Stern gland

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pauljcon
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Stern gland

Post by pauljcon » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Moored in Canal, Joinville France, stern gland Volvo rubber type, leaking badly, no lift out facilities local, has any one changed one while in the water, bit tricky but alternatives??

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philipstevens
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Re: Stern gland

Post by philipstevens » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:33 pm

I would not try it - especially if you have a rope cutter.

You have to remove the shaft from the coupling, slide the shaft aft, undo the securing band, remove the rubber seal, refit the new seal - then pull the shaft back in. If you have a rope cutter, this would have to be aligned while pulling the shaft back in.

The amount of water you would get in would frighten you!!

The only way you could do this while afloat, is to get the shaft tube (outside and under water) stuffed with rags or something. Even then, you would get ingress of water.

I would have serious reservations about doing it while afloat.
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Philip.
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Re: Stern gland

Post by Jolly Roger » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:46 pm

It is possible to do. You are in a canal, so I presume you are close to a higher wharf/wall you could moor alongside. You will then need to re ballast the boat to be bow down by moving weight forward and emptying any tanks aft. Then use your winches to lift the transom even further. Using both lines on the transom to shore and a line from the masthead secured well forward. This should lift the shaft to about the surface. This will reduce the ingress of water substantially when you remove the seal. Then follow Phillip's advice on the change. You will still get some water in, so be prepared.

The alternative is to find hiab lorry and use that to lift the prop shaft clear of the water, then no chance of any water entry. A boat yard with a travel hoist should be able to do the same. Both of these will cost a small amount of money, but probably worth every penny.
Roger
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Re: Stern gland

Post by Fulmar433 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:19 pm

I really would question Roger's method of lifting the stern. It hasn't been said which model of Westerly it is so we don't know the weight. At my club we lift our boats with a cradle and 4 manual turffer winches. Each rated at 3 tonnes. The Fulmars at the club are among the biggest and heaviest (around 6tonne) we lift, and it takes a real effort to lift the rear end. Ok some of the weight will still be in the water, but that seems an awful amount of weight to attempt to lift with the boats winches via the stern cleats and pulling from the top of the mast. In fact the cleats are designed for horizontal pull not vertical and there would be a chance of pulling them out. I can't see what ballast there would be available to make that much difference. It needs to come up a long way. When did you last hear or notice your prop cavitating in rough weather?

I would think a crane or hiab with a sling under the boat would be the only safe option.

If you have a shaft anode there is the potential for not being able to slide the shaft back far enough. As Phillip says if you have a rope cutter you need to check it is aligned. I changed my seal, got it all reassembled then noticed the cutter wasn't aligned, so had to take it all apart again.

Having changed a seal out of the water, I would never attempt it afloat. Rushing it, you could potentially damage the new seal. Get it wrong and the boat sinks.
David Metcalfe
Fulmar 433 Jeddo
Lower Halstow, Kent

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Re: Stern gland

Post by philipstevens » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:24 pm

Fully agree with 433. (Poetic even)

In the 12 years we had Duo Oyster, we never had a minutes problem with the Volvo shaft seal. On re-launching every year, I would burp the seal until water came in. Even when drying out in the Scillies, I would burp before running the engine/prop.

But.....when I sold the boat, she had been in the water for over a month, and I had motored in and out of Penzance harbour after "burping".

After selling Oyster, the day we set sail/motor from Penzance to Padstow (on the way to her new home in the Severn), we got no further than Lamorna, before there was a screeching from the shaft seal. Somehow, it had got air in - maybe from crustaceans. The shaft was too hot to touch - bearing in mind that water "should" have been an inch away from the inside of the boat. So we limped back to Pz.

I got a new seal from Penryn, but it was neap tides, with only about 12 feet rise and fall of tide. We managed to get up into a corner of Pz harbour where we "almost" dried out. We worked with a foot of water under the boat at low tide, but managed to change the seal in an hour. The water was rising to just under the P bracket, as the shaft was pushed back in and the rope cutter aligned.

A close enough call.


As for ballasting down the bow - we tried to get the stern high to drain the bilge a few years ago, when the FW pump decided to pump to the bilge. I had about 6 "hefty" people on the bow to get the water to the shower pump diverter valve suction. All that happened was that the stern stayed where it was, while the bow went deep!! I did get all the water out of the bilge.
regards,
Philip.
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Re: Stern gland

Post by Jolly Roger » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:13 pm

The last time I had the stern of a boat lifted was in Holland using a travel lift hoist. The boat was a Dehler 37 (cruiser) with a stern gland problem. So yes it is very possible to change a stern gland seal whilst in the water.

Philip's experience with the Volvo seal is why I would always recommend using a water fed stern gland, then it will never overheat or need burping.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
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