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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-10-2007
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Stuffing box

A boat I'm looking at has been on the hard for 6 or so years.

What happens when she is put back in the water......will the stuffing box leak?

On a related note - if I engage the tranny with the stuffing box dry (boat still on the hard) will I destroy the packing and gall the shaft?

Dumb questions for sure but just wanting to verify.

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Old 08-10-2007
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Actually thats a good question. Last Fall I ran the engine while on the hard to run some fresh water through the system and then winterize it. Ran it for about a half hour to 45 min. total. This Spring when launched the stuffing box leaked quite badly. I had just had it repacked last season. This year I put on a dripless box so I will add this question to the thread: can I run a dripless stuffing box while on the hard without damage and , if so, for how long.
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Old 08-10-2007
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Hey,

You should not run the shaft dry. If you want to turn it on the hard, spray it with water, WD40, or something else to keep it cool and lubricated. If all you want to do it turn the shaft by hand to make sure it spins, that is OK.

I don't know if the box will leak when you splash the boat.

BArry
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Old 08-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bump View Post
... This year I put on a dripless box so I will add this question to the thread: can I run a dripless stuffing box while on the hard without damage and , if so, for how long.
I wouldn't. Even though with the dripless seals there is no liquid between the mating surfaces (ordinarily) the flooded tube acts as a heat sink to remove the friction heat of the seal. Running it dry could allow the seal to overheat and damage the critical surfaces of the dripless seal.
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Old 08-10-2007
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What about this test:
1) Splash the boat into the water.
2) Leave
3) Come back in 14 days
If the boat is still floating the stuffing box (or anything else) does not leak.
(I'd better log off before I write something even more stupid)
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Old 08-10-2007
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Dumb Question

Why are you running the engine with the shaft in gear? Why not just leave it in neutral? I'm told you're not suppose run diesels without putting them under load, but I would think for a short period of time leaving the engine in neutral would be OK. What am I missing?
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Old 08-10-2007
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Calypso just beat me to remarking on the same observation. Unless you're running the diesel in gear, the shaft should not be spinning in the stuffing box.
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Old 08-10-2007
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I wanted to see if it would shift in and out of gear as well
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Old 08-10-2007
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Duh! Forgot to mention it was in neutral and of course shaft was not spinning and of course doing that would not be a problem. I really should think before putting finger to keyboard.
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Old 08-10-2007
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"I'm told you're not suppose run diesels without putting them under load, but "

So if you don't run diesels without a load, how do you charge your batteries when cruising under sail? How do you cool those marine refrigerators sold that use a compressor powered off the engine while at idle? I have not been a cruiser, so I cannot say it never damaged my engine, but I knew a man who had one of those refrigerators for nearly 20 years, sold the boat, and it is in the slip next to mine with the original engine. No damage to the engine that I can see! I really need to know why one should not run a diesel without a load, because after I retire I plan to live on my boat, often sitting at anchor for a couple days due to inclement weather and/or laziness! I will need to charge my batteries. I bought a 105A alternator for my engine; are you saying I must buy a seperate genset?
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