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Subject: Leaking Stern Gland


I have 2000- 55ft Evans and son trad stern Narrowboat and have noticed over the last year or so that after a days cruising I gather around 2 litres of water in a container I have located under the stern gland despite regularly tightening the stern gland greaser.

Having looked at the gland it appears that there is a collar that is attached with two bolts that pull both parts of the stern gland together and having tightened these bolts it does seem to have reduced the amount of intake. However I am concerned with regards to over tightening these in case of increasing friction etc.

Is there a recommended method or torque setting for the safe adjustment of the gland to reduce the water seepage?

Phil R



The convention is to tighten them until you get one or two drips a minute, however I have found that as long as you just about stop the drips and you get a bead of water at the shaft when you tighten the greaser no excess wear is caused.

If you over-tighten the gland it will get hot (they may well get warm, but you should be able to keep your hand on it) and it will be difficult to turn the shaft by hand. So if you can turn the shaft by hand all should be well. It will also tend to get hot if the engine and shaft are out of alignment - and that will damage the gland.

It is important to tighten each nut the same amount.

It is not unusual to have to tighten glands annually or even more often (depending upon engine/shaft alignment) but the real test is to do it when the leak becomes excessive.

When the flange on the collar gets to within about half an inch of the gland it is time to repack the gland.

Hope this helps

Tony Brooks


Subject: Packing the Stern Gland

Hi Tony

Many thanks for the info.

What is involved should the gland need to be repacked.





It is easy enough to do on a newish boat with an unworn shaft and bearings, but I would not like to try to describe it in words.

I am sure that you have enough time to wait until the 2006 IWA National or possibly Crick boat show and book onto one of my mini-courses. Alternatively think about a full 12 hour maintenance course.

Details of the two day courses on the website below (either RCR or TVU)

Tony Brooks


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