Whether the stuffing box should drip with the shaft at rest is really dependent on a few factors: 1) Number of rings of packing; 2) Type of packing material; and 3) How much friction you consider acceptable.
With traditional flax packing material, you may need to allow some dripping when at rest to keep the flax sufficiently waterlogged to prevent the packing material at the inboard side from drying out and scoring the prop shaft. With the GFO packing, this is not as necessary, but the box should still drip a tiny bit when the propshaft is turning.
Checking the temperature of the stuffing box while the propshaft is turning is a good idea. It shouldn't be more than about 15-20˚ warmer than ambient temperature of the water. Anything greater than that, you're probably risking scoring of the propshaft.
With all packing materials, but more so with flax-based packing, you should allow the packing material to absorb water for a while before adjusting. The flax-based packing, IIRC, will swell a bit as it absorbs water and adjusting the box before it has done so will lead to an overtightened box that will score the shaft.
I've always held the philosophy that the stuffing box should not drip unless the shaft is turning. So I would want mine to drip once in a while when I'm motoring but not when I'm sailing.
I haven't heard of the GFO/GFU products, they sound good, I may try and get some. I still use the old waxy flax stuff.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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