Boatyard costs for stuffing box & cutlass bearings?

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by WheelsUp, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. WheelsUp

    WheelsUp New Member

    10
    May 7, 2015
    West Palm Beach
    2006 Sundancer 400
    Cummins QSB380's
    I've asked our local boatyard for an estimate to re-pack the rudder stuffing boxes and replace the cutlass bearings on our 2006 40' Sundancer. I'm seeking opinions (more educated than mine) on how much parts & labor should be for those jobs. Any feedback greatly appreciated!
    Regards,
    Greg
     
  2. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    909
    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Here’s a better method. Ask them for a bid to include labor and parts. Then we can tell you our experience. Prices for labor fluctuate all over the country so using the overall dollar amount just won’t be accurate.

    Don’t forget this is going to include a haul out so there is a cost. Also look at your shaft seals as now is the time.
     
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  3. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    800 for cutless 400 for stuffing boxes got them done last year. Prop tune up and repitch 400. Plus hall. out.
     
    WheelsUp likes this.
  4. WheelsUp

    WheelsUp New Member

    10
    May 7, 2015
    West Palm Beach
    2006 Sundancer 400
    Cummins QSB380's
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. I know their labor rate ($115/hour). But I have no idea how many hours labor is involved in those jobs. We have dripless shaft seals. What kind of maintenance is normally required for them?
     
  5. joeyleggz

    joeyleggz Member

    224
    Jan 15, 2013
    long island
    current boat: 1997 sea ray 330 express cruiser
    twin 454's efi
    Was any of the above items recommended to be serviced by the yard? Or are you looking to do this based on something you saw? Dripless shaft seals not require any maintenance unless they are dripping i.e. leaking there is a shaft lip seals that would be replaced if that’s the case unless you have spare seals further up the shaft in a carrier They will look like a little round black doughnut a few inches up the shaft...if not they will have to remove your shafts to replace them and if that’s the case might not be a bad time to replace the Cutlass bearing‘s if they are worn out but I would also have that check before they disassemble anything no sense in replacing things just to replace things .I believe that is a fair average labor rate unfortunately coming up with the book time on jobs like that I do not know it depends on how savvy the yard is and how easily they can wrestle those items Loose ya know I could see how some yards might want to milk that operation
     
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  6. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    It's "Cutless", which is a trademark name of the Duramax Marine product. Generically it's a stave bearing.

    I just got a quote of $500 per side to replace mine.
     
    WheelsUp likes this.
  7. WheelsUp

    WheelsUp New Member

    10
    May 7, 2015
    West Palm Beach
    2006 Sundancer 400
    Cummins QSB380's
    Thanks!
     
  8. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Given the area you are in……..sandy, shallow bottom….. you very likely have a short life span on the shaft seals and cutlass bearings. THe rudder packing glands may need occasional adjusting.

    Others have guessed at the costs and time, but that is really a crap shoot because of all the variables involved. Do the rudder packing glands just need a ring of packing or is the packing dried out and needs to be removed and replaced? Rebuilding the rudder packing glands should ne be done in the water because the rudder is taken loose in order to access the top of the packing gland so you will need a haul out to do this or the cutlass bearings. The difference is 1.5 hours for adding a ring of packing vs. 8.0 or more or more to dig out old dry packing, which sometimes requires removing the packing gland from the boat because of limited access. Sometimes the packing gland has been over-tightened and the rudder post is galled in which cast the rudders must be dropped out and the post polished.

    The cutlass bearing replacement cost runs all over the map as well……are the set screws accessible or is t he socket full of marine growth? Are the stainless steel set screws bound in the bronze struts by corrosion and can the set screws be removed without snapping the allen wrench off in the socket or without rounding off the shoulders in the socket? There is a 50/50 chance of one or the other happening in warm salt water and the cost goes from about 3.0 hours to 8.0 or more depending upon off the set screw san be drilled out and the hole re-threaded or about 16 man-hours if the rudders must come out.

    The shaft seals normally do best if you don't even touch them as long as they are not leaking. When t hey start leaking, it is usually because the seal housing is worn to the point that the lip seal is moving on the shaft and is worn out of round If that is the case, you are money ahead to just replace the entire housing and seal assembly. Typical Tides seal life is 4-6 years if you anchor or if your slip is in shallow water. Replacing the shaft seals is about 6.0 hours because the props have to come off, the shafts un-coupled from the transmissions and moved aft far enough to get to the, the shafts need to be polished where the seal runs then you have to install the new seal and button up the whole drive line when done.
     
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  9. WheelsUp

    WheelsUp New Member

    10
    May 7, 2015
    West Palm Beach
    2006 Sundancer 400
    Cummins QSB380's
    We bought the boat a year ago and the surveyor said the shaft seals had a small drip at low RPM. Regarding the Cutless bearings he said they have minor wear and should be monitored. The primary reason to haul the boat is the starboard rudder post is leaking. It's already been tightened. Figure I'd just get it all done before the season starts.
     
  10. WheelsUp

    WheelsUp New Member

    10
    May 7, 2015
    West Palm Beach
    2006 Sundancer 400
    Cummins QSB380's
    Wow, nothing on a boat is ever simple and straight forward, is it. Having owned the boat for only a year, I don't know what work has been done previously. the surveyor had minor concerns about the cutless bearings and the shaft seal. The rudder post was moist when we bought the boat, but has become more of a slow trickle now. Thanks much for all the insight into these jobs. This is the first significant work we're going to have the boatyard perform, so your info is that much more valuable.
     
  11. joeyleggz

    joeyleggz Member

    224
    Jan 15, 2013
    long island
    current boat: 1997 sea ray 330 express cruiser
    twin 454's efi
    Well congratulations that is a beautiful boat If you have the opportunity to look at the shaft and see if you have spare seals on your shafts that’s a fairly easy operation to replace the seals if not then your shafts would have to be removed and I can tell you firsthand that I have done the entire operation and it is a bear The coupler on my boat and I believe on yours as well is attached with a inch and three-quarter nut holding the coupling on to the shaft the difficulty comes in gaining access with the socket and ratchet to actually crank that SOB off Not to mention the fact that there is no standard socket for that it’s an inch and three-quarter socket that has to be grind down so that the OD of the socket can fit inside the ID of the Coupler I have heard stories of the yard sometimes cutting off the Cupler and or the shaft to remove it in that case it can be quite expensive again it depends on how savvy the yard is anyway if you’re not personally doing it that would be up to the yard I just thought I’d share my information with you so that if things don’t seem reasonable or accurate you’ll have this information Best of luck
     
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  12. midexp

    midexp New Member

    21
    Oct 5, 2016
    Harrison Township, Michigan Lake St.Clair
    1999 40' Sundancer
    454 merc
    Complete replacement of a set of drip less shafts is about 2 grand. Least wise in the Great Lakes area.
     
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  13. WheelsUp

    WheelsUp New Member

    10
    May 7, 2015
    West Palm Beach
    2006 Sundancer 400
    Cummins QSB380's
    I was just looking over the surveyor's report again and he states that both propeller shafts are fitted with spare seals. Didn't realize that, but glad to hear that makes the job easier. Thanks again!
     
  14. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Forgot. The set screws were hex plugs and they would not come out. They drilled them out tapped bigger hex plug. Not hard to do. Make sure they do not use pipe wrench on prop nuts.
    Keep old cutless bearings and polish the brass they make neat deck ornament.
     
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