Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 356 Times in 276 Posts
Rep Power: 10
That is NOT normal. What packing material did you use? As I stated in my article there should be some drips even when using Gore GFO when the shaft is spinning. It sounds to me like you've over tightened the nut but without knowing what the packing material is I don't have any idea what the goop is..
When initially installing the rings of packing LIGHTLY tighten the nut BY HAND just until you start to feel some resistance then stop! DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE NUT.. EVER!! The final adjustment will be made after running the motor and shaft for a while.
Proper adjustment for GFO is up to a few drops per minute when the shaft is spinning. You'll want it adjusted for nothing more than slightly warm to the touch after the shaft has spun for a while. Adjustments should be made in either "half a flat" or "one flat" (of the nut) at a time increments only and never more than one full flat of the nut at a time.
When adjusting other types of flax the stuffing box should be relatively cool to luke warm, at most, and will drip and should drip while the shaft is spinning. Some boxes will even drip when the shaft is not spinning and this is entirely normal depending on the condition of your shaft. Do not get in the habit of tightening the stuffing box when "leaving the boat"! The flax packings are not elastic and do have a memory, in a sense, and they will not necessarily return to their uncompressed state. Doing this will severely shorten the life of your packing and it will start leaking continuously in short order. Traditional flax packing should drip about 5-10 drops a minute if adjusted correctly, while running, and this drip rate allows lubrication of the shaft. Do not make adjustments to packing nut for at least 24 hours as the packing will swell and overheat the stuffing box. Pre-mature tightening of traditional flax can result in potential damage. A good rule of thumb is to adjust the packing by "half a flat" turns after two hours of use or until you have 5-10 drops per minute.
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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