I used the flax packing.
Recommend when you re-pack again (as I'm guessing you almost certainly will be doing) you use either Gore GFO or Gore GTU. (The latter is available at West Marine.) It's about three times as expensive, but is reported by all that have used it to be far
superior to ordinary flax packing.
I was only able to turn the nut back on a little bit, maybe a full turn or so.
This sounds wrong.
The nut seemed pretty full after putting the 3 rings on.
So did mine, but the material (Gore GTU) compressed very
easily after I got the nut started. I had to turn quite a number of turns before encountering any appreciable "resistance." I then backed off and re-tightened more gently until the nut was just barely kinda almost not quite snug. I then tightened the lock nut only by hand.
When the boat first went in the water I was getting about a drip/second. I snugged 'er down at a drip every six or seven seconds or so. After a short run (less than 15 minutes under power) and a day later, the static drip rate was up to every 15 seconds or so. Next time under power I was getting a drip every 10 seconds or so, plus-or-minus. A day later the static drip rate was up to every 25 seconds.
But I thought it would "seat Itself" as it was run.
I think maybe you're not grokking how the packing gland works.
After this nor'easter passes I will go cruise around and feel the temperature of the nut and actually feel what that stuff feels like.
I wouldn't do that if I were you. It sounds to me
like there's too much in the packing gland and it's way too tight. You may be ruining your prop shaft. If you score your prop shaft, you'll never get a packing gland to last worth a damn ever again, regardless of the type of packing material you use.
I would recommend starting over. You need to make sure all the old stuff is out. You need to make sure the new stuff is the right size. You need to make sure you're getting enough water drip when the shaft is running.
All of this is very
clearly explained on halekai36's How To pages.