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What is the difference between a traditional stuffing box and a shaft seal?

Stuffing Box

A stuffing box—also called a stuffing gland, packing gland or packing box—forms a seal between the prop shaft and the hole in the hull through which the shaft passes while allowing the shaft to turn freely.

Dripless shaft seals have been replacing traditional stuffing boxes more recently eliminating the constant need to burp or adjust the dripping of water onto the shaft for lubrication.

Maintaining a stuffing box requires burping, cleaning out flax and adjusting the water used for lubrication. Depending on your boat and the location of your stuffing box you might literally have to stand on your head to do this maintenance.

Other differences include:

  • Stuffing boxes drip water into your bilge causing unnecessary use of your bilge pump. 
  • Dripless shaft seals eliminate fluid in your bilge which can mix with pollutants that are then pumped into the environment when the bilge pump activates.
Norscot Shaft Seal

A shaft seal system, like the Norscot Dripless Propeller Shaft Seal, alleviates complex, systemic maintenance. In fact, for more than three decades, Norscot has been providing boaters with less to maintain when aboard, and that’s how they like it, often proclaiming that they go thousands of hours without having to do a single thing to maintain the system.

More questions about how the Norscot Shaft Seal can be your dependable first mate? 

Get in touch and let’s chat.

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