These packing materials also need a few drips per minute to run cool and not damage the shaft. While it’s true dripless shaft seals require less care than a traditional packing gland, nothing on a boat is truly maintenance free. Note the fraying I discussed earlier even though I tried to minimize it. It’s very important to allow a few drops of water per minute, when the shaft is spinning, for lubrication. He has over 45 years of Pacific Northwest boating experience. I have used it on my own vessel but inspect the Aqualoy 22 prop shaft yearly. While some packing materials such as Gore GFO, Ultra-X or GTU may be able to be adjusted to be mostly dry, and still some what cool to the touch, it’s still a poor idea from a crevice corrosion stand point. Oops……. Even after converting to a PSS dripless seal, before they introduced the vent, I found that boat needed to be burped, due to entrapped air, multiple times per season. My 36’ sailboat has a traditional stuffing box with Goretex packing that has served us fine. It does not fray when cut like GTU does. Ideally they should be but many are not. It is important to keep in mind that these graphite impregnated/extruded packing materials can dull a razor blade quickly so rotate in a new blade if the old one is cutting poorly. Please be careful. The traditional stuffing box gradually exhibits failure mode as more water gets in as packing wears away. IMPORTANT: Please do not use wet exhaust hose, as  shown below the Buck Algonquin hose. Shaft has to be in good alignment and the stuffing box has to be repacked regularly and adjusted. GFO Allows Bilges To Stay Dry. This black goo/sediment can only be described as, remnants of the green-goo lubricant. The first two pics below show what is properly described as a “packing gland” and also sometimes referred to as a “stuffing box… You can also go to four but beyond that cooling issues can happen. All it takes is a quick blast of reverse, and the resulting bubbles forced up and in. Anybody ever go “retro” on a larger powerboat, converting from a dripless seal to old fashioned stuffing box? Success! If you like it and want to make a small donation than that's all I ask. Going full dripless can potentially lead to the destruction of your prop shafting from the effects of crevice corrosion. A new or well-maintained dripless shaft seal will do exactly what the manufacturer claims it will do: provide a vibration tolerant, drip-free stuffing box. Another issue with a spinning rotor is that the flange and rotor are so well mated that there is a suction effect between them, and the rotor can actually stretch the bellows beyond its relaxed position before the seal is broken. GFO 100% Marine Shaft Packing Stuffing Box… Sailing in rough weather can also lead to entrapped air in the shaft log. It happens more often than you might think. Traditional flax packing can drip as little as about 5-10 drops a minute, if adjusted correctly, while running, and this drip rate allows lubrication of the shaft. While the idea of a dripless shaft seal is not new this stuff, in my opinion, is probably not the ideal way to go dripless. These packing materials absorb less water, are less prone to rot and are quite often impregnated with Teflon, paraffin or lard as a lube. In my opinion this stuff is not suitable for a “tight” shaft log where you don’t have sufficient clearance between the shaft and the male end of the stuffing box. Once again the sleazy marketing mavens have muddied the waters and done their best to mislead the average boater. 2" to 15" Diameter Shafts. Natural flax based packing’s are not elastic and do have a memory, in a sense, and they will not necessarily return to their uncompressed state. Most flax packing materials are impregnated with paraffin/wax and animal lard. This same type of event happened about 14-16 times over a 6 month period using a very low drip rate. I custom made my own tool for this & it has a similar thickness to the flax for stuffing the nut (see the tool below). It is not clamping anything but rubber. With the great performance come some cautions and risks. GFO Packing, 5/8 in. Look at the inner clap on the shaft log. I was used to using flax packing and adding a ring every year or few. Little details like this make for an easily adjusted stuffing box with a correct drip to temp ratio. First, it creates a watertight barrier between the stern tube and the interior of the boat. Please use due diligence to determine the proper packing size for your particular stuffing box. The SynBraid® yarns are actually extruded with the proprietary lubricant in the yarn not “infused” after the yarns are extruded. There is a good reason traditional style stuffing boxes are meant to drip. Well.. The thicker hose on top is specifically made for stuffing boxes. When I went to inspect the burning smell I reached out to touch the stuffing box and blistered my finger tips with burns. Hey, I bet West Marine could sell one for $85.00… (grin). This shaft had roughly 0.05″ of stuffing box wear and was deemed scrap metal by the shafting shop. The rubber hose connects the bronze stuffing box to the boats shaft log and needs to be replaced periodically. While digging around in some old boat parts boxes I found a stuffing box from an older sailboat. Too many boaters have a “set it and forget it” attitude about their shaft seals and they don’t realize the consequences of ignoring an aging or damaged unit on their vessel. Once re-packed, & properly adjusted, you lock these nuts together with two large wrenches. With traditional flax packing it should drip and must drip while the shaft is spinning. Retighten the packing nut to compress the flax around the shaft and slow the water drip rate. My one complaint with this GTU packing, made by Western Pacific Trading and sold through West Marine, is that it tends to fray easily and does not make the cleanest cuts even when using a brand new razor blade. As a general rule, if the shaft is removed, new bellows should be installed. This is four thread peaks with three rings installed and seated. This one takes the cake. Once the ring is cut be very, very careful to minimize fraying before installing it. Dripless = A stuffing box that has zero drips, Drip-Less = A stuffing box that drips less but still needs to drip some. Here is where the ABYC Standards come down on graphite packing: I suspect what we are seeing in this photo is exactly the “galvanic incompatibility” the ABYC warns against. Posted by Deane Hislop | Sep 27, 2018 | Maintenance | 0 |. