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Stuffing Box Wrench Sizes?

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by jviss, Jul 24, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,885 posts, 335 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    I have a 1984 C36. I would like to purchase a set of stub wrenches. I'm pretty sure the gland is 2", but I'm not sure if the lock nut is 1 7/8" or 1 3/4". Does anyone know for sure?

    Thanks,

    jv
     


  2. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    548 posts, 160 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    I suggest measuring your particular boat. Digital vernier calipers are less than $20 on Amazon or your local big-box hardware store. They're invaluable for measuring all type of stuff on boats when you want to spend money. On my 1999 (Mk II) C36, they were 1 7/8, but that doesn't mean a thing to you.
     


  3. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,459 posts, 326 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    I would suggest you use adjustable heavy duty pipe wrenches. With corrosion and distortion those wrench sizes will likely not be exact.
     


  4. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,900 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    They are big. They depend on the size if your shaft. And can be different for the same boats. (Boy that sounds questionable reading what I just wrote).
    Measure first buy once. Some boaters have made their own wrenchs to meet the need. Search the forum for "stuffing box" and you will get a flood of good information.
     


  5. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,484 posts, 567 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I used a large pipe wrench and an adjustable wrench like the ones used for a sink drain. It was thin enough to get on the locking nut while the pipe wrench was on the adjusting nut - or whatever it's called. Most adjustable and maybe even non-adjustable wrenches that fit 2" are going to be pretty husky. I kept them in the compartment with the stuffing box for emergency use.
     


  6. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,885 posts, 335 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    Yes, I currently have a couple of giant, adjustable wrenches, but they are very clumsy to use and store. And, they don't hold the adjustment very well. Hence my search for fixed-size, stub wrenches. I measured the adjustables after tightening-up the packing a bit, and while I'm sure the gland is 2", a combination of poor recollectino and perhaps ambiguity in the measurement results in me not knowing for sure if the lock nut is 1 3/4" or 1 7/8". I thought someone with the same or similar boat might know. I only get to the boat on weekends.
     


  7. womble

    womble

    Joined Jan 13, 2015
    36 posts, 5 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Middle River
    I actually measured mine this weekemd and can confirm whet catalinadirect states: they are both 1 7/8 inch. CD sells the wrenches for more than $80 but you can get them from ebay for $57.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-7-8-2-Shaft-Packing-Wrench-Combo-Set/253038967076?_trksid=p2481888.c100678.m3607&_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=20160908131621&meid=27157e662c484fc4baad38526f49542d&pid=100678&rk=2&rkt=6&sd=253052094728&_trkparms=pageci%3Af30c2906-707e-11e7-b804-74dbd18033d7%7Cparentrq%3A7510c7f115d0a866b1529410ffff33a8%7Ciid%3A1
     


  8. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,885 posts, 335 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    Thanks.
    I am a bit surprised. I thought it was fairly common practice to have the gland and lock nuts to be different sizes, since one is unlikely to have two the same wrenches in a set; not just for boats, but in general. Indeed, the eBay link you provide, which I had found, too, is for a set that are 2" and 1 7/8".
    Catalina Direct sell the set that are both 1 7/8", but they also sell a set with 2" and 1 3/4": "These wrenches are for 1-3/4" and 2" nuts and fit many Catalinas using a 1" prop shaft and do not have the standard 1-7/8" nuts. To be certain they are correct for your boat, you may want to measure your stuffing box before ordering."

    So, yes, I should re-measure, I guess.
     


  9. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    548 posts, 160 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    BTW: I bought the York aluminum wrenches on eBay and they were great. They're much easier to handle in the small spaces around the stuffing box that we have than the large industrial-sized wrenches you'd need for 1 7/8", which I also tried. Also, storing a couple of 15" long 8 lb. wrenches was not fun either. You don't have to worry about torque because there really is not much torque on these nuts.
     


  10. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,900 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    There should be not much torque on the nuts, but reality sometimes creeps in on boat owners and either the heat, the PO or corrosion changes the conditions. Hand tight is the prescribed method. Best not to adjust while the engine is turning.
     


  11. Dave Groshong

    Dave Groshong SBO Staff Staff Member

    Joined Jan 25, 2007
    1,268 posts, 75 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Seattle
    I like using giant size channel locks.
     


    Sailm8 likes this.
  12. Maine Sail

    Maine Sail Moderator

    Joined Feb 6, 1998
    10,686 posts, 518 likes
    Canadian Sailcraft 36T
    US Casco Bay, ME
    The problem is that "back in the day", at the height of sailboat building, everyone and their uncle was making packing glands, some of them pretty pathetic too... Today only a handful are left. Our boat has a 1" Buck Algonquin gland and I use two 2" Buck Algonquin wrenches.... Not all 1" glands take a 2" wrench. As they say measure twice, buy once.... I have seen Catalina's with different packing glands so they likely used what was available, like Cape Dory using their own competitors, Wilcox Crittenden, seacocks when they ran out of Spartan Seacocks....
     


  13. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,900 posts, 2,066 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Thanks for the input Maine Sail.
    When you work on boats it eventually sinks in that while some things are the same not everything is the same.
    Be it a PO, the manufacturer, or a ship yard trying to get the job done for an anxious new owner sometimes your boat will have something that is not the same as the others.
     


  14. Dave Groshong

    Dave Groshong SBO Staff Staff Member

    Joined Jan 25, 2007
    1,268 posts, 75 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Seattle
  15. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,885 posts, 335 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    Thanks Dave. Are there any others? I don't see a 1 7/8" or 1 3/4" size.
     


  16. RoyS

    RoyS

    Joined Jun 3, 2012
    338 posts, 84 likes
    Hunter 33
    US Bay Pointe, Quincy
    You could grind a smaller size to a larger size if absolutely necessary. Use a bench grinder.
     


  17. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,913 posts, 577 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    I have one fixed and one adjustable wrench. The fixed one is for the lock nut. Oddly enough (pun intended) the flats on the lock nut are NOT the same!!! Two sides are, one is smaller!!! Of course, two sides are always at the opposite side that the wrench can get to at any given turn, right? I just learned to live with it these past 19 years.

    There are many ways to skin the cat. Much has to do with how good or bad your access is on your boat. Ours is excellent. My tools wouldn't work on a C30 or C27.
     


  18. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,885 posts, 335 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    That's not a very practical approach. As someone with some machining experience, I can tell you that it would be difficult to do a good job of that using a bench grinder; it would be nearly impossible to access the entire flat of the wrench that way. It would be easier to just make a wrench of the right size, using a band saw and some plate stock.
     


  19. RoyS

    RoyS

    Joined Jun 3, 2012
    338 posts, 84 likes
    Hunter 33
    US Bay Pointe, Quincy
    Oh sure, way easier.
     



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