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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Far S. Cornwall
    Posts
    13,132

    Default Flexible stern tube gland

    A cautionary tale. Fv here found water ingress due to the flexible element of the internal stuffing box holder being split. A repair with rubber work gloves and jubilee clips held for not very long, the gland slipped forward, rotated with the shaft and the rubber disintegrated, they only got in due to the bilge pumps keeping pace with the inflow.
    This can't be a very regular occurrence, many boats have these fitted, and I always draw attention to the fact that we are floating courtesy of the jubilee clips, but I had not come across this problem. Thinking about a work around, maybe a piece of inner tube tied back ready to pull forward over the rubber? The gland should have lugs which engage with the stern tube fitting to stop it rotating and stressing the rubber, it would need to be tied back to stop it slipping forward and rotating freely. If the stuffing box was very tight the gland would rotate within limits every ahead/astern movement.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    8,827

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    A properly engineered stern gland has 'dogs' which engage to avoid stressing the rubber as you say and as described on Vyv Cox's website but many don't have them and rely on the strength of the rubber alone. Surprisingly, not many failures seem to be reported but I'd be concerned if mine were this design.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,385

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    Quality of rubber “hose” is a major factor Portmere Rubber do the correct stuff do not economise with anything else

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Far S. Cornwall
    Posts
    13,132

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    This is the next issue, I think a repair is being done with a.n. other piece of hose. In extremis I suppose you could stuff some greased cotton material in and lash the outer gland on top.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Far S. Cornwall
    Posts
    13,132

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    The engineer in charge has fitted a piece of spiral wound wire reinforced oil proof tube. He says the stern tube should be full of grease and that would keep out the water, and a simple repair could be effected with flat oilskin material and clips. Hmmm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    8,827

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    That's completely wrong, the stern tube must be able to convey water to the stern gland to cool it. Packing it with grease would cause it to overheat.
    Quote Originally Posted by fisherman View Post
    The engineer in charge has fitted a piece of spiral wound wire reinforced oil proof tube. He says the stern tube should be full of grease and that would keep out the water, and a simple repair could be effected with flat oilskin material and clips. Hmmm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Oxfordshire, Gosport and Wellington New Zealand.
    Posts
    8,016

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostlymoron View Post
    That's completely wrong, the stern tube must be able to convey water to the stern gland to cool it. Packing it with grease would cause it to overheat.
    There are different types of stern glands.

    My NZ boat has a Bukh engine in it with the Bukh stern gland. This is oil fed through a screw down greaser with heavy oil. Forget to screw it down and it leaks. Oiled correctly it is as dry as a nuns crutch.

    Many canal narrowboats-almost all in fact-have a remote greaser and it is normal to screw it down every morning before starting the engine untill it goes stiffer, telling you the grease has filled the space.

    So, not ALL stern glands use water as a lubricant/coolant.

    Some use grease or heavy oil.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    14,356

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    I had a similar case when the old hose started swelling (because of grease) and water started to leak through the delaminated rubber. I had a length of suitable hose but, of course, couldn't replace it while afloat. The solution was to slit a suitable length and refasten it over the rotten hose... using several hose clips. That cured the leak and a proper replacement was installed once we were in port and on the hard.
    Should we paint what is on a face, what is inside it, or what is behind it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    Quote Originally Posted by fisherman View Post
    The engineer in charge has fitted a piece of spiral wound wire reinforced oil proof tube. He says the stern tube should be full of grease and that would keep out the water, and a simple repair could be effected with flat oilskin material and clips. Hmmm.
    My advice would be to find another engineer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    8,827

    Default Re: Flexible stern tube gland

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthUp View Post
    My advice would be to find another engineer.
    Me too. Any stern tube that has a cutless bearing requires cooling water and most boats post 1980 are so equipped. Possibly earlier as well - grease is a poor conductor of heat.

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