Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-08-2011, 08:24   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Patuxent River, MD
Boat: 1979 Columbia 8.3 (27')
Posts: 15
Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

Hi all,

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.
__________________

__________________
fsuhansell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 08:53   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

Dont forget to wrap the putty in plastic wrap so you can get it out when you are finished, and dont forget to remove it.

A number of people have done it just by jamming rags on the inside after backing off the packing gland. That reduces the flow to a trickle.
__________________

__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 08:58   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,848
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

I have done mine in the water no problem Just cut the rings to length first and work quickly . Maybe you could have a professional help, show you the first time
__________________
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:07   #4
Registered User
 
Tynesider's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Northumberland UK
Boat: Colvic Watson
Posts: 94
Images: 12
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by fsuhansell View Post
Hi all,
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
As always thanks guys. I'll keep you updated.
You do not mention if you have a grease nipple on the stuffing box as most do, if so get filling it with grease that will eventualy stop the flow.
(see picture).
OR can you get your hands on a tin of 'Stay Afloat' emergency sealant available at a lot of chandlers, just wrap it around the stuffing box and it will seal the water ingress, it's very good!

Have you tried 'tightening' the stuffing box nuts?

I use 1/4" stuffing flux on a 1" dia shaft

Hope this might help
Mike

__________________
Mike

Archivist for the Colvic Watson Owners Group
Tynesider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:10   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
I have done mine in the water no problem Just cut the rings to length first and work quickly . Maybe you could have a professional help, show you the first time
For the first timer, I would second Motion30's advice. After you have seen it done correctly then thereafter it is easy.
- - But there may be problems with stuck or corroded nuts, etc., and an experienced person would how far to force things so as to not break something and have to have an emergency haulout.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:22   #6
Registered User
 
S/V_Surya's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sasafra river,MD
Boat: gulfstar ketch 41 Surya
Posts: 658
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

I assume you have tried tightening the nut on the stuffing box to slow it down. Also leaks like this tend to slow down by themselves after being in the water a few days. I would not do it while in the water unless I had to but all the above ideas look good for that task. Packing it is simple and easy and there are plenty of pictures on how to do it online.
__________________
S/V_Surya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:23   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

Here is an excellent how to by Maine Sail Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com I read this before I did it for the first time. It really isn't that bad as long as your calm under pressure. There is quite a bit of water that can enter before you get it back together. I din't wrap the outside I just took it apart and did it.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:25   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Newport News VA
Boat: Egg Harbor sedan cruiser 1970
Posts: 829
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

use GFO marine packing
http://www.gfopacking.com/

it does not leak.
__________________
sdowney717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:34   #9
Sponsoring Vendor
 
HopCar's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Florida
Boat: Ellis Flybridge 28
Posts: 3,165
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

I'm kind of surprised at all the concern over repacking the stuffing box while in the water. I've always done it in the water with no problem. My bilge pump easily stays ahead of what ever water comes in. No putty, no rags, I don't even hurry. The clearance between the shaft and stern tube is very small. Maybe it's larger on other boats? The hard part for me has always been getting the old packing out. I use a cork screw type packing puller and an ice pick with the tip bent over to form a hook.
__________________
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 09:35   #10
sitting on the dock of the bay

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,513
Images: 6
Send a message via Yahoo to gonesail
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

the hardest part can be loosening the nut .. use 2 wrenches so as not to rupture the hose. you might think about that before proceeding any further or seeking help.
__________________
sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.
gonesail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 10:02   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,371
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

getting the old packing out with water shooting in might be a chore. You need a tool to extract it. Have 3 or 4 rings precut. Have you tightened and run the engine a little? On one boat I was able to add one ring in the water.... This really should have been done out of the water. Quite often you will find the shaft corroded where the packing is... especially on boats that have been sitting in salt water without use. (oxygen depletion) I had one that looked like worms had eaten into the shaft! New packing wont last long at all with a corroded shaft.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 10:25   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Patuxent River, MD
Boat: 1979 Columbia 8.3 (27')
Posts: 15
Thanks for the advice guys. I think ill get 1/4" and 5/16" packing and have 4 rings standing by as well as an AC pump and the marina managers cell phone number just in case it hits the fan and I need to be pulled. I'll attach a picture of the stuffing box.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20110811_122551.png
Views:	649
Size:	332.8 KB
ID:	30391  
__________________
fsuhansell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 15:06   #13
Sponsoring Vendor
 
HopCar's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Florida
Boat: Ellis Flybridge 28
Posts: 3,165
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

I would have guessed that a shaft that small would use 3/16 packing but I went to the Buck Algonquin catalog to check. They say theirs takes 3/8"! I wonder if that is a typo? Maybe not, it looks like they use the same casting for the 1" shaft and just drill a smaller hole through it. The 1" shaft uses 1/4" packing so you would need to go to 3/8" packing for a 3/4" shaft if you were using the same size packing nut.
Does that make any sense? Take a look at their catalog and see if you can figure it out: http://www.buckalgonquin.com/downloads/CAT911.pdf
__________________
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 15:25   #14
Eternal Member
 
Chief Engineer's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North of Baltimore
Boat: Ericson 27 & 18' Herrmann Catboat
Posts: 3,798
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

I have done Tugboat packing in the water.....we are talking 12" shafts.

The amount of water that comes in is minimall as long as you have a decent bilge pump.
__________________
Chief Engineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 17:43   #15
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 3,470
Re: Replacing Stuffing Box Packing In Water

I just did mine on my Bristol 27 last weekend. It was 3/16 packing. I bought both 3/16 and 1/4 but it turn out to be the 3/16. Plus, the original owner had some old 3/16 flax packing on board. I discovered that later. I used teflon.

Btw, my stuffing box looks exactly like this dude's picture above. (And) I had to use a wood screw to get the old flax out. I used a screwdriver to get the screw in, then vice grips to "lever" it out along with the packing. My boat which I just bought two months ago has been 'on the hard' for 5 years. Maybe that is why it was so hard to get the old packing out.
__________________

__________________
thomm225 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
water

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
External Raw Water Strainer ? tartansail Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 23 13-07-2016 04:30
Converting Water to Fuel Don1500 Liveaboard's Forum 12 05-08-2011 19:55
Stuffing Box - Bolt Gland Style vs Spud Style sv.Crake Construction, Maintenance & Refit 15 16-07-2011 08:08
Head Odors Sailagain Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 19 15-07-2011 11:06
Stuffing Box Packing sabray Propellers & Drive Systems 25 02-07-2011 06:44



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:07.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.