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Old 11-10-2015, 00:39   #31
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

I changed from standard packing to PSS seal in a 60' steel boat IN THE WATER without problems. Made sure I had s reserve of wadding just in case, but only a trickle of water really. So much better than constant drip.


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Old 16-10-2015, 14:05   #32
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

Packing gland type shaft seals shouldn't leak when the shaft is not running if set up correctly.
The standard is to have 3-4 drips a minute when the shaft is turning, no drip when stopped.
THe boat I have now has a shaft lock for the prop shaft that locks it in place when under sail, if not I risk burning out the transmission, so it doesn't turn when under sail.
After I replaced the packing last year I ran the motor at the dock while adjusting the packing gland until I reduced the drip to about 3 a minute, then with the engine stopped it didn't drip at all, I did have to readjust it a few weeks later but since then it's been good. THis one does use flax with a grease point to grease it, which I pop a little into if the engine has been run awhile.
I've done this in several boats and haven't had any shaft scoring or bluing issues.
One good tip though, if your looking to pull the packing when it's on the hard, use a little steamer device, the packing can be pretty hard to pull if it's been on the hard for more than a couple days. Steaming it tends to soften it up and make it much easier to remove. The packing in this boat had not been pulled for 15 years when I replaced it, the old owner just kept adding new packing when the gland bottomed out. Steam and some citrus based cleaner did eventually soften the old packing enough to make it easier to remove.
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:57   #33
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

That sounds good but my experience was constant can drip which persisted despite changing the packing. My technique I am sure- maybe. With PSS , no problems.


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Old 16-10-2015, 23:08   #34
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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That sounds good but my experience was constant can drip which persisted despite changing the packing. My technique I am sure- maybe. With PSS , no problems.


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Constant dripping is a sign of firstly not enough pressure on the packing nut, or old and brittle packing and/or a damaged shaft. A gland packing seal should not constantly drip when not revolving.

But, honestly, I don't know why anyone would stick with a packing seal when you can get such things as PSS seals. Unless of course you were not visiting your boat for months or years on end.
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Old 17-10-2015, 06:20   #35
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

You will note that in Herb McCormick's terrific and informative article in this month's Cruising World about his aborted Great Circle Atlantic crossing on a Valiant 42, an important reason for turning back to the departing port was that "the dripless shaft coupling was now dripping".

Given the quality of the stuffing box packing gland materials now available, it is a constant wonder to me why anyone would take the risks associated with having a "dripless bearing" rather than a stuffing box. McCormick's experience is the third one of this nature that I have become aware of in the last year.

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Old 17-10-2015, 06:26   #36
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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Originally Posted by Roniszoro View Post
You will note that in Herb McCormick's terrific and informative article in this month's Cruising World about his aborted Great Circle Atlantic crossing on a Valiant 42, an important reason for turning back to the departing port was that "the dripless shaft coupling was now dripping".

Given the quality of the stuffing box packing gland materials now available, it is a constant wonder to me why anyone would take the risks associated with having a "dripless bearing" rather than a stuffing box. McCormick's experience is the third one of this nature that I have become aware of in the last year.

How many times does one have to say: KISS!
You can't get much simpler than a PSS seal
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Old 17-10-2015, 07:28   #37
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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You can't get much simpler than a PSS seal
I don't know about McCormick's Valiant, but the other two were PSS seal boats. While PSS may be simple, it is not simple enough for me if it fails.
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Old 17-10-2015, 14:39   #38
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

Our big boat came with some kind of drip less rig that dripped pretty good. There was a ceramic disk that had cracked.

I replaced it with a traditional seal and some Teflon packing. Very low temps and little to no dripping. So that works for me.
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Old 17-10-2015, 14:45   #39
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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I don't know about McCormick's Valiant, but the other two were PSS seal boats. While PSS may be simple, it is not simple enough for me if it fails.
You do realise that stuffing box seals fail? And it's not uncommon for boats left unattended for lengthy periods of time to sink because of it.

Likewise, it's true that if you left a boat with a pss seal unattended for a lengthy period of time the rubber boot would almost certainly perish and fail eventually and also sink the boat.
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Old 17-10-2015, 15:33   #40
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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You do realise that stuffing box seals fail? And it's not uncommon for boats left unattended for lengthy periods of time to sink because of it.

