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Haul Out Projects, Opinions requested.-gctid368134

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  • Haul Out Projects, Opinions requested.-gctid368134

    I have talked about our plan to haul out this month. At first I had planned to have the bottom repainted and the Norscott dripless shaft seals rebuilt (One is leaking). After discussing this with about a half dozen service centers, I have come to the opinion that I do not need to do the bottom this year. Which is fine as we are spending more than enough on the boat already for this year.

    But I still have the dripless which is not dripless. I am not well versed on these dripless units. Here is what I am being told by more than one source and the reason for this discussion. Unfortunately, the seal is leaking bad enough that the automatic pump will come on every couple of days. That is a lot of water. The rudder packing also needs to be replaced because they are leaking. There is no more adjustment left in them.

    The leak is bad enough that sitting still the shaft leaks enough to put 60+ gallons of water in the engine bilge in three days. Underway it is probably worse and if it were to let go while underway I would have a real problem. So putting off till next season when I haul for bottom paint is not an option. No, I am not going to wait on the shaft seals. Don't need to worry about that.

    So here is what I have been learning or know.

    1) The Norscott are not a very reliable seal and should be replaced with a different brand.

    2) The most recommended brand is the PSS by PYI.

    3) If the dripless has a problem, you must haul the boat out to make repairs which entails disconnecting the shafts from the trans and removing the shaft flanges to slide the seal housing off the shafts.

    4) I have not seen to many posts on BOC that state they have had good luck with the dripless sealing systems and have seen them referred to as "Water Slingers"

    5) New dripless units run about $300 per side, plus labor which is about a day to R&R at a cost of $700+, plus haul out at $400 so you are into a dripless for around $1700. Not exactly cheap.

    6) I have known shaft stuffing boxes all my life and I can adjust the packing easily and even replace the packing while in the water,

    7) I believe the stuffing boxes for a 1.5" shaft are around $200 each but have not verified this, I will have to haul out and pay someone to install but should not be as big a deal but let say it is a full day because the flanges on the tapered shafts are difficult. The cost is similar $1500 total.

    When stuffing boxes are used with the new PTFA materials or the Teflon packaging material along with a special grease for lubrication they are virtually dripless or so I am told.

    So I am leaning to having the boat hauled, no bottom work, shaft seals removed and old fashion stuffing boxes put back on the boat with the new style packing material.

    I would very much like your opinions on this concept.

    Thank you.
    Patrick and Patti
    4588 Pilothouse 1991
    12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
    M/V "Paloma"
    MMSI # 338142921

  • #2
    I replaced my dripless on my 3870 in the water, I have gas engines, disconnect the coupler, jack up the engine, remove the coupler, remove the dripless, wrap a rag around the shaft to slow the water, installed the standard packing, bilge pump will keep up. Big diesels may be a problem this way, depends on how far you can move the shaft back,

    It also helped having a split coupler on my boat. I will replace the other one in the spring, no more gushers for me.

    Use teflon/flax packing on the shafts and in the rudders. Tapered shaft is more difficult.

    List for the Buck Algonquin 1 1/2" about $200, dealer is $121 at fisheries supply, that is where I got mine, if it is the same type as mine. I found my second one on ebay new for $35.


    Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
    Twin 350 GM power
    Located in Seward, AK
    Retired marine surveyor


    • #3
      When I bought my new to me '88 4550 in 2003, I immediately hauled the boat for bottom work and to go with modern PSS seals. I regretted this move shortly after. For the next many years I dealt with problems of water slinging. Collar adjustments and engine alignment were limited in effect and always the leak became severe. Additional yard time changes and new replacement seals by specialists also failed. I had thousands invested in making these work. Last year after speaking with the techs at PSS, they acknowledegd a problem with some 4550 models (and other Bayliners) that if I recall properly, was related to angle pitch differences from transmission and shaft. I gave up and reinstalled new Buck Algonquin 1.5" stuffing boxes. I used standard flax packing and have loved the decision. I have added packing while in the water throughout my adjustment period since last May and have had nothing more than a drip every 2 seconds at worst. Continued adjustment have all but stopped the leak more than a drip every 5 seconds with none at idle. No more slinging which caused corrision on many things in the area. In my opinion, sometimes new ideas do not deliver on their promise. I am not condemming all packless style devices, they just didnt perform for me.


      • #4
        PSS shaft seals are a mature product and seem to be the defacto standard in the marine industry.

        The vast majority of installations have no issue with them.

        I would contact them and verify the issues posted above, as they could be and in all likelyhood are resolved.


        Whats the weather like on the boat

        Where am I right now?


