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Old 03-09-2017, 09:30 PM   #1
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Stuffing Box Gland and Hose Maintenance

Hi,

About a year ago we purchased a 2015 Mainship 430 Aft Cabin Trawler with approximately 1500 hours.

We do not have complete maintenance records and do not know if the stuffing box gland was ever replaced. We adjusted the stuffing box tension several times over the summer and it continued to drip, more or less, but mostly more. Based on the looks of the clamps and hoses, I am thinking I need to replace the packing, as well as the hose and clamps.

Pics are located here:

http://s258.photobucket.com/user/lak...ffing.jpg.html

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/h...20Stuffing.jpg

I have no experience in this, but believe I should and can do this before the boat goes in the water. When I search on YouTube, I have not found anything useful other than to replace the packing glands.

Does anyone have any tips, pics, or videos as to how to take this apart and change the packing gland the hoses as well?

I much appreciate any assistance.

Jim
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:42 PM   #2
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Greetings,
I have no idea what the service life of the hose is but it looks fine to me. Replacement of the hose will require that you slide the shaft far enough aft to slide the new hose over the end of the shaft. This means removing the shaft from the coupling. As far as the packing goes, it's not a major undertaking to remove the old packing and replace with new and can be done with the prop shaft in place.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:02 PM   #3
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I agree that the hose clamps especially on the starboard side look rather bad and should be replaced. Hoses typically last 10-20 years and yours look fine. However, standard stuffing box stuffing should be redone every few years or when a little tightening no longer controls the dripping. ( it should drip underway but stop shortly after the boat is stopped) there are now stuffing box packing materials that last much longer than traditional flax packing.

When I was getting ready to do mine for the very first time I looked around on line and found a number of photos, tutorials and videos on how to do it. While the work can be done in the water, it's definitely easier the first time to do it on the hard so you can take your time.

If you simply do a web search titled "how to replace propeller shaft packing" you will get many good hits.

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Old 03-09-2017, 10:10 PM   #4
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If your out of the water now you can remove all the old packing and install all new. If your in the water you can add more packing if there is still room in the housing. Maybe have the boat yard do it for you the first time while you watch, then your all set to do it in the future.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:31 PM   #5
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I like to wrap the new packing in a tight spiral around the shaft then cut it so that it forms individual rings. This is an easy way to get several rings the correct size.
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:57 AM   #6
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You do know that it is required to drip don't you? Required!
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:37 AM   #7
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GregS is correct. That box should be dripping 3 or 4 times per minute while turning. More won't hurt other than to make a mess. Less could cause shaft to run too hot and cause damage. It (stuffing box) should be slightly warm to the touch while running. If boat is new to you have the yard inspect / replace the packing while you watch. I would be very surprised if there was anything wrong with the hose or clamps.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:56 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone.

I do know that it's required to drip while underway. I have tightened it several times and I believe it's time to replace the gland while it's on the hard.

I'm asking for any tips on how to do this - just unbolt, pick the old gland out, repack with a new gland? What kind of surprises will I encounter?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:18 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. j. I can't remember but there's a site with a wealth of information and one section deals with stuffing boxes... noonsite something or other. I'm positive another TF member can give you a link. My memory is going really fast...
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:23 AM   #10
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I use GFO marine packing. Really nice stuff. You can set it to not drip.
This packing, I put in at least 10 years ago. Color is black.
Won't get hot, wont score the prop shaft. Makes the gland style dripless without the trouble of installing a dripless seal.
https://www.emarineinc.com/categorie...-Shaft-Packing
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimL View Post
Hi,

About a year ago we purchased a 2015 Mainship 430 Aft Cabin Trawler with approximately 1500 hours.

We do not have complete maintenance records and do not know if the stuffing box gland was ever replaced. We adjusted the stuffing box tension several times over the summer and it continued to drip, more or less, but mostly more. Based on the looks of the clamps and hoses, I am thinking I need to replace the packing, as well as the hose and clamps.

