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Old 07-27-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
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Burning question

Hello all ..... I'm on the return trip of what has been a great run to Alaska, and have just pulled into Prince Rupert on my way to Olympia, WA. in a 1971 GB36. Four days ago I noticed a steady trickle of water from my port stuffing box. Its a bit faster when under way, but still comes out when I'm not moving. My question is whether I need to take care of the problem here or whether it will hold the 14 days or so till I get home. Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Craig
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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Servicing Your Stuffing Box - BoatTECH Guides by Don Casey | BoatUS
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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I would just tighten it first and then work on it when the trip is over. If tightening doesn't make a difference, I would replace the packing material.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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From your description it sounds like the packing gland adjustment nut is too loose. Other than the ingress of water, this won't hurt anything as long as your bilge pump can deal with the water coming in.

But the cure is real easy and you can do this on the spot if you have the right tools. However if you tighten the adjustment nut too much the gland will run too hot and could cause damage to the gland and even the shaft.

The technique is to tighten it a bit to just barely stop the drip when the shaft is not turning, then run the boat at cruising speed and see what the drip rate is (a drip a minute is a typical rate although some boats won't drip at all or much less than that).

But the most important thing is to make sure the packing gland/shaft log is running cool to the touch. Or at most a bit warm. But never hot. If it will run dead cold and have little or no drip that's ideal.

If you adjust the nut and run the boat and the rate of drip is still too high, stop, tighten the nut down a wee bit, and try again. If you adjust the nut and run the boat and the gland is getting too hot, stop, back off the nut a wee bit, and try again.

I've done it several times on our boat and it's a simple trial and error process. Once you think you've got it, check it periodically during that day's run to make sure it's not getting hot. If not, then you're fine from then on.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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Just make sure you don't get close to do this while the shafts are turning. Spinning shafts, couplings etc. have a bad way of grabbing loose clothing and wrapping it up causing sometime serious injuries.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:42 AM   #6
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When you replace the packing it is worth the few bucks to move into the 21st century.

The ancient packing of 1900 and the slightly better stuff of the late 1900's gives the adjustment problems , and can run got ,,,even the tefflon.

Worst of all these antique materials will hold slivers of the shaft , or particles of sand that can grove (ruin) the shaft.

The ceramic seals with bellows was an improvment in its day but the fear of the bellows failing , and creating a leak above the ability of electric bilge pumps requires frequent replacement of the bellows. This usually requires a haul and the shaft coupling removed from the shaft. UGH

Today , go modern and dump all these hassles.

The packing can easily be replaced while afloat with a minor bit of planning.

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Old 07-28-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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When you replace the packing it is worth the few bucks to move into the 21st century.

The ancient packing of 1900 and the slightly better stuff of the late 1900's gives the adjustment problems , and can run got ,,,even the tefflon.

Worst of all these antique materials will hold slivers of the shaft , or particles of sand that can grove (ruin) the shaft.

The ceramic seals with bellows was an improvment in its day but the fear of the bellows failing , and creating a leak above the ability of electric bilge pumps requires frequent replacement of the bellows. This usually requires a haul and the shaft coupling removed from the shaft. UGH

Today , go modern and dump all these hassles.

The packing can easily be replaced while afloat with a minor bit of planning.

FF
So what stuff are you recommending?
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:56 AM   #8
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I used this on my last two boats. It didn't leak! it ran HOT the first couple times out but you had to completely remove the gland nut to get any water out. After it was run in it was always warm but didn't leak a drop spinning or stationary.