        • #5
          Love my PSS, love a dry bilge. By the way, when you are out check the swim grid supports and re-bed if required.
          1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'


          • #6
            "So I am leaning to having the boat hauled, no bottom work, shaft seals removed and old fashion stuffing boxes put back on the boat with the new style packing material.

            I would very much like your opinions on this concept"

            We pulled our 'dripless' seals 7 seasons ago and replaced them with stuffing logs.

            We are very happy we did as we utilize mostly gortex in the packing and have had little maintenance to do at all - and almost no dripping.

            On the 45XX it is even less of an issue if there is minor dripping as they bilge is designed to drain it completely away from the engines.

            Our decison was partly (not completely) based upon a friends 46 Maxum which had the dripless and struck a major floating object while underway.

            Hope this helps
            Northport NY


            • #7
              We had the pps on our first 4588 and the PO and I had nothing but problems. I was able to get them to just drip by having higher than normal pressure adjustment. PO had the engines aligned, new carbon faces, and the shafts checked etc. He gave up and installed spray shields. As noted above the salt spray is awful even when controlled. If you ever smack a shaft they sure can let a troubling amount of water in the boat too. I do understand that some folks have a charmed experience with them, but again if something goes wrong they don't have a packing backup. My present 4588 has the norscott seals and does not leak a drop. Disturbing to find that this simple system has failed you poster. I love that there is a bearing to keep the seals concentric with the shaft. Have you checked to see if the shafts are straight? Any idea how long they did work for?

              All that being said a good packing container with modern packing while not as nice as a perfectly working seal system will over time be a really good system to go with. Catastrophic packing failures...........never heard of one. Wondering why the bilge pump is running all the time, and find water wholesaling from a pps shaft seal? Yep that happened to me. Pulled the stationary back and let it "slam" back in position stopped the leak completely. Some reading suggested that something had been caught in between the faces. I just did not like that........"potential" you won't go wrong with a packed shaft seal, I just hope you are not giving up on the norscott without a bit of an investigation. That is however my hope and expectation that they are a good system speaking!

              Cheers all


              • #8

                Only one of the Norscotts is leaking the other is dry. The problem I have is there actually isn't a bearing inside of them I have spoke to the owner of Norscott and they use two oil type lip seals on the water side, then you have a cavity filled with ATF oil and a single oil type lip seal that prevents the oil from running out of the cavity into the bilge.

                In researching this I have been told by at least 6 service facilities that I should replace the Norscott in lieu of the PSS. I have also learned in my research that on Bayliner 45's the potential for hull flex, the small shaft diameter, the distance from the shaft log to the trans and the fact that the seal housing is held in place by a flexible rubber hose all work to cause minor degrees of misalignment of the shaft to the sealing surfaces. I have posted about the Norscotts here on BOC and have both good and bad experiences posted. I have a background in mechanics and lip seals have been used for probably 100 years. But these mechanical type seals require a steady alignment to the shaft to perform properly.

                Based on reports from here on BOC, IboatNW and through many discussions with various service shops, I have decided to go back to the bullet proof stuffing boxes as they do not require this degree of alignment and are easily serviced without having to pull the boat.

                If you are having good luck with the Norscott then I see no reason for you to worry or do anything different. They have worked for many people and I actually like the design very much.
                Patrick and Patti
                4588 Pilothouse 1991
                12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                M/V "Paloma"
                MMSI # 338142921


                • #9
                  Thanks for that explanation. I was under the impression that the mid section acted as a bearing to keep the shaft from pushing the seals beyond their elastic limit. In that scenario, even a bent shaft would just have thwe whole gland wobbling a bit........but the seals should stay concentric with the shaft. The web site seems to infer this with the drawing and the fact that the housing is made from bearing bronze. Without this critical support it will always be only a matter of time until the seals fail, as they have zero strength to support the shaft, or any run out. I too am familiar with seals, working in industrial pumps and compressors, and seals stand up will at 3600 rpm let alone 1000-1500 rpm. These however are supported by ball bearings or at least a tight clearance bushing. Mechanical seals too are usually supported by roller or ball bearings near by, but we have seen more and more successful vertical pumps with bushings only, sucsessfully run mechanical seals. Mechanical seals in gasoline and diesel mixers on big storage tanks always seem to use a couple of rings of packing as well, or a simple Teflon floating backup seal that is forced into position by differential pressure if and when the mechanical seal fails. This would seem a no brained on a pps shaft seal. Faced with your experience, I would probably be going to packing too. I would consider machining a norscott type housing (with a bearing area) if indeed these are without that critical feature, a spigot on the front face that allowed a new seal and small housing with an o-ring would allow a new seal to be added in a pinch. In fact these could be allowed to turn with the shaft until required. (taped in place with vulcanizing tape)

                  Thanks agin for the benefits of your investigation.