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Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: BCCTakayna (IP Logged)
Date: July 28, 2018 10:36PM
Category: Engine and propeller

Hi everyone,

I have just replaced my cutlass bearing and this has highlighted the difficulty of accessing the packing nut. Itís 1400mm (55 inches for monolingual Americans) from the lazerette hatch to the shaft. I can climb into the laz and under the cockpit floor, but itís tight and very awkward to move without bashing into the water lock or engine control cables and leaves me in a position thatís difficult to manipulate the gland tools. There is also the threat of dropping the tools another thousand feet into the deep bilge from which thereís no return.

Iím really hoping that someone has already solved this problem (other than a drip less seal). All of my ideas have been utterly impractical so far

Thanks
Jonathan

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: Bil (IP Logged)
Date: August 1, 2018 03:33AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Sorry for not replying earlier, Jonathan.

I must never photographed the equivalent area on Zygote. I seem to have nothing on hand to send. My search was fruitless. And I need to make the engine room spotless before my Big Boss will let me photograph it.

I'll just talk about that area on Zygote. And that will explain why you've not received replies from owners of Sam L. Morse Co. boats.

1. Protect the deep bilge

As you know, from the engine aft the deep bilge is both deep and narrow. The permanent resting place for nuts, bolts, washers and so on.

Z (and I assume other SLM Co boats) came with a nicely shaped long slab of marine ply, with cunningly chamfered edges and cut-outs to accommodate hoses (such as exhaust hose). The shape and the chamfer (or bevel, depending on which side of the river you were born) of the edges means that said slab of marine ply sits neatly over the deep bilge (and under the prop shaft). No cleats needed to support the slab. Shape, dimensions, and the angle of chamfer are everything.

Of course that slab (let's call it the 'deep bilge cover' until someone can suggest something more nautical) is not infallible. Most anything that is 100% essential and not easy to replace seems naturally is able to evade the deep bilge cover and disappear until the day I turn the hull upside down.

When working in the engine room, I sometimes spread out an old towel to catch and hold runaways. Usually I only spread that old towel after I've just seen something disappear for the duration, uttered language unfit for the grandchildren, and whacked my head into the overhead.

2. Do you not have access to the stuffing box and packing nut from the engine room?

On Z and all the SLM Co. boats in whose engine rooms I've crawled, access to the prop shaft from gearbox to shaft log, is from the engine room, not the lazarette.

I can guess your answer to that question. I can imagine how unfriendly it must be to do the acrobatics in the lazarette to do that.

I can only recount, as a warning, a story from one day at ScarbMarina: Glen (a middle-aged liveaboard) and CJ (a young liveboard who'd just bought a rusty hull and was passing his days hammering, grinding, and otherwise cutting out said rust and welding in new plates, meaning he was in excellent physical condition with broad shoulders and meaty muscles) were walking K dock and chatting. Glen heard a weak call for help. CJ had not.

Turns out a third liveaboard, a middle-aged male, had decided to accomplish a job in his bilge, work that required him to enter the bilge vertically and head down.

Too late, Liveaboard 3 discovered he could not exit from the bilge. His body had conformed to the shape of his bilge, his arms were below him - and his middle-aged hypertensive heart was filling his head and arms with blood and his lungs with fluid. Meaning he was about to discover the secret about which we talk little.

CJ, being young and strong, hauled on the legs and pulled the L3 into a horizontal position. Glen phoned the emergency paramedics. The paramedics took L3 away to hospital with sirens blaring and lights flashing. And guesstimated that were Glen and CJ to have walked K dock perhaps 20 minutes later, Glen would not have heard said weak call for help.

--
As well as having Z's rudder in the workshop at the moment, I have her deep bilge cover in the cabin. I can show you next month, should you wish.

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: BCCTakayna (IP Logged)
Date: August 1, 2018 05:22AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Oh Thank you Bil,

That was marvellously funny and has brightened up my day no end.