Flax Packing

has anyone used the new clay stuff?
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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Just make sure you don't get close to do this while the shafts are turning. Spinning shafts, couplings etc. have a bad way of grabbing loose clothing and wrapping it up causing sometime serious injuries.
Steve W
Steve: You're right. In 2008 I reached underneath our turning prop shaft. My old T-shirt got caught on the shaft coupler and in an instant I was pulled on to the shaft as my head slammed into the transmission. The T-shirt was ripped off of me in about 1/100 of a second. It happened that fast. From the pictures you can see the burns and bruising that resulted as the T shirt was ripped off. Every time I look in the mirror I have a permanent reminder of how stupid I was and also how lucky I am. I have thought many times if the shirt was in better condition or if I had on coveralls what could have happened. Needless to say we have a changed a few procedures.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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Larry,

Thanks for the visual lesson.. The best lessons are those learned by others.. thanks for sharing I appreciate it and it will be a reminder to me..
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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Blue,
Next time you start a new thread please give us a little bit more information in the thread title as to what the thread is about. This is actually a message for a whole lot more people than you. I think it's been a problem for years. How can one surf the threads if the thread titles give no clue as to what the thread is about. Most of us would probably like to be selective.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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Our boat has had flax packing and still does. The yard we use believes flax is actually superior in some ways to Gore or some of the others for shaft log applications. They prefer the Gore for rudder packing, however.

We've had the packing in the shafts changed once in the 14 years we've had the boat and it wasn't because it was failing but because we had the shafts out anyway so might as well do it, right?

Once adjusted, the logs run dead cold, packing glands don't drip at all when the boat is stationary and underway they drip perhaps one drip every five minutes. But most of the time when I've gone down to time the drip rate I either never see a drip or I see one and then eventually lose interest and leave the engine room before I see the next one.

So for us, anyway, I cannot see any benefit in using anything other than flax. We would not gain anything over what we use now.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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I'm running a Teflon packing I got from my hose/ fitting supplier
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:07 AM   #14
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www.gore.com/en.../packing/gfo_packing_fiber.html

This works very well, there are other brands.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:56 AM   #15
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I realize that for most this is preaching to the choir but to those who are new to boating, the ancient tech that was referenced is a grease impregnated piece of rope. I try to always have one of those tiny tubes of grease aboard, you can use virtually any type of cloth in an emergency situation. And remember new packing when done properly requires VERY little pressure to work, and always check a new packing job the first several times you use the boat AFTER you've docked and shutdown before going home. Everyone checks the ER before firing up this is something you need to check after shutting down!
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #16
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I realize that for most this is preaching to the choir but to those who are new to boating, the ancient tech that was referenced is a grease impregnated piece of rope. I try to always have one of those tiny tubes of grease aboard, you can use virtually any type of cloth in an emergency situation. And remember new packing when done properly requires VERY little pressure to work, and always check a new packing job the first several times you use the boat AFTER you've docked and shutdown before going home. Everyone checks the ER before firing up this is something you need to check after shutting down!
Great advice
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #17
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Cnbrill,

To answer your question...... Enjoy the rest of your trip and deal with it when you get back. Not enough water comes through there to cause any harm.

Regards,
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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Cnbrill,

To answer your question...... Enjoy the rest of your trip and deal with it when you get back. Not enough water comes through there to cause any harm.

Regards,
unless it's being slung all over the engine room that might shut down electrical items and ultimately be a mess to deal with...

1/2 a 2 liter coke container or milk container can be fastened over top of it to keep the slung water down to a minimum.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #19
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----------1/2 a 2 liter coke container or milk container can be fastened over top of it to keep the slung water down to a minimum.------------

I use an old fender to do the same thing cut to suit. stops water from being flung or misted over the gear, brackets and engine back.

I also had to repack on e box in my old boat with a cotton rope saturated in a melted wax candle. It worked well enough to get me home at slow speed. Stopped the gusher. I learned after that to always have spare packing on hand.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:07 AM   #20
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"the ancient tech that was referenced is a grease impregnated piece of rope."

These were frequently installed with remote grease cups.

Since a properly adjusted flax grease packing will drip with the engine off , a simple turn or two of the cup would force enough grease into the packing to stop the drip.

On start up as the bearing heated the grease would allow the required water flow to cool the flax or tefflon packing.
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