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Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:53pm

Post Subject: My stern tube is not leaking!

Hi Tony, Since I started boating (two years) I have had water dripping from the sturn tube especially after a long run. I was not concerend at the amount and was able to pump out the water every other day of boating, I use a cat litter tray to catch the water, and a hand pump. Some time ago when visiting the boat to check on her the litter tray was full. This was unusual for the period of time. I tightened the two locking nuts on the gland by only 1/4 of a turn and that seemed to do the trick. Since then I have been boating for a three day trip with very little water in the tray. On checking the boat after four weeks the tray was bone dry. Reading the blurb and that too tight a packing gland could cause damage to the shaft would a bit of water leaking out be better than a dry tray. I cannot rotate the prop shaft by hand, as I have read, to check on tightnes and hope that that it is due to the gear box I have. I have no abnormal noise or lose of speed but wonder if a few drips would be cheaper than a new prop shaft. Any comments please. nb Romeley


Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:25am

Post Subject: My stern tube is not leaking!

Unless your boat has a Lister LH150 hydraulic gearbox or a 30+ year old mechanical one it is very unlikely that the gearbox is preventing you turning the shaft. If you do have a Lister LH150 you should be able to turn it if you have the engine running on idle. AS you say conventional wisdom says the shaft should drip between once every 30 to 60 seconds. It should stop when you use the stern tube greaser. This is very important with "yellow metal" shafts. However when I as running the hire fleet using stainless steel shafts dripping under a bedroom floor was not acceptable to some customers and I found that if you tightened the gland so you can still revolve the shaft but the drip had just about stopped AND every time you used the greaser a bead of grease or water oozed from the front of the gland then no significant extra wear took place. My own boat has been set like this for over 13 years and is not leaking and has not ever been adjusted. Its your choice. If your gearbox is not one of those mentioned above please check the prop is not fouled but more importantly check that the engine has not dropped on its mounts. If it has your shaft and gland really will wear. Clean the muck from the face of the gland and around the shaft. Then inspect the way the shaft enters the gland. It should be central in the hole. If the hole is egg shaped or the shaft is offset (probably down) then the engine needs aligning. Tony Brooks

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