I've been refitting an old 27 foot sailboat. The final and most worrisome (for some reason) step is to pick the right size of new packing, which is a new task for me (boat is still on the hard
but getting ready to launch). The distance between the 7/8" shaft and inside of the stuffing box is 4.5/16", so about 1/32" larger than 1/4". On the workbench, I can fit 1/4" packing in, but it was a bit of work. The shaft spins by hand with very slight resistance. I took out 4 rings of hard old packing, but can only fit in 3 rings of 1/4", and then have about 4 threads engaged on the box.
Should I stay with the 1/4", or step down to 3/16"?