to these I have also found leaks that pointed in the direction of the shaft tube and fittings but was actually leaks in the fasteners of the keel shoe in this area. So if your keel has a shoe check out any fasteners that penetrate the FRP bottom. I would recommend more than just an eyeball check of these problem areas. Failing this i'm afraid PAR is correct you're gonna have to dig into her guts to locate and make repairs, however, and i can't express this strong enough: Investiage -- Investigate and Investigate again, that the leak is definately in this area and not a thru hull or hose further up the line draining down into the bilge in an out of sight location. Often we jump to the worst conclusions. Good luck--- Geo


    A yacht is not determined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner.
     

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  7. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    Just re read your opening post-- The yard guys replaced your cutlass -- MMmmm wonder if they remover the entire fitting to get old the cutlass out. If so possibly they didn't properly seal in those problem areas or worst yet stripped the threads or broke the glassed in fastener head free. I'd enquire if they had problems removing the old cutlass. Did they mention extra labout time due to a stubborn removal ? Agressive work in this area could have broken the seals, stripped a fastening or worst yet cracked the casting or damaged the tube. Once you've determined 100% the leak is in this area, i'd definately remove the fitting and carefully investigate . -- Geo.
     
  8. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    I think Geo put his finger on the sore spot. The yard guys remove the flange, put a new cutlass in and reassembled the unit, using little or no sealant at all. That is the easiest way to do it.
    Now that there is a leak, they probably treat it as a new repair and charge it to the owner.
     
  9. forever young
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Stuart Florida

    forever young Junior Member

    All interesting observations. An added note is this boat was bone dry until 5 months ago. I had just purchased her and when I went to a yard to haul her for the first time the yard dropped the bow of my boat back into the water.. ( the aft sling remainded in place ) the drop was about 10ft, she was still in the slings over the water and went back into the water, and bottomed out in about 5 ft of water. The forward sling slid out and up the bow, hung up under the bow sprit and seperated the entire deck tabbing from the hull...about 12 ft of it. Was opened like a can of tuna fish 3 months and 40K later the boat is back together, and in the water a couple days and now i see this!
    I still see space(s) up to a 1/16 of an inch where the bulkheads in many areas of the boat meet the sole, forward stateroom, galley, salon and head areas. So, I wonder if 25000 lbs ( 1/2 of the vessels weight ) dropping 10 ft down and forward and slamming into the bottom would be the cause of this problem.. I have told the carrier about the issue and of course the surveyor who works for the carrier will try and say "it has nothing to do with it"
    Yesterday the yard fellow who replaced the cutlass and also installed my new shaft said, he didn't use any 5200 or anything? He said, the tube looks like it's
    glassed in and "no need for any sealant"
    Any additional thoughts? I have some additional photos I would like to post, but don't know how to do it. How do I add more photos for all to see?
     
  10. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    Wow -- No way in hell would I have agreed with repairs to that much damage-- I would have demanded a replacement vessel. The yard guy is questionably wrong. The flange fitting should have sealant applied to the fitting to shaft tube joint-- around the fastener's shafts and bedded with a gasket or caulking compound, preferably both on both sides of the gasket if one is used. See my drawing and the problem areas .---Geo.

    P.S.--While it might seem un necessary to add sealent(caulking) on this fitting install it is always a good policy as water seepage can occurs via the fastening bolt shafts where they penetrate the FRP . This cannot be counted upon to be a 100% bond. and especially so if the head had broken loose or there is any rotational movement. In addition the glassed in area where the tube penetrates the back of the keel (the tube to keel joint) is a confined area to work on. On ocassion the work here is not up to standard. The fitting actually bridges and strengthens this area and sealant /caulking compensates for any voids in the glasswork. In otherwords why not use sealant/caulking if for nothing else a good bedding compound.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  11. forever young
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    forever young Junior Member

    Just up loading some more photos for all to see. The area behind the shaft flange which is flat with a small amount of fresh white paint is full of water.. I'm hauling the boat in the am
    don't want to take a chance with the insuance company, I was thinking that when the vessel was dropped the rear sling may very well have also slid back under the keel shoe.
    Putting 2500lbs of pressure on the shoe this may be where the issue is.?
     
  12. forever young
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    forever young Junior Member

    I meant 25,000 lbs of pressure, big difference! Any thoughts.
     
  13. forever young
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    Location: Stuart Florida

    forever young Junior Member

    Here are some more photos
    on the left the area above the shaft flange which is flat is like a fiberglass skin, below it feels like it's full of water. I plan on making a hole in that as soon as I
    haul her. Will update on what I learn, thanks Steve
     

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  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Immediately get a survey and call your attorney.
     

  15. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    Location: Newfoundland & Nova Scotia

    viking north VINLAND

    All things considered --possibly the wisest remedy posted ---
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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