Pics are located here:

http://s258.photobucket.com/user/lak...ffing.jpg.html

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/h...20Stuffing.jpg

I have no experience in this, but believe I should and can do this before the boat goes in the water. When I search on YouTube, I have not found anything useful other than to replace the packing glands.

Does anyone have any tips, pics, or videos as to how to take this apart and change the packing gland the hoses as well?

I much appreciate any assistance.

Jim
Jim
I'm confused...
Mainship went bankrupt in 2012 (I'm not sure of exact date...+/-) wondering how you have a 2015? Do you have any history on the boat?
Also...I though late model yr MS all had dripless packing...my 2008 and at least a few others I know of did and believe it was std vs an option.
Just curious
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Old 03-10-2017, 08:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
I use GFO marine packing. Really nice stuff. You can set it to not drip.
This packing, I put in at least 10 years ago. Color is black.
Won't get hot, wont score the prop shaft. Makes the gland style dripless without the trouble of installing a dripless seal.
https://www.emarineinc.com/categorie...-Shaft-Packing
I'm glad to hear this is working for you since I just installed GFO in our stuffing boxes (but haven't floated her yet). Leaking stuffing boxes were the main source of water in our bilge; are yours totally dripless? One concern I've heard about GFO is that it can cause galvanic problems with the stainless drive shafts, etc. I'm guessing you've seen no evidence of that.
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:41 AM   #13
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"You do know that it is required to drip don't you? Required!" with flac packing.

Perhaps 2-3 decades ago.

Today Duramax (among others) has replaced flax , tefflon , remote greasing systems and ceramic flanges that need to be water lubricated.
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:11 PM   #14
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Correction, the Mainship is a 2005, not 2015.

Thanks Don.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:51 PM   #15
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Its time to pay a good pro to deal with your problem. If it turns out to be new clamps and packing watch as suggested above. Don't make a decision based on lack of experience or knowledge leave that for the Govt. in DC.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:20 PM   #16
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It's a simple job. Best tool for removing old packing is Palmetto 1101 Packing Extractor. $11 at Amazon. Once you get old packing out you can measure thickness and pick up new GFO packing at local marine supply.

Good idea to take a brass bristle wire brush to all bronze corrosion, especially screw threads. Will make it easier the next time you have to take it apart.
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:08 AM   #17
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I would be inclined to fit a Deep Sea Seal.
It can be done in the water if you are mechanically minded and have someone to pass you the simple tools required.
I've fitted them on the last 2 boats and think they are brilliant, no drips and a simple periodic inspection is all they need.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:16 AM   #18
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If you are replacing the hose, check for wear marks on the shaft where the packing sealed. it may be worth using a slightly longer piece of hose so the packing seals on a smoother part of the shaft.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99 View Post
I'm glad to hear this is working for you since I just installed GFO in our stuffing boxes (but haven't floated her yet). Leaking stuffing boxes were the main source of water in our bilge; are yours totally dripless? One concern I've heard about GFO is that it can cause galvanic problems with the stainless drive shafts, etc. I'm guessing you've seen no evidence of that.
My prop shafts were already rough where the flax had sat on them. So at first they dripped a little, but after tightening couple of times, now they don't drip.

Can't say about corrosion as my prop shafts being so old were already corroded by the flax . Rudder shafts were fine. My feeling is prior owners when the flax leaked forcibly tightened the gland to the point they might have scored the shafts to try and stop the leak. I have read flax packing can score shafts.

I have never had to change any GFO packing since I put on about 10-12 years ago. I used on rudders and prop shafts. Seems to last forever to me.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
My prop shafts were already rough where the flax had sat on them. So at first they dripped a little, but after tightening couple of times, now they don't drip.

Can't say about corrosion as my prop shafts being so old were already corroded by the flax . Rudder shafts were fine. My feeling is prior owners when the flax leaked forcibly tightened the gland to the point they might have scored the shafts to try and stop the leak. I have read flax packing can score shafts.

I have never had to change any GFO packing since I put on about 10-12 years ago. I used on rudders and prop shafts. Seems to last forever to me.
Wonderful! Thanks a lot.
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