Dan asks:

"I'm about to replace my shaft packing... any hints?"

Scott answers:

I have three comments. I'd love to take credit for them, but I picked them up watching Jesse at Nanaimo Shipyard replacing the packing on Island Eagle. My shaft is 3 1/2" in diameter, and the packing is 3/4", so it was a fairly tough job. He passed on three tips:

First, cutting the packing to length by wrapping it around the shaft is the way to do it. However, Jessee cut the ends on a 45 degree angle, so they would overlap slightly instead of butt up against each other. This allows a bit of slop in the length. Plus it will seal better.

Second, in many cases the shaft will droop slightly, making the space of the packing on the bottom of the shaft smaller than the space at the top (sounds like you have this problem). You can check the space using various sized sockets as feeler gauges. Use wedges or a rope to (gently) lift the shaft if required (in my case the shaft weighs several hundred pounds so we used a small jack).

Finally, the packing is often a bit oversized. Jesse's trick was to use a hammer and slightly squish the packing by pounding gently on it. This broke down the flax just a bit and allowed the packing to fit in better.

Hope this helps,

P.S. Here's a video showing replacing packing on a 5" shaft WHILE THE BOAT IS IN THE WATER!!! (done by Nanaimo Shipyard). He flattens the flax at about 0:46 of the video.
Robert Hall
10/19/2012 20:27:53

Hello I came across the Island Eagle web site after following the restoration work that was done by Tad Roberts
The Island Eagle turned out beautiful

I recently picked up a 1970 50 ft Defever with the name Esaro


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    About Scott

    I'v been boating since I was 6 years old, and I'm passionate about doing things the right way. Hopefully you'll find these posts useful, and if you disagree with then, I'm always ready to learn new things, feel free to comment or email me.


    March 2011