Mine came apart easily and was quickly and easily repacked.
When I first bought the boat, this is what the stuffing box looked like.
I was not sure what size packing I needed, So I went to WM, and bought every size. After I repacked it, I returned the ones that I didn't use. It worked like a champ all last year, and would still be working now, if I didn't have to remove the prop shaft to replace the cutlass bearing.
Because I know that I'll get crap from some of the senior members over the wooden blocking plate, her is a pic taken after I replaced the backing plate w/ G10 - and after I repacked the stuffing box!
I also rerouted a slew of hoses.
After I pulled the stuffing box out, as part of the prop shaft replacement, this is what it looked like;
Note that you can still see the packing if you look very carefully at the pic. You can see in the lower photo that the inside of the stuffing box was being worn by the shaft... It turns out that the motor mounts (now replaced too) were not installed properly, - thus causing the entire drive line to wobble, and requiring that the cutlass bearing be replaced.
I was not too keen on those hose clamps either...
As long as I had come this far, I replaced the stuffing box with this.