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Old 10-01-2015, 09:34 AM   #41
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You can also use dental pics to pull old stuffing. Available at Harbor freight and other tool stores.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #42
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Be careful who you select to do the work. There are several good yards in the Portland area experienced at doing this work. I would follow Spy's advice and put in a few rings now. Then on the next haul out have it all removed, inspect everything carefully without a flood and repack with the right stuff.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:08 AM   #43
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Be careful who you select to do the work. There are several good yards in the Portland area experienced at doing this work. I would follow Spy's advice and put in a few rings now. Then on the next haul out have it all removed, inspect everything carefully without a flood and repack with the right stuff.
We did it in the yard the first time, having never done it before. The second time was in the water. I was amazed at how little things had to be tightened to stop the water...makes me wonder how many people over tighten the packing nuts when it's done on the hard.

As an aside, I talked to one fellow who thought he was supposed to tighten it a bit every time he took his boat out, so I suggested he might want to do a little research about that
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by MurrayM
I was amazed at how little things had to be tightened to stop the water...makes me wonder how many people over tighten the packing nuts when it's done on the hard.


This is one of those boat systems that people either forget about or over think. Water pouring in and fire scare the bejayzus out of boaters but this one is really simple.

Not too tight and just keep a eye on it as part of your boating routine.
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:25 AM   #45
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So with 2 1/4 inch shafts what size to material do I buy? Thanks for all the help....
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:35 AM   #46
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Greetings,
Mr. ASD. The shaft size has nothing to do with the size of the packing other than the overall length of the material needed. Number of rows/layers of packing times the circumference. The critical measurement is the space between the shaft and the inside of the stuffing box. As mentioned, take a regular drill bit and try to slide the non-business end into the space between the shaft and stuffing box. Buy your stuffing material based on this measurement but buy a bit undersized if necessary. Meaning if your space is 5/16" buy 1/4" packing, NOT 3/8" (you'll never get 3/8" into the annular space but the 1/4" will deform on tightening and fill any voids).
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:02 PM   #47
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Compass Marine has a good video on re packing a traditional gland.
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:28 PM   #48
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Greetings,
Mr. ASD. The shaft size has nothing to do with the size of the packing other than the overall length of the material needed.
Well, it kind of does. One of the critical ratings for packing is speed of the shaft. Let's assume a 3000rpm diesel, 2:1 reduction and a 2.5 inch shaft. A 2.5 inch shaft at 1500 rpm has a surface speed of 982 feet per minute. Pretty slow actually, about 11 mph.

So in absolute terms, it doesn't matter too much as flax traditionally is rated at 1000 to 12000 fpm, whereas PTFE and ePTFE is usually around 4000 fpm.

But these ratings are for well adjusted, and well lubricated packing. The flax doesn't allow for as much margin at higher speeds particularly if it is over tightened, which is often the case on many boats I've seen.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:05 PM   #49
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But these ratings are for well adjusted, and well lubricated packing. The flax doesn't allow for as much margin at higher speeds particularly if it is over tightened, which is often the case on many boats I've seen.
Spy, this is a good debate and though maybe a little too technical at times, hopefully it makes people aware of an otherwise ignored system. Ignored mostly because it is out of sight and people don't understand the purpose or mechanics of it.

Now, help me with the new materials because I still believe in a drip, even if only one or two a minute, under way, for lubricating as much as cooling.

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Originally Posted by Marin;
But the flax in our packing glands has gone some 12 or 13 years with no problems. By which I mean no dripping underway or at rest and the packing glands run dead cold.
Am I behind the technology?
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:25 PM   #50
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Spy, this is a good debate and though maybe a little too technical at times, hopefully it makes people aware of an otherwise ignored system. Ignored mostly because it is out of sight and people don't understand the purpose or mechanics of it.

Now, help me with the new materials because I still believe in a drip, even if only one or two a minute, under way, for lubricating as much as cooling.

Am I behind the technology?
Old school flax packing normally will run warm to hot if you try to run it dripless. Unless you only run you boat a slow speeds.

Marin apparently pulls all his packing out at least once a year, looks at it and reinstalls it. Otherwise I have no idea how he would know it's true condition after 13 years of use.

As to GFO turning to "plastic" due to the box running hot, well if they say so. But I can't imagine how over tight you'd have to get the box to do that. And if true, it's probably better it happened with GFO. Because if you over tightened a box like that with plain packing in it I'd think you'd start a fire in the box.

I mean GFO is rated to 500-600 degrees or there about.

