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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Compass Marine How To Articles >> Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box > Getting Ready To Dig Out The Old Flax
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Getting Ready To Dig Out The Old Flax

Getting Ready To Dig Out The Old Flax

In this photo I left about an inch between the male end of the stuffing box and the female nut. This is typical of the space you'll have on many production boats like the Catalina 30 & 36.

*WARNING: If you have not attempted this type of DIY job before it's best to do it with the boat out of the water for obvious reasons. With the female flax nut removed water will flow in to the boat from between the male end of the box and the shaft!

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1/60s f/4.0 at 50.0mm full exif

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Bill Rowe 16-May-2015 19:46
First, I want to thank you for teaching me about almost everything you have taken the time to review. Amazing site.
Now the question. I have a traditional stuffing box (nylon type system). I replaced the flax as you instructed (two pieces separated by a thin metal washer) but after running the shaft in the water I do not get the 1-2 drips of water needed for cooling. Previously dripped too much, hence the change. I have backed off the tightening nut and still no drips. Will it take time for the flax to seat properly or do I have a problem?
Tahoe.Hank 09-May-2015 20:27
I just opened the stuffing box on my 1956 Higgins 23' convertible and found a few remnants of green moldable clay on the shaft. With a bent needle such as show I'm unable to remove any of the old clay. As there's lots of room to add GFO stuffing, I'm wondering if I can just put one or two strands on top of the clay. If not, is it possible to heat the clay with a heat gun and get it out that way?
Carl Beall 10-Dec-2012 22:58
I am at this time digging out the old seal on a twin engine 29' wellcraft. A small person must lay on ones stomach, craw inder the deck to get to the stuffing box. I have researched for the number of wraps (2or3) around the shaft. On removel the port shaft had only one wrap. On the starbord shaft there are 3 wraps. Does any one know what the correct number of wraps is? On an Owens that I serviced many years ago, It took 3 wraps to be level with the threads. I bent an ice pic forming a 3/4 hook to dig out the seal.
Sid 01-Jun-2010 21:19
Your description is great. I have a cataline 38 1981. Steven and Spartman design
Question is how much water can I expect coming in? Will it rush in uncontrolable?
JIm Heath 18-May-2008 16:15
Excellant series. Very helpful.