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Old 12-06-2016, 15:43   #1
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Location: Atlantic Beach, FL
Boat: Catalina 30
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Catalina 30 Stuffing Box Question

I recently purchased a 1989 Catalina 30 with a Universal 25 HP diesel inboard. I've had it delivered where we motorsailed 36 hours and then out once for a couple of hours. I finally figured out where the stuffing box is between the engine compartment and the companionway. At the dock, I started the engine at idle and moved the clutch forward to get the shaft spinning so I could check the amount of water dripping past the stuffing box into the bilge. All I saw was what appeared to be possibly steam or vapor, and not much of that. After I shut down, my wife did the finger test and claimed that there was some moisture on the shaft.

So it appears to me that I am not getting enough water past the stuffing to lubricate the shaft. My question is, does it make a difference if one is under way, somehow increasing the water amount/pressure on the sea side of the thru-hull? Or is it a valid test to make any tests and adjustments turning the shaft at idle while moored?

I have read Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at which is great, esp the advice on using PB Blaster.

Also, in the ensuing discussions, I forgot to close the thru-hull fitting to the engine heat exchanger before I left. Wondering how much danger I am in of sinking if I fix that in the morning!!!

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Old 12-06-2016, 15:51   #2
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Re: Catalina 30 Stuffing Box Question

Well, you shouldn't have steam or vapor, but a slow drip may just be spraying from the turning shaft.
As far as shutting seacocks, it's all about your particular boat and how it's set up. But I rarely ever shut seacocks.... but I know their condition and installation situation.
For instance, a seacock and head, both below the water line could be unsafe left unattended because water might siphon in, overflow and and sink the boat. If the head is above waterline not likely.

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 12-06-2016, 15:59   #3
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Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 5,420
Re: Catalina 30 Stuffing Box Question

Congratulations on your new boat and welcome.

If it's spinning water, it needs to be tightened.

If it's steam you need to repack it.

Maine Sail's pictorials are very good. Here's a written approach to the same thing with links to his:

Repacking a Stuffing Box 101 - by Maine Sail: Re-Packing A traditional Stuffing Box | Forums There are also lots of articles in the C34 Tech wiki. Stuffing box -

also, you might find this helpful

"101" Series - Quick Links to "Popular" Topics includes "Electrical Systems 101"
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:31   #4
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Location: Atlantic Beach, FL
Boat: Catalina 30
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Re: Catalina 30 Stuffing Box Question

I found a neat way to stop leakage while re-packing the gland here:

(I seem to have lost a previous post where I decided that re-packing would be a good idea so I knew just what shape I was in)
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