And they see this problem a lot !? Do they see a lot of burnt up flax packing as well? Or is it only people using GFO that some how manage to keep over tightening their boxes?
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:16 PM   #51
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Greetings,
Mr. ASD. The shaft size has nothing to do with the size of the packing other than the overall length of the material needed. Number of rows/layers of packing times the circumference. The critical measurement is the space between the shaft and the inside of the stuffing box. As mentioned, take a regular drill bit and try to slide the non-business end into the space between the shaft and stuffing box. Buy your stuffing material based on this measurement but buy a bit undersized if necessary. Meaning if your space is 5/16" buy 1/4" packing, NOT 3/8" (you'll never get 3/8" into the annular space but the 1/4" will deform on tightening and fill any voids).
Thanks RT. I now understand the drill bit part. Thanks for explaining....
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:36 PM   #52
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So with 2 1/4 inch shafts what size to material do I buy? Thanks for all the help....
The Buck-Algonquin catalog has different type stuffing boxes for 2 1/4" shafts. Depending on the type, they use 3/8, 7/16, or 1/2" packing so measuring is the most definite way.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:43 PM   #53
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Depending on the type, they use 3/8, 7/16, or 1/2" packing so measuring is the most definite way.
Yup.
If all else fails, pop a ring out of the good gland, measure it and stick it back in.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:47 PM   #54
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Use the shaft as a mandrel to cut the new packing. Don't butt cut the packing rings, cut the joints on a bias and as mentioned before stagger the rings joints. Packing pullers can be bought in different sizes, a good alternative is a welding rod. Heat the tip on a grinding wheel and bend into a hook and quench in cold water to temper the hook. Seat the new rings in the gland then back off slightly to get a steady drip, adjust as required BUT never wear loose clothes near a turning propeller shaft, safer to make minor adjustments after the engine is secured.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:04 PM   #55
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Use the shaft as a mandrel to cut the new packing.
I wouldn't recommend using the shaft as a mandrel for cutting.
A measuring tool, sure; wrap 3 or 4 turns tightly around the shaft, scribe each with a razor blade and remove it for cutting.
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:43 AM   #56
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Marin apparently pulls all his packing out at least once a year, looks at it and reinstalls it. Otherwise I have no idea how he would know it's true condition after 13 years of use.

As to GFO turning to "plastic" due to the box running hot, well if they say so. Or is it only people using GFO that some how manage to keep over tightening their boxes?
If the packing gland is not dripping or is just barely dripping and the gland and log are running dead cold it's a pretty fair bet the packing is in good shape. I don't have to pull the pistons every year on a perfectly running engine to know that they're in good shape, either. Even my dog understands this fairly rudimentary logic.

But for those who cannot make the connection between a piece of equipment that's operating correctly and the internal condition of that piece of equipment, we just had the packing in our PNW boat changed the other week, so that's how we know what shape it was in after all those years. It didn't really need changing but as the yard was doing work there anyway we hed them change it.

Apparently they see a sufficient number of problems with Gore and other types of "synthetic" packing to not recommend them although they will install them if an owner requests it. This is not a toy boat boatyard, by the way. With 35 and 165 ton Travelifts (I had thought it was 150 tons but just learned it's 165) at least half their work is large yachts and commercial fishing and crabbing boats with recreational power and sail boats, wood, glass and metal, making up the rest. So they've had a wee bit of experience with this sort of thing.
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:59 AM   #57
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If the adjustment is just about bottomed out, why not just add another ring and snug back up? Approximately 70% of the sealing comes from the two rings closest to the gland follower anyways. The bottom rings are more or less spacers as they see very little compression.

Use a square braided yarn made of GFO or ePTFE.


Also Capt Bill and Hawgwash give great advice.

I just put more material in.
Also, I did have someone show me the first time and that really helped.

Not trying to pull out the old material, keeps the water inflow to a fast trickle.

Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:05 AM   #58
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One difference might be some of the larger commercials use the flax packing as the tail shaft packing asb a bearing bearing.

Our 90/90 is small but we obtained a unit that has 18 turns of packing , and no cutlass rubber bearing.

This was required as our large 2 blade prop wants to move as it is covered and uncovered from the deadwood.

The high blade loading on many bigger boats might be similar.

The GFO does work for us .

The drill with the old packing was grease cup under the galley sink that required a turn after operating to seal the required cooling drip.
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:05 AM   #59
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If the packing gland is not dripping or is just barely dripping and the gland and log are running dead cold it's a pretty fair bet the packing is in good shape. I don't have to pull the pistons every year on a perfectly running engine to know that they're in good shape, either. Even my dog understands this fairly rudimentary logic.

Has your dog ever heard of a bore scope? Compression test? Leak down test? Or fluid analysis?

Or does his rudimentary logic just end at, "Well it ran fine yesterday, so I don't see why we need to monitor it's condition? Let's just run it till it fails catastrophically".


If your dog is judging the quality of a boatyard by the size of their lift, I guess he needs to start bringing your boat to S FL.
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:24 AM   #60
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Changing your packing while your boat is in the water makes for a good controlled test for your bilge pump system. If your pump/s can't more than handle the flow of one or two open stuffing boxes, you need some more and/or bigger pumps.
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