Shaft Log Project


I have a 1998 Malibu Response closed bow. It has the infamous HDS stuffing box around the drive shaft. It is prone to leaking water once some kind of stress or flex occurs to the hull of the boat. My problems started in August of 2007. I was letting a friend pull his son on the course. He hit a timing magnet and put a very small nick on my factory stainless steel prop. The next weekend I was pulling up my daughter and the entire blade broke off the prop. The boat shook severely, so much so that the engine shut down. Wondering what had happened, I started the boat and limped back to shore. When I got it on the trailer there was no sign of stress to the hull, no scratches from the blade flying off, no stress cracks.....nothing. But, that is the day our boat started leaking water. I purchased a new "Acme" CNC propeller which worked great. But the boat kept leaking.....worse and worse....made the rest of our ski season suck! I don't think I trust stainless props anymore, and I know I don't trust anything called "marine adhesive". Anyway, here is what I did to fix our boat:

Stuffing box before repair.

pic6.jpg (118605 bytes)

After removing plexiglass cover, the cover was screwed down and sealed with silicone from the factory.

pic11.jpg (124003 bytes)

Cutting the opening to make it bigger, had to do it.....just to have room to work.

pic12.jpg (123170 bytes)

Cutting the cloth for the new part.

pic1.jpg (129718 bytes)

Making the mold for the part.

pic2.jpg (91725 bytes)

Laminating the part using epoxy resin and 8 layers of cloth.

pic3.jpg (86999 bytes)

The part is pulled from the mold and trimmed.

pic4.jpg (94779 bytes)

The part is cut into an angle using a band saw.

pic8.jpg (103328 bytes)

Another view of the part.

pic9.jpg (96929 bytes)

Yet another view of the part.

pic10.jpg (111204 bytes)

Taking a break to go skiing.....snow skiing.....not water.

pic5.jpg (126114 bytes)

Glassing and sealing under the drive shaft. Notice that I have wrapped the drive shaft in wax paper to to keep resin off of it.

pic13.jpg (126671 bytes)

Setting the part into the hull using an epoxy putty.

pic15.jpg (135506 bytes)

The part is glassed into the hull using cloth(and eposy resin). I used numerous pieces of cloth cut into various sizes....even took single strands of fiberglass and laid them around the edges of the part.

pic17.jpg (141122 bytes)

I added 8 layers of cloth near where the shaft strut was bolted in, for reinforcement....this is where the original "marine adhesive" had failed and water started leaking in. THe glass goes up onto the side of the box. I did this to add structure to the boat and to, once again, join the hull and hull liner together. This is not about leaking water, this is only to add strength to the boat. Notice that I had to cut the box open in this area in order to have room to work.

pic18.jpg (146824 bytes)

This is the finished product(1-21-2008). Will it float??? We'll all know in a few months.

pic19.jpg (151289 bytes)


Update, April 5th 2008:  IT FLOATS!!! Very smooth and quiet too...and oh so dry!!!!


Here is a link to a web discussion about leaking HDS boxes:


Hit Counter