packing gland - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2007
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packing gland

Hi, we had our packing gland 'fixed' last weekend and we went sailing yesterday and discovered the bilge filling up at an alarming rate, and we were unable to slow/stop the water. we tightened the nut, and tried various positions on the nut but it never shut down the leak. fortunately we had a guy who was willing to bail out the bilge for the entire time, but i was wondering is there anyway for someone to 'shut down' this leak ala like a seacock? we ended up getting it hoisted and are having it worked on, but was there anything i could have done to shut down the water intake completely? seems like a failure in the packing gland could have disastrous consequences. thanks
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Old 09-30-2007
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I don't know of any way to quicky shut down a leak through the stern tube. You have to find the leak and fix it. It could have been from the mounting tube or bellows and not from the packing gland itself.

Diagram

Last edited by CapnHand; 09-30-2007 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 09-30-2007
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Sounds as if the gasket material was put in the packing gland wrong.
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Old 09-30-2007
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yeah i think so, but if you are out at sea, is there any quick fix or stopgap measure i wonder?
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Old 09-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkeith View Post
yeah i think so, but if you are out at sea, is there any quick fix or stopgap measure i wonder?
Somewhere I read, I no longer recall where, a method for replacing the packing gland while the boat's in the water. IIRC, it involved rolling out some silly putty (I think it was), placing it inside a plastic bag, and packing it around the prop shaft outside the stern tube. This, of course, necessitates a short dive under the boat.

Other than that, or hauling the boat, you're SOL. Personally, I'd be having stern words with whomever was responsible for "fixing" your packing gland. Btw: I'm no expert, but wouldn't it be a good idea to test a new packing gland installation before putting out to sea?

Jim
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Old 09-30-2007
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Replace the packing material... We have done this at sea on much bigger boat with a much larger stuffing tube.
Plan on getting wet. Hoping that the sea water isn't cold. As you draw out the old placking and put in the new.
The reason the packing failed on my vessel was because the idiot took three wraps around the shaft and shoved it in.
We took new material and with a single turn around the shaft and cut at a 45 degree angle. Put in three of them with the cuts at 180 degree from each other.

Last edited by Boasun; 09-30-2007 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 09-30-2007
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With the proper tools and the proper material, re packing a stuffing box at sea should not be a major event. Pre-cut your material have everything laid out and install it. Primary Bilge pump should handle what you take aboard while doing this. I have done this many times on many boats and agree with "Boasun".
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We took new material and with a single turn around the shaft and cut at a 45 degree angle. Put in three of them with the cuts at 180 degree from each other.[/quote]

ok that sounds hopeful, what you mean cut at 45 degree angle and then put 3 of them in at 180 degree from each other. i must be dense...sorry
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Old 09-30-2007
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You cut the material at a 45˚ angle, to help it layup nicely around the propshaft. You then stack the rings with the cut sections diametrically opposed from each other to help reduce water leakage—kind of like overlapping the shingles...
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Old 09-30-2007
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i see, continuous loops, cut at 45 degree angle, 3 of them and then wrapped 180 degrees opposite of the other cut. then just slide nut over and tighten?

so the only way to stop the leak at sea is to replace the glands. hmmm this seems like one of the more vulnerable openings in the boat? no quick and easy shut off valve.
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