If I squeezed between the air cleaner and the racor, whilst trying not to snap the dipstick it may be possible to access the shaft coupling, let alone the gland nut, but I very much doubt I'd be able to get into any kind of position that would allow me to work on anything. No, sadly, its through the lazerette that I can get access but its bloody uncomfortable to do it. Boat yoga for young and old

I think I have seen a picture of that deep bilge cover somewhere around, maybe on Ben Eriksen's flickr pages which are a great resource. I thought about making one for my boat, probably while fishing with a magnet for the shifter, but it would be a complex exercise in spiling shapes and bevels, all the while levitating so as not to block access to what I'm trying to spile.

I would love to have a look at Z's bilge cover and rudder too. I also thought about your rudder post and how it would have made my life much easier, while I was painting the topsides, if I too had removed the rudder. Let me know when you are around, I'll bring Takayna up for a visit.

Thanks again for the giggle

Jonathan

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: Bil (IP Logged)
Date: August 1, 2018 06:41AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Most all the objects I've watch disappear into the deep bilge are ones I've carefully chosen and exchanged for good money. Glittering pieces of austenitic stainless steel. Not likely to answer the call of a good magnet. Drat!

I'm undecided about names for the 'deep bilge cover'.

I've thought of 'shaft flat' (the flat under the shaft). Some ships had a 'tiller flat', the area with the steering gear above a platform (the flat) which could be removed. And there was a time when horizontal surfaces below the weather deck were called 'decks' if they were structural and 'flats' if they were not structural and could be removed.

One alternative - which I think too contrived - is 'aft orlop'. An orlop was the lowest decking and often was grating or a plate that could be removed.

The other alternative is 'deep bilge plate', as an inspection plate for the deep bilge.

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: Dioscouri (IP Logged)
Date: August 2, 2018 02:37AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Sadly, my deep bilge cover is resting at the bottom of the bilge, keeping company with the tools, fasteners and other prey that have ended up there. Iíve tried retrieving some with a magnet; grabbing tool; and even filling the bilge with water to try to float the deep bilge cover to within arm reach. So far, no success!

Gary
Dioscouri (#064)

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: Bil (IP Logged)
Date: August 2, 2018 06:19AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Gary

Av! Time for: [www.huffingtonpost.com]?

BCC 116 Zygote,
Scarborough Marina, Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: svshaula (IP Logged)
Date: August 4, 2018 01:53AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Iím afraid we SLM BCC owners canít be much help with your Canadian BCC access problem. We have access thru the engine compartment, but even then thereís not much room to lever the wrenches. I made 2 wrenches out of Al plate 30 yrs ago, but recently couldnít budge the lock nut. A wonderful friend solved the problem by using large pipe wrenchesó-more leverage and a much better grip on the nuts.

You might tie a string to your over-the-bilge tools. SLM glassed a triangular bit of foam to the hull to hold the ďaft bilge coverĒ. I always worry about dropping it into the bilge. If I did drop it, I think Iíd tie a sharpened treble hook to a long stick. My super-sharp fishing lure treble hooks seem to stick to everything! Even to fish sometimes.
Dan Shaula

Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: Mark Fuller (IP Logged)
Date: August 5, 2018 03:20AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: BCCTakayna (IP Logged)
Date: July 28, 2018 10:36PM
Category: Engine and propeller

Hi everyone,

I have just replaced my cutlass bearing and this has highlighted the difficulty of accessing the packing nut. Itís 1400mm (55 inches for monolingual Americans) from the lazerette hatch to the shaft. I can climb into the laz and under the cockpit floor, but itís tight and very awkward to move without bashing into the water lock or engine control cables and leaves me in a position thatís difficult to manipulate the gland tools. There is also the threat of dropping the tools another thousand feet into the deep bilge from which thereís no return.

Iím really hoping that someone has already solved this problem (other than a drip less seal). All of my ideas have been utterly impractical so far

Thanks
Jonathan

Jonathan,


Attachments: BCC cockpit sole hatch.jpg (67kB)  
Re: Adjusting stern gland packing nut
Posted by: BCCTakayna (IP Logged)
Date: August 6, 2018 02:51AM
Category: Engine and propeller

Thanks Mark,

I had thoughts of a hatch in the cockpit floor but not an actual method of doing it so that photo is quite useful.

What sort of access does it allow?

Jonathan



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