with a sealant. Also, consider calling the boatbuilder and telling them the year and model
of the boat, as well as the problem. They may
have a much easier solution.
I need to know how to determine what size
flax is needed for the stuffing box female nut
and how many rings of flax are needed.
Grand Island, NY
and each battery will start the engine.
However, when the engine is running at idle
to 1,100 rpm, the voltmeter shows 14 volts.
Does this indicate that I’m overcharging the
batteries and something is wrong with the
DON CASEY: The best way to make this
determination is with a caliper because it’s
more accurate than eyeballing a ruler and it
measures inside diameters. Measure the shaft
diameter and the inside diameter of the stuffing box — the big female nut. Subtract one
from the other, then divide that in half to get
the proper packing size. For example, if the
shaft is 1 inch and the inside of the box is 1
3/8 inches, the difference is 3/8-inch, so you
need packing for half that, or 3/16-inch. Most
stuffing boxes require three rings of packing.
You don’t want to fill the box so much that
it fails to thread easily and engage several
I replaced the starting battery for my Yamaha
four-stroke outboard and retained the house
battery. The voltmeter shows 12-plus volts,
BUILD A MAKESHIFT FARADAY CAGE: WRAP YOUR ELECTRONICS IN
ALUMINUM FOIL OR STORE THEM IN A METAL BUCKET WITH A LID.
DON CASEY: No. A fully charged 12-volt
battery at rest, meaning not being charged
or discharged for several hours, will register
around 12. 6 volts. The charging voltage your
Yamaha provides will be somewhere around
14 volts. So if the batteries are fully charged
and you don’t have any high-draw appliances on, the charging voltage will drive up
the voltage your meter measures to close to
14. You always want to see 13-plus volts on
the meter when the engine is running above
idle, or you can assume you have a charging
problem. A voltage reading as high as around
14. 4 volts is unlikely to do your batteries any
harm with normal use patterns.
A boat that runs for hours or days will
do better with a 13.8-volt regulator, but a
day-use pleasure boat makes good use of the
quicker charging a higher voltage provides.
It takes forever to earn vacation time.
Get a free quote.
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