leaking shaft log

Want to know how to fix or improve something aboard your trawler? Ask Chuck Baier who, in two decades of living aboard and cruising, has repaired and renovated just about everything.

leaking shaft log

Postby Sanctuary » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:46 pm

Chuck, I have a 1984 Ponderosa Sundeck. I am convinced that the shaft log is leaking, The last time i had her on the hard I removed the prop and shaft and unscrewed both ends of the log. The threaded female (forward) end displayed light signs of electrolosys. I am pretty convinced that the log is compromised by the same. there is saltwater coming in around the flanged forward end of the log around the bolts that secure it to a rib and in a coupla tiny spots in the fiberglass. I have access to a friends boat repair facility. I am wondering what type of brass or bronze the log may be and where I might locate a length of that pipe or tubeing? I did wiggle the log at this time and it seemed relatively easy to slide for and aft a little. I realize that the keel is full of cement and this could crumble and collapse and present a problem but it has to be dealt with as I am certain that my keel is wet on the inside. I thought of sleeving it somehow with either plastic or brass/ bronze? Any and all info you might be able to pass on would be gratefully appreciated. I am quite handy, have every tool needed or access to them and have a nice dry shop to put it in...my buddy that own the yard is capable as well but he hasn't taken on one of these projects. I am need of lots of information and advice! Thx, Mike Albright
Please enclose a copy of your response to albright1028@gmail.com
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Re: leaking shaft log

Postby capn chuck » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:48 pm

This is not an uncommon problem with these trawlers. This repair is not something I would recommend the average do it yourselfer attempt. The stern tube is usually threaded to both the stern cutlass bearing housing and the packing housing inside the boat. This requires the removal of both and then the removal of the tube. Replacements have been done in both stainless and bronze and in each case have been done by a local machine shop and then reinstalled. The alignment of the new tube is critical and must be done correctly. Average cost to have a yard do this is around $4,000.00. It is very labor intensive. I have seen shaft logs replaced with fiberglass and the owners swear it is the perfect fix. You may have half the battle won if the log will slide freely, but if it is filled with concrete it may present a problem after removal. If using stainless, I would recommend 316. As for bronze, go with silicon bronze or Everdur bronze for the tube. The upside of a fiberglass tube is that you will not have to deal with corrosion again. But if the stern fitting for the cutlass bearing and the shaft packing fitting are threaded and screwed in, this won't work. I am just not familiar enough with the Prairie. There have been a number of repairs done by just adding a PVC sleeve inside and epoxying it to the original tube. You have to be sure you have the clearance right and I have never been a big fan of trying to epoxy PVC. If you know of anyone that is an MTOA member, they should have a CD of past issues of the MTOA magazine. There are several write ups on the CD of boaters that replaced their shaft log. Good luck. Chuck
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