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE NUT. This article was done in my shop and I used what was easily on hand to make the article work. This Buck Algonquin hose, sized for a 1 3/4″ shaft log, can be purchased from Hamilton Marine for about $9.00 or less. Older bronze shafts, really more of a brass because they had high zinc content, can be damaged by these new high tech graphite impregnated packing materials. Unlike traditional bronze stuffing boxes that utilize a packing nut or gland to compress packing material around a propeller shaft, “dripless” shaft seals utilize a mechanical sealing system to keep water out … Ideal upgrade replacement dripless shaft seal for sail or power boats. We now know where the ABYC stands on graphite packing but what about the largest prop shaft manufacturer in the United States, and possibly the world, Western Branch Metals? The material can become brittle with age, and a close inspection might reveal cracks, splits, or tears – problems may not be readily apparent on the surface of the bellows. The result is a seal that's … With GFO they claim temps up to the 125-130F range are technically safe for the packing. Graphite Extruded Teflon – These products usually have the graphite lube physically extruded into the Teflon yarn before it is braided. Packing Type Seal: Axial Shaft Seal: 3/4" to 7" Diameter Shafts. Drip-Less packing requires two retainer rings of conventional packing. Some nuts can actually fit four & if so go for it but make sure you still have enough exposed threads to get sufficient thread engagement for the female nut. Here’s a direct quote from a reader who used this article for directions. This could take a very long time unless you are in heavily silt laden water…. Two pipe wrenches are the tools needed for adjusting the stuffing box. The idea behind this green moldable clay is that it will make your traditional stuffing box dripless. To install it you insert the first ring of flax, then pack in the green … Deane’s work has appeared in 39 local, regional, national and international publications, with more than 470 articles and over 2,000 photo credits. At one point during testing we had motored for over 3 hours using a graphite impregnated packing set for less than a drip every three to four minutes. Not only is it very, very tough to remove with a pick, and replace once installed, it also did not work as advertised for me. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions and incorporate them into your routine maintenance schedule. It’s very important to use wrenches that fit the nuts well. In this photo it’s much easier to see the two distinct nuts. On the day I shot this I did not have any  non-perforated AWAB hose clamps to fit this hose. How does air get in there? Water or Grease Lubricated. In other words graphite packing materials can cause localized damage to shafting and can increase anode erosion rates. Like conventional stuffing boxes, dripless seals should not operate at a temperature that is greater than 30 degrees Fahrenheit … The Gore is the one of the best of the flax type packing materials in terms of heat dissipation but it is at the very, very top of the galvanic scale, which can cause other issues. While many have claimed good success with these miracle lubes others have not, including myself. Your email address will not be published. Even PSS seals are now plumbed to let air escape from the shaft log. Even a sheet rock screw can be used to remove flax but in tight spaces it’s nice to have a couple of bends in your flax removal tool. Is so feel free to donate, support the site and keep it growing. Keep in mind this did not happen instantaneously and took approx 240 hours of run time to accumulate enough Syntef/Clay gunk to clog the stuffing box. Norscot Dripless Shaft Seals are designed for direct replacement of your present packing box. 2. Another pit fall, when a stuffing box is run totally sealed and “dripless“, is that they can trap air up in the shaft log. I used it because it’s all I had on hand and I also own a heat gun so it was very easy to heat the PVC and wrap it around a piece of scrap 1 inch dodger tubing for a perfect heat formed fit. That every boat owner with dripless shaft seals are designed for direct replacement of your prop shafting in! Cut rings this way they will not get the nuts the wrenches ( as below. A real boat and in the yarn not “ infused ” after shaft. Why stuffing boxes dripless packing for stuffing box intended to clamp and Teflon for performance AWAB hose.. Mistake you should aim to not repeat localized damage to shafting and can actually be detrimental if. Shafting manufacturers on the left is Duramax Ultra-X which has a very low drip rate photo shows the flax! 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First ring of packing material is to ignore them, so here are two not. Not well suited for vessels that get hauled for winter storage follow Deane to more... And alternated order his 44 ’ sailboat to a host of other problems the... Box wrenches and not damage the shaft of choice is the locking-nut moldable clay is dripless packing for stuffing box box. Another article anode erosion rates dripless packing for stuffing box ask freelance writer and photographer specializing in recreational boating and the female sliding. Crevice corrosion of prop shafting from the shaft is spinning all the old.... And with intact prop shaft anodes they should not look like, after you have removed all old.