Stuffing Box - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 05-23-2002
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
kcaj is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

My Pearson 33 was launched 3 days ago and approx 1/2 gallon an hour of water is seeping through a series of nuts on my drive staff I understand is my stuffing box. One knowledgable sailer tells me its common for a number of days until "it swells up". Others say to adjust it by backing aft nut,closing down second nut, etc. The nuts look fairly corroded, yet I understand spring adjustment is needed. I can just myself cracking one and having a fire hose of sea water slamming me around the bilge. The boat was in the water 2 years two straight years prior to last fall. Advice?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 05-23-2002
Senior Nappy Headed Ho
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 734
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Denr is an unknown quantity at this point
Stuffing Box

Packing flax (unlike a wooden boat) does not need a lot of immersion time to expand to fill the counterbore of the pack nut. The volume of water you''re referring to sounds excessive for a properly adjusted installation. If you loosen the aft most locking nut and then take two suitable wrenches, one used to hold the packing nut stationary and the other used to turn the compression nut clockwise to squeeze the flax. You probably want one drip of water per minute when the shaft is not turning which could be a full turn or more on the compression nut in your situation. Don’t over tighten as you could wear permanent grooves in your shaft and overheat the nut causing the flax to fail. You could replace the packing flax but not while she''s in the water.

Now, at the end of the season rip all of this crap out of your boat and install a new drip free packing assembly. The new face seals are water tight, don’t damage your shaft, significantly reduce drive train friction and have been used for decades in military vessels. I don''t suggest you start the ripping procedure until she''s on the hard unless you can hold your breath for a long time.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 05-23-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 445
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
VIEXILE is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

If it''s that corroded, maybe the gland tube needs replacing, too. From forward to aft, along the shaft (oooh...poet) should be outer hex nut (female) - the one that tightens, inner portion with hex (male, fixed to a hose with clamp), a short length of 1.5+- inch hose with clamp on the forward end (to the aft hex fitting) and clamp on the aft end onto the fiberglass stern tube. Best fix is to haul out, pull the shaft, clean everything up, replace the hose and clamps, clean up the bronze hex fittings, restuff with appropriate sized (important) flax stuffing cord. Some do it annually (repack with flax, not pull everything out). Some never do it at all and get away with it. In the water - stuff and wrap a towel as far back as you can get it and try to dam up the water flow. Make sure your bilge pumps are working. With two wrenches or a set of large visegrips on the aft hex wedged agin'' the hull, open the forward end of the stuffing box. Scrape out old flax (there''s a tool for this- cheap - I''ve done it with a sharpened piece of coat hanger or small screwdriver - check with mirror for clean removal) and replace with at least three offset layers of new flax cut to the circumference of the shaft. A good technique is to cut the flax on an angle (and size to the shaft in advance of taking everything apart) so it neatly overlaps itself when wrapped around the shaft. I put in a layer of flax, tighten the nut some (to seat the packing), back off, add flax, tighten the nut, back off, add flax, etc. I''d check out the hose and hose clamps, though. The hose gets brittle and anything less than Awab clamps rust rather quickly. You should be able to at least replace the clamps in the water- quickly and gingerly. A different method I''ve used is to take the hose off the stern tube, pack the opening with a small towel around the shaft, do the work on the stuffing box by sliding it forward on the shaft and then re-clamp it to the stern tube. Kind of depends on the rate of water intrusion from you cutless bearing. I probably made this sound more complicated than it is, but it is truly a pain in the ass in the water. Druther haul out.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 05-23-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 445
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
VIEXILE is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

What Denr said.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 05-23-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 275
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
windship has a little shameless behaviour in the past
Stuffing Box

What VIEXILE said.

Dennis
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 05-30-2002
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
scottcallahan is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

you dont want a dripless unless you want to spend a lot of money and time on your boat.
plus you dont want to remove your shaft. i do it every day and it sux. just haul it. douce the stuffing box with pb blaster. after a few aplications take a wire brush to it. clean the treads then losten the lock nut. losten the packing nut. take out the packing find out the size then buy gortex packing. take the packing wrap it around the shaft, cut packing to fit a single wrap butting each end
to each other. put in 3 wraps rotating the seams 1/3 turn from each other. this all will
take about 3 hours.
installing a dripless would take about 2-3 weekends. if you dont believe me then try it.
first problem is that you wont have the right tooks. the other problem is that you will need to go back and forth for parts.
the gortex packing will last about 10 years if done right.

