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Blue water dripless shaft seals no longer dripless..

Discussion in 'Cabo Yacht' started by Jrms80, Nov 16, 2015.

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  1. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    Decided to do as you did and get rid of the BWS set up and switch to tidewater. Still on the fence about the prop. I'll talk to the prop shop and get their input but I'm inclined to drop the pitch 1/2 to 1 inch to get off the edge of overloaded. If nothing else it's piece of mind for me which is nice to have with these expensive toys!
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I wouldn't. The BWS are solid seals as are PSS. I have replaced several sets of Tidewaters because they locked onto the shaft and then tore the water hose off and played weedeater in the engine room cutting chilled water lines, bonding wires and more. I've had more issues with Tidewater seals than any brand. 2 boats the tidewaters locked onto the shaft, another one it ate .60" out of the shaft and had to replace the entire shaft. Actually the only issues I've had with all of the boats I manage have been Tidewaters. Had one BWS seal leak and need replacing, but no major issues with any other brand.
  3. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    Chatfield marine, the BWS builder said I need to check the internal bearing/guild for wear as well as no "run out". This made me think to just replace it with what the yard is familiar with so they own it if things don't go well. The last thing anyone wants is to put it together, launch it starts leaking again and everyone is pointing fingers. Maybe I need to find a yard that's familiar with BWS seal replacement.
  4. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    I guess everyone has their preferred brand. Haven't had any issue with my Tidewaters. That's what our local boat yard (SeaLove) recommends because they haven't had any issues with them.
  5. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    Both the Bluewater and Tides Sure seals are nitrile lip seals and the only significant difference is the housing material, bronze vs. composite. The majority of the failures of either brand have been attributed to loss of cooling water caused by zinc fragments in the hose barbs. The installation instructions don't specify one (and probably should) but adding a fine mesh strainer in the cooling water supply line (and adding it to the maintenance schedule!) takes care of this problem. I've done hundreds of both types using strainers and no one has reported it happening since.

    Attached Files:

  6. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    If I'm correct Post installed Tidewaters on my boat when it was built in 1998. They lasted until 2014! I replaced them with Bluewater - basically the same set up. So far , so good
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have had issues on the tidewaters where the composite section swelled into the shaft and locked it to the shaft. Next time the boat was put in gear on the next trip, the tideseal spun with the shaft, breaking the cooling hoses off, and swinging them around like a weedeater. I've had this happen on 2 or 3 different boats. It seems that if the boat has sat for a few months that this problem occured.
  8. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    How do you guys go about testing the raw water flow? Just pull the hose off the fitting on the seal with the engine idling and let the water run in the bildge then stick it back on? There is no mention of doing this on the blue water web site but it sounds reasonable. How often do you check?
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If you pull it off with nothing running, you should get water flowing out of the dripless connection at a good pace from the water under the hull. If you start the motor, you should get good flow out of the cooling hose. You don't want either blocked.....once every 6 months should be sufficient.
  10. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    Capt. J,

    I understand pulling off the raw water feed tube with the engine running but what is the other thing you check with the engine off for flow? Or are they both the same thing just engine running and not running? Thanks for all your comments.
  11. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    When checking for flow coming out of the shaft seal you're looking to see if the hose barb is clogged or not.
  12. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    Got it, the hose barb should flow static pressure water when the hose is disconnected, thanks Bill!
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, the water should back feed through the dripless seals hose barb.
  14. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    $125 for the seal!? Wow... blue water is very proud of that rubber seal! It does have a stainless steel spring in it..after all... $800 labor to put it on. In case anyone was still curious.
  15. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Sounds about right. Cost could go above $1500 per shaft if they need to go out for spa treatment.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's reasonable to drop the shaft and install the seal.
  17. Mjluongo

    Mjluongo New Member

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    Is there anywhere to get these seals besides from chatfield in New Zealand?
  18. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    My boatyard ordered the seals from a local company that sells seals (not necessarily marine) of all different types ($20) that fit perfectly in my BWS. Actually may still have one or two in the boat. I changed my BWS out to Tides a couple of years later so I could have a spare or two on the shaft. I still have my Blue Water Shaft couplers should you need them. 2.5"
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Try Sams Marine in Fort Lauderdale. They specialize in Cabo (and Hatteras) parts.
  20. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    Bill,
    Great idea to put one on the water lines exiting from the transmission coolers to the shaft seals. A couple of times I have found the line or elbow clogged from zincs in cooler. Did you remove the elbow coming out of the trans cooler as that seems to be where most of the zinc parts get stuck & clog the line up. I believe my lines are 3/8" id.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019