Repack stuffing box in the water

artodea

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xbskt

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I'm dumb enough to try it but probably best to avoid it.
I would worry about having difficulty getting the old packing out while a good flow of water was complicating things.
Your bilge pumps would likely keep up but Murphy's law has a way of enacting itself in these situations.
Can you put her soft aground somewhere at high tide and change it at low with the keel dry?
 

Benny

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I’d lean towards finding a safe way to handle this buuuuut…I’ve had a couple beers so…


Sounds ballsy but I assume if you had it ready to rock and pulled the gland nut then the seal and the water seemed to be gushing in faster than you felt like dealing with you outta be able to quickly reassemble the existing parts.

You could also drop a trash pump in the bilge ready to whoop some ass in the event your bilge isn’t keeping up. If you wanted to go nuclear on top of the trash pump you could disconnect the sea water hose from the thru-hull and leave it in the bilge to your engine as a last ditch engine driven bilge.
 

traditions

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I do it all the time. Biggest concern is not twisting the rubber hose when loosening the packing nut. I use a long sheetrock screw to extract the old packing.Have the new packing all cut to length, and flatten it out with a hammer so it slides in easy, and cut a small stick of wood to push the packing up into the nut, so you dont have to wind it back on each turn . I mark the nut with a file , so I know where the ends of the packing are, so I can stagger them. Sometimes with rubber mounted box, I use a cold chisel, or screwdriver, and a hammer to losen the nut. It doesnt twist the the hose. Some times you can get a wrench on both sides, but some times you cant. If the water rushing in bothers you, wrap a rag around it to slow it up a bit.one thung that ha happened before, was the engine was settled, and the nut was hard to get started back on, had to wedge the shaft up a small amount to get the threads to take.Make sure you clean up that shaft first, so the nut slides forward easier, it looks pretty pitted up in the picture
 

Genius

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If you’ve done it before, you can do it in the water. Good advice from Traditions
 

c1steve

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90% of the repacking I have done has been in the water. Easy, and only a few ounces of water comes into the boat.

You should buy a packing tool, they make the work easy. Flexible packing extractor.
Packing Extractor Tool - Western Pacific Trading | Fisheries Supply

I usually use the X-Small for almost all packing jobs. Use plenty of grease on the packing and the threads as well.
 

Kailua Kid

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One item I skipped on over the winter was repacking the prop shaft stuffing box. Last year it was perfect - no drips unless the shaft was spinning. This year, once launched, the seal was leaking pretty good all the time. I can tighten it to slow it down but then it vibrates and gets pretty hot when running. I'd like to repack it, and attempt to do so while she's in the water. Bad idea?

She's a Fortier 26 with a 1 3/8" stainless shaft with a water cooled buck algonquin stuffing box. I have new 5/16 packing which is supposed to be the right size. How much of water flow will I expect to get when I remove the gland nut, and can one pull out the old packing and replace with new before getting submerged?


View attachment 112093
I would treat the threads with PB Blaster for a couple days before attempting to loosen the nut. I would add to the great advice you have already received on this that you make sure your engine alignment is still good, because if not, the resulting vibration and shaft wobble will cause the packing gland to leak excessively when underway even after you repack the gland. You can make a rough check by running her dead slow in gear with the access hatch open and watching to see whether there is any noticeable runout (wobble) at the packing gland. If so, I would haul, do at least a rough align, repack, then double check / fine tune alignment after launch.
 

El Mar

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fishfull thinker

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c1steve

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I have done 30+ repackings in the water, it is easy. At my old shop, we would replace entire shafts in the water, and also install transducers. We had a great diver to work with.

For a new transducer and hole, he would put a plastic bowl over the outside of the hull, then the hole would be drilled from the inside.
Next the transducer cable, wound into a flat coil, would be inserted into the hole, then the transducer that was pre caulked.

There is so little water pressure 1'-3' below the waterline, that very little water enters the hull regardless of which job you are doing.
 
Last edited:

BlossomSt

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One item I skipped on over the winter was repacking the prop shaft stuffing box. Last year it was perfect - no drips unless the shaft was spinning. This year, once launched, the seal was leaking pretty good all the time. I can tighten it to slow it down but then it vibrates and gets pretty hot when running. I'd like to repack it, and attempt to do so while she's in the water. Bad idea?

She's a Fortier 26 with a 1 3/8" stainless shaft with a water cooled buck algonquin stuffing box. I have new 5/16 packing which is supposed to be the right size. How much of water flow will I expect to get when I remove the gland nut, and can one pull out the old packing and replace with new before getting submerged?


View attachment 112093
I say doable. Once you remove the packing nut, wrap the threaded casting/shaft interface with a piece of bicycle inner tube secured with tie wraps or wire or whatever. Slide nut forward and fill it with packing at your leisure. If you are quick with it, I can't see letting in more that a few gallons of seawater.

I also like the suggestion of just tightening it up. It looks like you have lots of "travel" left.

Good luck!
 

artodea

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Lion's Paw

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I would be more worried about those cheap ideal hose clamps you have holding the hose on. At least double up the one on the water cooling line. Those perforated band hose clamps are guaranteed to eventually fail on you. Get some T bolt clamps for the log hose or at least some decent quality AWAB screw clamps.
 
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