Propshaft packing question - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 09-02-2009
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Propshaft packing question

Our Jeanneau has a 30mm shaft. I had the packing replaced a couple years ago and it leaks. I tightened the flange as tight as it will go and it still leaks. I disassembled and found four wraps of packing material. I believe since the boat is French built and everything else is metric, the yard used 1/4" packing material which is to small (hence the four wraps). Has anyone heard of packing material in METRIC sizes? If so, I'd appreciate info on where I can buy some.
Thanks, Jay
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I'm no expert on this, but I have not seen packing in metric sizes. I don't think that the packing material size requirement is that exact of a fit. Are the wraps made from individual rings with each ring cut correctly and the cuts staggared? Do you have the lock nut loose before you tighten?

Our very own Main Sail has the best write up I've seen:
Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Maine Sailing at pbase.com
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That is a great link. Thanks. Mine is a different setup. It resembles a muffler flange with two studs (one on each side of the shaft). I'll try to post a picture.
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Old 09-02-2009
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The beauty of packing material is that if it ......

is close, it should work, because it compresses slightly. Packing material usually comes in 1/16 inch increments, so if you think 1/4 is too small, go to 5/16. As far as metric, I am not aware of any on this side of the pond, but that shouldn't matter.

1 inch has 25.4 mm in it, so 1/16 of an inch is about 1.5 mm, if you think that you need a 4 mm dia. packing, choose the closest to it; 3/16 inch.

The observation about the packing being too small because you have 4 rings is not related. The number of rings has more to do with the gland depth, than the gland space around the shaft. Some folks need only 2 wraps, some folks need 5 or even 6. 4 is a pretty standard number. If your bottomed out, that may be that the packing is compacted, so just change the packing out. When getting the new pack, measure the gland width (against the shaft) and go from there.

When repacking the flange, put two rings in, hand tight the rings down, and keep putting in rings, one at a time, until you just get the packing nut to screw on about 1.5 to 2 full turns hard hand tight. Then tighten well and test the drip rate.

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The camera flash make it appear much worse than it is/was. I came apart pretty easy. As you can see, I don't have a ring or nut to tighten. Thanks to all, I think I've got a handle on what needs to be done now. I'll post when I get it back together.
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Speaking of stuffing boxes....

Here is mine. Is it a "dripless"? Is that tubing (it goes into the engine compartment, connects to nothing -- the open end just sticking up in the air) to provide lubrication?

Should the cracks in the hose scare me? To replace the hose is there a specific type of hose needed?







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It doesn't look like the dripless I've seen of late, but I'm not an expert (can't you tell?). Aside from that, if it we're my boat, I'd replace the cracked rubber hose. Last year in Georgetown a boat came very close to sinking at anchor when a single hose clamp failed on the stuffing box. The owners were ashore, their dog in a cage below deck and would have drowned. They happened to return to the boat to get something and water was over the floorboards and gaining. Numerous cruisers came to the rescue with all kinds of pumps and saved the day. One hose clamp! I read somewhere a while back that all that separates a boat from the briny is some clamps, some plugs and the grace of God.
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Replace the hose ASAP

either that or install a host of batteries and a huge autobilge pump.
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