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‘81 Yamaha 30 Stuffing Box

LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
I recently purchased an ‘81 Y-30 and have appreciated the wealth of information available on this forum. Thank you.

However, I have been unable to find anything related to re-packing the shaft stuffing box. There is a leak I am somewhat concerned about; the previous owner tells me it was re-packed approximately 4 years ago and nothing has been done since.

The manual specifies that it should be re-packed annually. Unfortunately, it does not specify whether this can be done while the boat is in the water.

My hope is to lessen the rate of dripping without lifting the boat i.e. at least until spring of next year.

Many thanks in advance for any tips/thoughts.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,855
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Congratulations on your new Yamaha 30.
Welcome to the forum.
Stuffing boxes. The answer is yes they can be serviced while in the water.
I do not know your access to the units. In some boats it is difficult. In others it is relatively easy.
Here is a great link that explains the basics.
https://marinehowto.com/re-packing-a-traditional-stuffing-box/
If done in the water, you will have water coming out of the log/shaft. You can use a rag to slow the water ingress. You can use your pump to pump the water out of the bilge. Then follow the directions for changing the packing and tighten the nuts.
You might just tighten the nuts to see if you can reduce the dripping to the accepted 1-2 drops every couple of minutes while the shaft is rotating.
 
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LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
Thank you very much John, that’s very helpful!
As you suggested, I will try to tighten the nuts first to see whether that helps reduce the dripping.
Additionally, I will be installing a bilge pump with a float that is wired directly to a battery. Currently, there is only one, without a float, that requires power to be turned on in order to operate.
Thanks again.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,855
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
In the old days I'd just hook up a bilge pump and let it work.

Now a days with all the pure water laws and monitors around the Salish Sea/Puget Sound that is a big no no...

My boat has a 5 foot deep bilge. The previous owners had let all manner of water, oil and who knows what fall in and accumulate. I hand pumped over 150 gallons of water out and carried it to the marina disposal tank, when there was one. It disappeared. So I asked the yard manager. It got too costly for them to continue the tank and disposal so they quit and left it up to the boaters to figure it out. They at least supply the oil collection kits. I've been dropping their oil sucking logs in the bilge and disposing of them.

My friend @LeslieTroyer looked into to the abyss I call my bilge and looked away afraid, while we pulled one of the oil soaked logs up.

It is much better now, yet I can still not let a bilge pump run unsupervised.

I share this as you need to be sure your bilge pump will not pump more than water when it is unattended.

There are several modern switch ideas. All have a bit of an issue with failures as in getting stuck or stopping working. They are not put in and forget equipment.

Check out the link I gave you. I think @Maine Sail has provided info regarding bilge pumps on his sight.
 
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LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
Definitely worth consideration, thanks again John.

With respect to the dripping, it appears to be approximately 1 drop per minute ie. Without the engine running or shaft spinning. Is this acceptable?

Additionally, I have attached a picture hoping someone can tell me how to access the actual stuffing box. Can I assume that by removing the collar (see arrow) I can access the nut that requires tightening?

Please forgive the somewhat naive questions; unfortunately the manual is not very clear and my experience is very limited. Thanks.
AC78F0E1-5B94-44A9-91D3-B6E43FC7EEE2.jpeg
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,855
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
My stuffing box looks like this.
3C7C5713-D38A-4A03-A010-8A91B5606685.jpeg
I have not seen one like yours.
 

LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
The Yamaha design appears to be somewhat different - I presume based on the placement of the engine and therefore, the length of the shaft running to the prop.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,916
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Never seen anything like that. My old one was a plastic version of what John posted. I now have a Lasdrop dripless seal
 

LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
Thank you both. Any thoughts regarding the rate of dripping i.e. 1 small drop per minute - engine/prop at rest.
 

LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
Thank you both. Any thoughts regarding the rate of dripping i.e. 1 small drop per minute - engine/prop at rest.
Would also appreciate any thoughts from other Yam 30 owners as our boats appear to be unique in this regard, thanks.
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,203
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
That stuffing box is adjusted by snugging the two nuts that push on the collar.. The collar has a tubular part that pushes on the packing .. One drip a minute, not running, is fine.. With both nuts off as in picture, the collar could slide back and let the packing blow out of the box... causing a big leak.. don't leave the nuts off!
EDIT: Note that you can carefully move the collar up the shaft and add a ring of packing then put the collar back on and adjust..
 
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LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
That stuffing box is adjusted by snugging the two nuts that push on the collar.. The collar has a tubular part that pushes on the packing .. One drip a minute, not running, is fine.. With both nuts off as in picture, the collar could slide back and let the packing blow out of the box... causing a big leak.. don't leave the nuts off!
Excellent! Thank you Claude - just what I needed to know.
 

LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
That’s a very clear and helpful illustration, not one that I’ve seen before in any material regarding stuffing boxes. Thanks Claude.
 
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Likes: kloudie1
Jan 30, 2012
1,089
Nor'Sea 27 "Kiwanda" Portland/ Anacortes
LVGS

One needs to confirm that your photo is not the propeller shaft. Rather the rudder shaft. Assuming the rudder shaft is not submerged you can change the packing it in the water. If not try plenty of weight on the bow thus to lift the stern.

Also try yamahasailboats.org/manuals for your model. Yamaha wrote pretty meager manuals but the basics are there.

Considering the condition of the shaft it is likely new packing is going to leak too.

Charles
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2014
15,855
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@LVGS Charles brings up a good point, (just like a good lawyer) is this a stuffing box for a propeller shaft or a rudder?

Is the sight of the stuffing box below the water line?

I would put nuts back on the studs.
If @kloudie1 is right, and I believe he is based on the images, it should be a fairly easy project. I would choose the old time waxed flax rather than some of the new type graphite impregnated stuff. I would follow the procedures laid out in the MaineSail info.

It would seem from the image you provided that the stuffing in the box is completely compressed. Likely why you can not stop the drip when not rotating the shaft.

You will want to examine the shaft in the stuffing box. anything that is not smooth will be a leaker. The shaft looks to have the effect of water submersion.
 

LVGS

.
Apr 8, 2018
32
Hunter 33 Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island
Hi, the pic is definitely the stuffing box and ‘compression’ collar and not rudder (see illustration below - blue arrow points to area in question).

I think Claude was quite correct. Thanks for the additional tips John.
29A3DC71-DB36-49AF-961D-538A1D5EFC8E.jpeg
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,855
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
That clears up the question.
Bold sailor, grabs some rags to stuff around the shaft, opens the stuffing box, pulls out the stuffing that will be water assisted, turns on a big pump to pump the incoming water, and works quickly...
Smart sailor pulls boat out of the water, doesn’t have to fight the inflow and quietly removes the old packing, cuts the new packing to fit the shaft on a 45degree angle, probably 4 circles, fits the new packing into the box keeping the joints staggered. Might try the pushing of the packing down into the box with a piece of pvc pipe fit over the shaft. Once the packing is into the box, snugs the upper part of th box down onto the lower piece. Snugs up the nuts. Once back in the water you snugg the nuts up a bit to stop the flow of water. The box will drip water till the flax has a chance to swell and snug up around the shaft.
Then you are all good.
When I had my boat on the hard the previously none dripping box was weeping like a school girl. Took about 2 hours of in the water soak to stop. Now it is again dry and functiong like normal. I shoot the box with an infrared temp gauge. A cool 80 degrees while running.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,916
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I shoot the box with an infrared temp gauge. A cool 80 degrees while running.
This key key as I understand it. You don't want to overtighten the nut just to stop a leak. It will cause the stuffing material to overheat.