PYI Dripless Shaft Seal maintenance

MENEHUNE is equipped with a PYI dripless shaft seal …..along with the rubber bellows.  The seal is, at least, 10 years old; I check it every year, especially the rubber bellows….to see if there is any rot, or otherwise deterioration of the rubber.  Should the rubber fail, the ocean will attempt to fill the bilges.

Recently, during a marine survey for insurance purposes, the surveyor chided me for not having changed the bellows at year 5.  I declared naivety, but retorted that I do check it each year!

Being the original Doubting Thomas, I decided to contact PYI and seek their opinion.  Their response follows:

“On Wed, 4 Nov 2009 16:53:22 -0800 "Dan Schalk"  writes:

Hi Capt. John,

Thank you for the email regarding the life of our PSS Shaft Seal.  Under normal operation you will never need to change the carbon or stainless steel rotor.  We have many seals in operation on commercial boats that have recorded over 40,000 engine hours on them.   The rubber bellow we do suggest replacing every 6-7 years.  This is  the time-frame that most marine surveyors will suggest that you replace any rubber hose that is below the waterline.  That being said, our bellows will easily last 2-3 times that long.

Please feel free to give me a call with any other questions at:


Best Regards,

Dan Schalk

PYI, Inc.

12532 Beverly Park Road

Lynnwood, WA  98087

Phone:  (425)355-3669

Fax:  (425)355-3661

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There you have it.  PYI suggests that the rubber bellows be replaced every 6-7 years!

If you have a PYI Dripless Shaft Seal,….. I thought you would like to have this tid bit of information.

Respectfully, John Cece, s/v MENEHUNE, W42 #195 (1982)