I did a lot of searching on this site and a lot of reading on the web before going to work on the stuffing boxes on my Californian 42 LRC. The boat had been sitting in a slip for at least 12 years. Not surprisingly, after a brief sea trial, the stuffing boxes were leaking more than they should. The jam nut and the packing nut were stuck fast and covered with a bluish green patina.
Following are some of the points I learned from the collective knowledge.
- I used two wrenches, a 18" pipe wrench and a plumbers slip wrench. The slip wrench looks similar to an adjustable wrench but the jaws are square and the wrench is short. These wrenches work but they are very clumsy to use.
- I have ordered 2 short spanner wrenches from ebay to keep in the boat tool box. My boat has 1 3/8" shafts and the 2 nuts are 2 1/2" and 2 3/8". I spent $35 for the dedicated wrenches and I consider it money well spent.
- If you use an adjustable slip wrench make sure to pull against the fixed jaw or the wrench will slip or break.
- If there is patina to clean off of the nuts and threads forget the PB Blaster or other penetrants, this is not the place for them. Use a mild acid and a brass brush. You will be surprised how fast the gunk loosens. I used bathroom tub and tile cleaner, but I think vinegar or lemon juice would work as well.
- If the jam nut is still stuck nothing beats a drift and hammer to loosen it. The shock load easily breaks it loose without stressing the tube/hose.
- After freeing up the nuts, I used the method of letting the boat pull against the dock lines in reverse at about 1000rpm. The packing nut was adjusted for 1 drop every minute.
- Don't take the wrench off of the packing nut until the jam nut is tightened against it, so the spinning shaft cannot spin the nut off and keep your hands and clothing off of the shaft.
I obtained satisfactory results and the boat is now ready to change marinas, but I will be replacing the packing in the near future because I want to know what I have down there
. I hope this helps others.