-scott-
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 05-31-2002
Senior Nappy Headed Ho
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 734
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Denr is an unknown quantity at this point
Stuffing Box

With all due respect "Scotty" you''re full of crap like a Christmas goose! If you have the right tools, and you properly plan for the job, it will not take more than a morning or afternoon. I helped a friend installed one in his Catalina 30 this spring in less than 2 hours! I think your problem is that you use "tooks" rather than tools!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 05-31-2002
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
mtnguy is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

There is an alternative to the more expensive dripless packing. West marine sells a kit manufactured by WESTERN PACIFIC TRAD that is a dripless moldable packing. It costs about $55.00 I have been using it for the last 5 years with not a drop of water coming into the boat from the shaft. this last winters haul out and after 4 years in place I felt it was time to change the packing. To my suprise the packing looked like new when I removed it. It''s a great solution if you don''t want to pull your shaft.
Dave
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 06-03-2002
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
scottcallahan is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

dave that stuff sounds good. i have to try it. i''m stull trying to understand how it molds into place but doesn''t burn.

denv or how ever you spell it. thanks alot for making fun of my learning disability dislexia. hope it makes you feel like a bigger man.
sometimes it might not take that long to do something like that but lets say someone hasn''t taken care of the boat and the coupling is frozen to the transmission flange. or the shaft log hose is 5200 to the shaft log or the shaft doesn''t slide past the rudder. then you have to drop the rudder, oops look the stainless bolts in the aluminum
quadrant are frozen. so you cant get the rudder out because you cant get the right wrench in the little space to break free the bolt. what if it is a well hung rudder and it has a shoe on the bottom. now you need a couple people to help you by holding the rudder while you undo the bolts.
thats all i''m saying.

-scott-
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 06-03-2002
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 407
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
tsenator is on a distinguished road
Stuffing Box

kcaj,

I agree with most of what is said above by everyone. I have had a PSS shaft seal (mechanically seal) on a past boat, and though, while not infalible nor perfect, they do work well and will not leak a drop when they work. But the costs can add up and it "can" be a pain to install depending on circumstances. If your boat is in the water it has to be hauled and blocked. And if you have an older boat and your shaft coupling bolts are rusted beyond repair and its a really tight area you might have to just cut you shaft and install a new one. Also on some boats you need to drop the rudder to remove your shaft and that can be a pain all to itself. Like I said before. If its a newer boat and nothing is frozen in place it shouldn''t be too hard, but if not, it can add up to alot of time and hassles. Not a lot of fun.

I had the option to put the PSS on a newer boat, but I opted for trying the GFO® fiber dripless packing . It was easy to install, just cut the rings to length and install them
in the stuffing box. GFO fiber dripless packing is four times more thermally conductive than flax and the packing hardly ever drips. Its supposed to not damage shafts because it never gets hard and abrasive.

I have used it 2 seasons and it is everything as advertised. Once installed and the packing gland tighten properly it doesn''t leak at all, either at the dock or underway. Pretty amazing, but the best part is that it is relatively inexpensive ($11.95 for 1/4" size.....you need to figure out what size your shaft needs).

Take a look here... http://www.e-marine-inc.com/products/gfopacking/packing.html
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stuffing box blues capedory33 Gear & Maintenance 8 12-15-2004 10:20 AM
rudder stuffing box hericsson Gear & Maintenance 1 10-04-2004 04:50 PM
stuffing box blues zeilfanaat Gear & Maintenance 8 04-13-2004 07:13 AM
Work on the stuffing box while the boat is in the water pjfsail Gear & Maintenance 3 12-10-2003 05:25 AM
drippless stuffing box nauticalrich Gear & Maintenance 3 02-05-2003 07:54 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:01 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012