Likewise, it's true that if you left a boat with a pss seal unattended for a lengthy period of time the rubber boot would almost certainly perish and fail eventually and also sink the boat.

Both boat are actively sailed and well maintained. Both need to be hauled to fix the problem.

KISS: Keep ones stuffing box and get GFO packing.
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Old 17-10-2015, 15:53   #41
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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Originally Posted by Roniszoro View Post
You will note that in Herb McCormick's terrific and informative article in this month's Cruising World about his aborted Great Circle Atlantic crossing on a Valiant 42, an important reason for turning back to the departing port was that "the dripless shaft coupling was now dripping".

Given the quality of the stuffing box packing gland materials now available, it is a constant wonder to me why anyone would take the risks associated with having a "dripless bearing" rather than a stuffing box. McCormick's experience is the third one of this nature that I have become aware of in the last year.

How many times does one have to say: KISS!
I just finished reading this and you have seriously misquoted this. The article did not state that it was in any way a reason to turn back. In fact, you seem to have completely missed the point of the entire article.

"Hasse pointed out that if we kept going, our progress could be very slow in the coming days, well under the daily 150-mile runs we needed to make to keep to everyone’s schedules. And it was pretty clear to me that if we did press on, and things went totally sideways in the mid-Atlantic, we could be in a world of hurt"

They turned back because they had multiple problems including a total failure of electronic weather routing services that meant they completely missed the fact they were heading into a severe storm. As it's commented, the trip intent was more suitable as a shake down trip in preparation for a major trip.
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:24   #42
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

We clearly have a different take on the article.

In the last paragraphs on page 65 McCromick states:

"There were some new developments aboard Eleanor . The dripless shaft coupling was now dripping. We had leaks in the Charlie Noble and the mast boot. "'We have water coming in from the top and the bottom"'noted Logan."

My take was that this was a significant contributor in the decision to abort and return to Maine. You obviously see it differently.

None the less, this is the 3rd dripless shaft coupling failure that I know of in just one year. That's enough for me to say "no thanks".
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:33   #43
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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We clearly have a different take on the article.

In the last paragraphs on page 65 McCromick states:

"There were some new developments aboard Eleanor . The dripless shaft coupling was now dripping. We had leaks in the Charlie Noble and the mast boot. "'We have water coming in from the top and the bottom"'noted Logan."

My take was that this was a significant contributor in the decision to abort and return to Maine. You obviously see it differently.

None the less, this is the 3rd dripless shaft coupling failure that I know of in just one year. That's enough for me to say "no thanks".
He's simply stating it's yet another issue they had to deal with, that's all. And clearly a leak in the mast boot has absolutely nothing to do with the shaft seal. I got the impression none of these were the reason's they turned back, but just lots of little reasons. Though going through an unplanned storm with zero warning certainly was one of those bigger reasons as stated in the article. And my 'quote' was a direct word for word quote from the article.

But I take your point and now you can add a fourth.

PSS faulty Bellows

This is a failure of mine. So, I certainly don't deny they can fail. But, for ease of application and of having a dry boat, I think they are great and I'd go no other way.

For someone who never does any maintenance on their boat, then no way. Though, my take on people who do no maintenance on a boat is don't own a boat.
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:49   #44
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

I'm of the opinion why pay $200 for something that cost $5, is bulletproof, and make it harder to repair?
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Old 17-10-2015, 23:59   #45
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Re: To drip or not drip stuffing box?

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I'm of the opinion why pay $200 for something that cost $5, is bulletproof, and make it harder to repair?
A doubt you will get a stuffing box for $5, more like anything from $50 to $150.

I guess I paid nearly $300 for my PSS seal, and yes, it was a replacement for the stuffing box I already had which there was nothing wrong with it. So why did I do it you ask?

Firstly - I was sick of water trickling down under my motor through the galley into the bilge causing rust as it went. That was my main reason.

Second - reason is because I didn't like the mess the grease line and grease gut made. Even after I cleaned it all up when I purchased the boat, grease still managed to turn up in places but outside the boat.

Third reason, was because when it came time to replace the packing, I hated the almost four hours it took, cramped, upside down in a tiny hole trying to get the graphite in. I'd rather spend $300 than have that experience again.

That's why.
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