Stuffing box: To drip or not to drip? - 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 > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 08-18-2011
CalypsoP35's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 327
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
CalypsoP35 is on a distinguished road
Stuffing box: To drip or not to drip?

I have a pretty old stuffing box and had to repack it this summer. It's well over 10 years old and I'm thinking this winter I will replace it.

The question is whether I should go to a dripless stuffing box. I'm tired of having water in my bilge, and that got me thinking about a dripless stuffing box. I have a 30hp Universal diesel engine with a 1" prop shaft, runs at 2500rpm. Typical engine use is 2 hours a week during the summer, unless we get becalmed on a weekend trip to an island which could result in running the engine for 5 hours at time.

Other than the obvious one, the drip, what are the pros and cons of changing to a dripless stuffing box?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-18-2011
svHyLyte's Avatar
Old as Dirt!
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Posts: 2,835
Thanks: 15
Thanked 116 Times in 110 Posts
Rep Power: 7
svHyLyte is on a distinguished road
If you have the room for it and your shaft is true, there are few disadvantages to a dripless shaft seal. On the other hand, a "10 year old" stuffing box really isn't "old" although the packing may (have) need (needed) replacement. If the packing material is of the newer self lubricating type, one really doesn't need "drips". If you are using the old style greased flax packing, the rule of thumb was one drip every 20 seconds with the shaft still.

FWIW...
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-18-2011
JimsCAL's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Glen Cove, NY
Posts: 2,497
Thanks: 2
Thanked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Rep Power: 8
JimsCAL is on a distinguished road
A quality bronze stuffing box will last for decades. Does need repacking from time to time, but its not a terribly hard job. While unlikely, if a dripless unit starts to leak, you are in trouble and will need a short haul. You can repack a stuffing box in the water if necessary.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-18-2011
CalypsoP35's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 327
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
CalypsoP35 is on a distinguished road
When I repacked I used the old greased flax material. I didn't even know about the self lubricating packing material. I'll do some research on that and re-evaluate the condition of the current stuffing box when I haul out this winter.

I don't really know how old it is, it's probably closer to 15 years years old. That's when the boat was repowered. I'm assuming they replaced the stuffing box at that time.

I appreciate the comments. Thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-18-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 107
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
fcsob is on a distinguished road
My stuffing box is 34 years old. I use the GTU stuffing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-18-2011
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,618
Thanks: 38
Thanked 55 Times in 55 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
Does your stuffing box have a grease nipple on it??

If so, adding some grease should stop any drips whilst the shaft is still.
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-18-2011
CalebD's Avatar
Tartan 27' owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,617
Thanks: 4
Thanked 93 Times in 85 Posts
Rep Power: 7
CalebD will become famous soon enough
The bronze stuffing box in my boat is 43 years old and still quite functional as well.
Traditional stuffing boxes like this begin their failure mode with more dripping (needs new packing) then usual. This design likely goes back to the age of steam power.
With the newer 'dripless' stuffing boxes when they fail they can fail catastrophically with little or no warning.
Use the high tech packing material (GFO or GTU) instead of flax and save yourself the expense of the upgrade.
__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

Everybody has one:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-19-2011
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 57
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
sapo is on a distinguished road
I repacked my traditional stuffing box with the dripless, teflon putty material. Still drips a little. How can I tell if I'm tightening it too much?
thanks
sapo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-19-2011
CalebD's Avatar
Tartan 27' owner
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,617
Thanks: 4
Thanked 93 Times in 85 Posts
Rep Power: 7
CalebD will become famous soon enough
sapo,
If you read this entire 'how-to' on stuffing boxes you will read that the putty material is not necessarily the best choice: Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
Some swear by it. I've never used it and had great results with the 'GFO/GTU' type packing material.
YMMV, IRMV.
__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

Everybody has one:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




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
cruiseair drip QuickMick General Discussion (sailing related) 2 07-17-2011 05:52 AM
Shaft Log Drip: What's acceptable? stuartsw Diesel 1 09-12-2010 08:07 PM
infernal drip QuickMick Gear & Maintenance 6 09-09-2010 04:00 PM
Leaking oil drip pan - liner? Mary51 Gear & Maintenance 13 08-07-2008 11:18 AM
Drip Shield JLBJR Gear & Maintenance 5 12-15-2007 05:17 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:00 AM.

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

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.