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Old 06-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #1
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Another packing gland question

On our sailboat I always did three pieces of packing material. I just pulled the old packing out of one packing gland and there were four in there. Since it's a much bigger shaft than the sailboat had is four the right number?

Bob
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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I would think this question is impossible to answer without detail on your boat and gland make and model and likely the user's manual but for glands in general you are better off with less than more. You can always add an additional ring if you find you have maxed out your adjustment and still leaking more than desired. IMHO.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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If the compression method that tightens against the packing looks OK , you have the right number of rings.

If it bottoms either the packing is shot or another turn of material is required.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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>>>gland make and model and likely the user's manual <<<

That's a good one! But I'm inclined to agree that less is probably better. Even with three rings there is still quite a bit of adjustment left.

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Old 06-13-2013, 10:12 AM   #5
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I'd never done a stuffing box before, so while the bottom paint was drying I bought some 3/8 packing (because that's what was put in the last time according to the maintenance log, and there was some old 3/8 on the boat for emergencies) and got to work.

Four rings came out, so four rings went back in.

Like I said, I'd never done it before, so wasn't too concerned about how easily the 3/8 packing slipped into place...it swells a bit in the first day or two, right? I did notice however that the packing nut took a few more turns before I felt it 'take' compared to how many turns it took to take it off. Weird...

So, boat hits the water after painting, and there's a mighty aggressive trickle coming in through the stuffing box. What the?

Dug out the old packing from the garbage on the boat, and turns out it was 7/16 packing. The maintenance log faded away as the PO aged and became sick, and there was a new cutlass bearing noted in one of the last entries in the log. He must have gone to a larger sized packing nut and not noted it in the log.

So, the boats in the water and we have to re-do the stuffing box...

We cut strips from cloth and an old inner tube, held our breath, and undid the nut. It was a gusher! There is nothing more disconcerting than the sound of the ocean coming into your boat!!

Several wraps of cloth jammed into place and held there by the inner tube gave us the time to cut and put in three rings...four wouldn't fit.

It was good to do it in the water because we would have overtightened it for sure on the hard...it was surprising how little force needs to be applied to make it work. We now have a drip every 45 seconds or so at cruising speed.

Murray (from the bottom of the learning curve looking waaaaay up )
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #6
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Murray ya done good.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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The trick is to cut the new ones first before pulling out the old. But anyway, it's nothing the bilge pump couldn't handle.

I also pulled out four rock hard rings that were somewhat recognizable but first some stuff that looked like a piece if rope. I guess somebody's quick fix when tightening the rock hard packing didn't work anymore.

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Old 06-13-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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You guys always come thru.:Thanx:

The value of TF is that possibilities are mentioned, that may come in handy on a dark, story sea.

I just recently had to tighten my stuffing box after the drips became a strong trickle. But at least it didn't get any worse when I undid the lock nut.

But easily fixed with new wad.

But that's not thie point of this post. The point is I get ideas. I see that for every problem there is not only one solution, but multiple solutions, so don't get fixated on one idea.

From how to get from A to B or when or how to replace the old widget.

You guys always come thru.

Keep up the ideas.

P.S. And I'm still looking for the sail boat too

Thanks
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:37 AM   #9
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Good job and as you found The packing should be tightened when in the water.

Years ago on my previous boat, before I learned about these darn things, I was coached into using a piece of rope, COTTON, and melted candle wax to soak the rope in when the existing stuff failed and I didn't have extra. It worked as long as I went slow. I learned how to do it properly and always have lots of extra packing now.
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