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Old 24-04-2015, 11:26   #1
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Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

I was told that I should not change the stuffing in my stuffing box in the water because the water flow will sink my boat.....granted the box is in a very difficult location (Columbia 8.7) so it may take a few more minutes than I want but still sink my boat? I do have a rule 2000 on board so if it gets too exciting I would think that would prevent me from sinking. Thank you in advance for your comments.
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Old 24-04-2015, 11:43   #2
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

I guess if you shut off the bilge pump and left the boat unattended for a day, it could sink. She me people panic when they see a little water coming in but it's nothing significant or that can't be slowed down by a prudently placed rag while you cut the new stuffing.

I've done stuffing boxes in the water for 40 years and haven't sunk a boat yet...

If/when you do it, it might be entertaining to have whoever told you not to do it come by and learn something.
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Old 24-04-2015, 12:05   #3
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Sink the boat.....sure. Days later......I've pulled all the packing out, tied a rag around the shaft and gone to the store when I realized I had bought the wrong size packing, only to return an hour later and find the boat still afloat with only a tiny drip seeping through the rag.


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Old 24-04-2015, 12:13   #4
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

I sure wish one of you were around here to show me how it is done. This is one of those jobs that really intimidates me.
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Old 24-04-2015, 14:36   #5
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
I sure wish one of you were around here to show me how it is done. This is one of those jobs that really intimidates me.
I know I need 2 or 3 muscle bound short skinny persons....
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Old 24-04-2015, 16:47   #6
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Maybe this will help:

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Old 24-04-2015, 16:53   #7
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Do it in the water. It's actually better, since if you do it on the hard, you'll have to adjust it when it's in the water anyway.

Stuffing box packing - C34
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Old 24-04-2015, 16:57   #8
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

I did both mine in the water last season, and it was easy. I was ready with rolled up putty and a mask and snorkel to dive over and seal up the shaft from the outside if needed, but it really was only a trickle of water for a couple minutes. Half a gallon, maybe? I never bothered going over to putty up the shaft on the outside, but I suppose that would work fine if you were really nervous. This water is not under a lot of pressure that shallow. Forget all about the scary submarine movies.
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Old 24-04-2015, 17:03   #9
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

If you suffer from anxiety do it on the hard. Removing old packing might be only the hard part. Having the right tools ,doing it before and not leaving it to long, yea you can do it in the water. Will you sink, only if you leave the nut undone longer than your batteries will last.


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Old 24-04-2015, 17:42   #10
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

It's easy and safe in the water. Stuff a rag around the shaft betwen the prop and log and push it up snug. You'll have no more than a trickle leaking in.

Try it yourself first - undo the packing nut and see. If it worries you, put the nut back on and do it later on the hard. But I guarantee you'll just wonder what all the fuss is about - mainly raised by people who've never done it.

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Old 24-04-2015, 17:58   #11
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Cut your new packing before you back off the nut and start fishing out the old packing. That way you will cut down on leak time although as you have already read the leak is not much to worry about.
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Old 24-04-2015, 17:59   #12
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Access is the thing, mine is right in front of me but at almost arms length, took almost three hours once I got the right tools.


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Old 25-04-2015, 09:00   #13
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

get a packing puller or a dental pick. Its an easy job...the hard part, for me, is getting back out from the compartment I have to crawl into. I only do it when someone is there to help me get out. It shouldn't take but a few minutes. I think the worst thing you could do the first time is to tighten the gland too tight and burn out the packing and the shaft.
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Old 25-04-2015, 09:03   #14
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

I have replaced it in the water on two different boats, not as much water coming in the boat that you would expect, good advice on having new packing cut to length and ready to install
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Old 25-04-2015, 10:31   #15
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Re: Changing stuffing box stuffing in water

Mine is really tight work, not much room for extra rags so I stuff a rag around the shaft from the outside using a screw driver to push it in good. Goes without saying to leave a tail so you can pull it out later. Could probably do it holding my breath one time but I'm old now so I put a tank on and take my time. Good time to scrape the prop while your under there.
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