First I'd like to say thanks to the forum for being so helpful with all the questions I have posted in the last coulple of months since I bought my (first) boat. A few days ago I finally put my 1979 Columbia
8.3 in the water
only to discover I am slowly sinking from a continous stream of water
flowing in from the stuffing box. For now the bildge pump is kicking on about once every 20 min and keeping me afloat, but it is very stressful knowing if the bildge pump or float switch go my boat will be a submarine in a few hours.
I did some searching on the forums
and found a lot of useful posts and websites that go over how to replace the flax in the stuffing box, but read mixed thoughts on doing the job while the boat is in the water. Right now my plan is to jump overboard
with some sort of plumbers putty and try my best to seal the joint between the shaft and the hull
then remove the packing nut from the stuffing box and replace the flax. My only problems are
a) I don't know what sort of putty will work to create a decent seal underwater
b) I don't know what size flax to use for my 3/4" shaft (the stuff box nut is 2") and
c) I really have no clue what I'm doing.
I really don't want my boat to sink, but I really really don't want to pay to have my boat pulled off the bottom of the marine
. Is it worth it to try to do this job in my slip? Should I try to intentionally ground the boat near a beach a low tide? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
As always thanks guys. I'll keep you updated.