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Old 08-26-2017, 06:49 PM   #1
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Prop shaft packing - what do you use?

I am getting ready to have my boat hauled and bottom painted, and I've noticed the port engine prop shaft packing seem to be dripping a lot more than the starboard side. I am thinking that I should have both packing glands done.

Reading up on the internet I've come across this product:

Duramax Ultra-X High Performance Packing

Duramax Shaft Sealing Systems: Ultra-X High-Performance Packing

The haul out facility hasn't used this before, so I was wondering what you guys use, and if any of you have experience with this product, or something similar?

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:52 PM   #2
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As long as its NOT GRAPHITE!
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f508 View Post
I am getting ready to have my boat hauled and bottom painted, and I've noticed the port engine prop shaft packing seem to be dripping a lot more than the starboard side. I am thinking that I should have both packing glands done.

Reading up on the internet I've come across this product:

Duramax Ultra-X High Performance Packing

Duramax Shaft Sealing Systems: Ultra-X High-Performance Packing

The haul out facility hasn't used this before, so I was wondering what you guys use, and if any of you have experience with this product, or something similar?

Thanks,

Frank
You might consider just tightening it.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev_rm View Post
You might consider just tightening it.
I thought about that, but I am assuming that the boat needs to be out of the water to change the gland, and since I am hauling for paint I figured I would get it done.

Is it not customary to have the glands done at the haul outs? How long does the packing typically last?

Thanks.

Frank
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
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I used GORTEX packing for many years with great success. A little pricey I expect but should last indefinitely. No leak whatsoever once broken in and adjusted correctly.


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Old 08-26-2017, 10:17 PM   #6
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I have done the packing on different boats over the years. It is not necessary to wait for a haulout, as the bilge pump capacity is way above the volume of the leak you might create by pulling all the old packing out, but it is unlikely you would do so. Add a single wrap to what is there, so long as you have room, or just tighten it a little more.
I have been using the white stuff, teflon coated flax. works every time.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:35 PM   #7
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XsBank.. what's wrong with graphite? Looking at doing mine for the first time and the graphite impregnated types seem to get good reviews.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:50 PM   #8
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I too use the GORTEX packing. Have done for many years now. I did not tighten enough to completely stop water entry untill last year which was actually more by accident than intent. Still stays cool.


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Graphite loaded types are reported to potentially cause corrosion issues with SS shafts. YOur mileage may vary.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:07 AM   #9
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Check out Dripless moldable packing from Fisheries Supply Seattle.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:59 AM   #10
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Re Graphite gland packing's (although very good for wear properties) as mentioned earlier there is a higher chance of Galvanic Corrosion due to being one of the most "noble" (0.2) elements in the Galvanic Scale where as SS is around -0.1 (less noble) add to "brew" of elements is the normal Bronze Stuffing box as (-0.4) and the electrically conductive fluid) as salt water or (fresh water) and you a "battery" in the making where the less noble elements as the Bronze and SS will be attacked,

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Old 08-27-2017, 01:12 AM   #11
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Frank, I do note your great gland packing does in fact use Graphite in the packing so as above my earlier post would not recommend this for vessel applications(especially in Salt Water),

Have you considered changing your actual system (since you will be dry docked) to one of the drip less systems such as the Volvo Seal (Simple and works really well with minimal maintenance (once a year ) and easy installation in most cases : https://www.generalpropeller.com/Volvo-Shaft-Seal

OR PSS Shaft Seal

PSS Shaft Seal: The world’s leading dripless seal.

Final Note: I guess you have tried to adjust the present gland packing ? just tighten each nut one full turn only and see if your dripping is better, just to note these packing type shaft seals are designed to drip


Cheers Steve
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:38 AM   #12
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Before the haul, just tighten the packing a bit.

Probably will take up and not need replacing.
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:51 AM   #13
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During haul out, be sure to have shafts closely inspected to assess shaft wear in packing area, if any. On older boats operating in silty water, shafts can indeed suffer, making a drip free packing arrangement nigh impossible.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:29 AM   #14
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Only tighten a packing if you know what that packing looks like and is not hard and has not been overheated at some point, possibly also from a shaft that has drifted out of alignment and already tightened. Hardened packing can and will score. The last thing you want to do with a packing in that state is to tighten it.

There are too many aging boats with hardened packing out there for me to want to recommend just tightening. If you have replaced packing previously and know it's history, then yes fine.

Otherwise, I'd just take the 15-20 minutes to replace. I like Gore packing, but then if you can't get regular flax to barely drip, the problem is not the packing but alignment/balance/wobble and you can't blame the packing for that.

I always do mine in the water. The only problem is if the old packing turns out to be rock hard and you wind up breaking corkscrew tools trying to get it out and have to leave the boat to get another tool. Still, even then you can just stuff a paper towel in there and screw the nut back on. Changing in the water really doesn't get the heart rate up like you would think it does, when you realize you can just screw the nut back on. Usually when you get the nut off, it's a bit of a "that's it?" kind of experience.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:36 AM   #15
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You'll be very happy with Duramax, its the cats pajamas.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:59 AM   #16
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The dripless packings are the only thing i use. Gortes or something newer. I don't like the dripless systems because they are more complicated and failure prone. They were always a topic of dock talk by owners while us gortex folks just listened.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:28 AM   #17
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Thanks guys. This is my first boat, and of course, my first haul out. So I don't have any experience with any of this stuff, and I don't really know the history of the packing.

I like the sound of that dripless system, I'll get a price on that, and if it doesn't make me swoon, I'll probably go with that.

The info on the graphite reaction is good to know, I think the packing I was initially interested in might be graphite, it is dark gray anyway.

It sounds like the packing is isn't an "every haul out" type of service.

Thanks again!

Frank
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:20 AM   #18
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The Duramax will last many years (as will others).
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:07 AM   #19
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I installed the Duramax stuff from Defender on prop and rudder shafts two years ago. Adjusted once after a few hours. Bilge has been bone dry ever since. Remarkable.
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:22 PM   #20
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With slower turning shafts, no matter what packing you have in there, you can get them just so they barely ooze and not even drip, and still not create much heat.

The "must drip" is really a thing of the past since modern packings.

The best thing about a drip, even at rest is new oxygenated water keeping the stainless shaft stainless.
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