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Old 04-11-2012
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Dripping Stuffing Box

I have an '85 Catalina 30. The stuffing box drips 3 to 4 drips per minute whild in port and not running. Some of my neighbors say it should not drip at all while stopped and others say it's not a problem. Just trying to get a consensus as I dont want to haul the boat to fix.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

It should not drip at all when the shaft is not turning. When turning, it should 2-4 drips per mimnute. What is yours doing when the shaft is turning?
Here is an article on servicing the stuffing box. Service Your Stuffing Box | Cruising World

All this assumes that you do not have a "dripless" gland, which should not drip at all.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

IIRC, with some of the new packing materials (graphite?) they don't even need to drip while in gear. I agree that it should not drip (much) while in neutral. You should be able to just tighten the nut up a bit, but make sure it still drips when moving, better to have a slight drip in neutral than no drip (heat) in gear, sometimes it's a fine line.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

All of the packing materials, except the dripless glands should drip a little while the shaft is turning. All should stop dripping when stopped. If it drips when stopped and you are away a couple of weeks, and the power fails, your boat will sink.

I recommend you fix it. try tightening a little, if you haven't repacked in a couple of years, repack it. It's not that hard. ( I had great luck with graphite packing).
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

jj, it is time to tighten the box or repack it.

If it needs repacking I'd suggest GoreTex, which will allow you to have zero leaking while not underway and very little when running. And lasts a very long time.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

Here is another link that explains how to repack the stuffing box. Best I have seen. Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

As posted it should only drip when the shaft is turning, and depending on packing material possibly not even then.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

mine was peeing like a bunch of kids hanging out on the corner-after a case of beer-- that was underway as well as moored--we stuffed it and we stuffed and adjusted it-- still was a lil sinky-- now isnt as bad--only dripping -- i used gore-tex on both my rudder and my shaft packing glands with decent success-- rudder is totally dry now and prop shaft is still drippy, but not sinky....remember to make sure the stufffing box is packed before installing, if it is a flanged unit, like mine. makes a difference in leakage.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

Mine also drips (1 drip every 10 seconds) at the dock. I will try to repack but the box is in poor shape so afraid to touch it. Plan to dry dock in coulple years at which time I will pull shaft and install new box and hose and install new engine mounts. Also will inspect prop shaft.

My understanding is even with new packing your seal could leak at the dock if the shaft is scored or grooved. Your dirp rate not only depends on your packing, but also shaft condition. If the shaft is in poor shape, you may have excess leak rate.

Also, eveything I read says you should have a drip when the shaft is turning- this is how the seal is cooled and lubricated. The only seal that should not drip is a mechanical type- they have no packing.
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Mine also drips (1 drip every 10 seconds) at the dock. I will try to repack but the box is in poor shape so afraid to touch it. Plan to dry dock in coulple years at which time I will pull shaft and install new box and hose and install new engine mounts. Also will inspect prop shaft.
It's in such a shape that you're afraid to touch it but you're leaving it for a couple years?
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Old 04-11-2012
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re: Dripping Stuffing Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
I will try to repack but the box is in poor shape so afraid to touch it. Plan to dry dock in coulple years at which time I will pull shaft and install new box and hose and install new engine mounts.
Casey,

With respect, I think you may be heading for a fall. If the box is that suspect, I'd be worrying my rear off whenever I went out under power. If you hit a deadhead or get a warp around the prop, it could be enough to cause the box to fail and then you're gonna be in a world of hurt.

I'm thinking that the place to find out for sure whether or not the box is serviceable will be somewhere close to a TravelLift, and not out in a deep channel.

Just food for thought...
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