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Leak in Stern Gland

I have a slight leak in the stern gland of my narrowboat and am looking for a good, reasonably priced, mechanic who would do the work at my marina at Lechlade on Thames Glos. Any recommendations?

Asked by: Paul Jones  | 8.09pm, Wednesday 5 September

WW says:

I am presuming that your stern gland leak is more than just dripping from the gland face, where the propellor shaft enters?
If the gland is a conventional gland (with rope packing- usually the type with a daily greasers), then there does need to be a drip when the boat is underway, as otherwise the gland runs very hot, causing premature failure.
If a conventional stern gland (rather than a water cooled one), then you might be able to tighten up the font pair of nuts, no more than half a turn at a time, which will tigehten the packing, if a vloume of grease is not sufficient to stop water coming in. This compresses the lengths of rope packing which form the seal.
When you have been cruising for an hour or so, feel the stern gland- if it is cool, all is well- if it is too hot, the packing is too tight and/or not enough grease. Usually the problem is that the gland is too tight and water cannot pass through, which is need to lubricate the gland and cool it further.
Replacing the gland packing yourself while the boat is afloat is not too difficult, and, while you could do it yourself, any boat mechanic will be able to do it! Should take less than an hour to do, unless the old packing has ran very hot and become attached to the shaft. We cannot recommend particular mechanics, but having a word with other boaters around should point you in the right direction.

Mark Langley  | 9.21PM, Wednesday 5 September

Readers say:

Thanks for your help WW. Tightened the 2 nuts a bit and it did the trick,

Paul Jones  | 7.24PM, Monday 10 September

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