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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It is some time since I changed the shaft packing on the stuffing box. ... close to 25 years.
It performs perfectly, dripping only a little when running. It has been very reliable indeed.
There still is some adjustment there too - look to the picture (arrowed).
Since it works so well I am loathe to disturb it - nothing leaks excessively or runs hot.
I certainly will not disturb the rubber hose. If that one does not re-seal I will have to change it and that will mean I have to lift the boat again, then pull the shaft coupling and then pull the shaft.
Last time I had to cut the coupling off (it was the old-style coupling without the pinch bolts) it was so utterly jammed. Exit one prop-shaft !

The boat will be out of the water later in the season, so I guess it is time to change the stuffing box packing. I will manage OK. It is not difficult. I think I stacked-up about 3 of the "horse-shoe" elements last time.

I hear horror stories about graphited packing. Apparently it can WAY accelerate shaft corrosion.
I guess I must avoid the "grey" stuff?

What do you recommend as "safe" and orthodox?

I may indeed still have some of the packing I used last time (?). I think I can find it. It is still in its little bag in a drawer somewhere.

Rockter.
 

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bell ringer
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Well after lots of reading I went with Duramax Ultra-X packing. It is graphite and therefore "not allowed", but shouldn't/wouldn't be a problem if you maintain your zincs.
 

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Last time I did mine, I read MaineSails advice on his marinehowto.com site. He talks about a variety of packing, and addresses which ones can cause major problems with certain shaft materials.

He doesn't steer you in any particular direction, but for my needs, I decided to use good old flax packing. I think it's what Noah used. Tried and true.
 

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I've stuck with flax. It's what I'm used to and I understand how to use it. I tried several of the newer materials (one of the advantages of operating other peoples' boats) and I've found little to no advantage in the costlier products.
 

bell ringer
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I've stuck with flax. It's what I'm used to and I understand how to use it. I tried several of the newer materials (one of the advantages of operating other peoples' boats) and I've found little to no advantage in the costlier products.
I feel the advantages of the better packing all depends if you care about that advantage.

My last 2 mechanical seals always leaked with engine off and sprayed with it motoring. Zero drips under power weren't an advantage to me. But slow drips while anchored/moored/marina always resulted in slime and odor so getting rid of that was an advantage to me.

So last month I got rid of the mechanical seal and went to a packing gland (not a spud) unit with the high end graphite packing. Still breaking in the dripping under power, but it doesn't drip with the engine off (and it cut VERY cleanly).
 

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"Graphite is the most noble element on the galvanic scale . . . " It can also abrade vs. flax packing. I looked at it, almost bought it, stayed with the tried and true. One less thing below the waterline to think about.
 
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