Sterngear and Rudder

Stern Gear is not complicated, it is in simple terms, an aperture in the stern of a boat with a bearing where the propeller shaft turns with a water tight seal.

There are two main types:

Bronze bearing with stuffing box, gland packing and lubricated by grease. Rubber cutlass bearing with rubber seals and water lubrication.

With time and use, as with all moving parts, it is subject to wear and may need to be maintained or replaced. The first signs are usually leaking seals, excessive grease usage, vibration and noise. There are many other factors such as engine mounting weakening, leading to misalignment, worn drive couplings etc.

At Swanley Bridge marina we have a lot of experience with stern gear, and specialise in maintenance or replacement of your old stern gear. It doesn’t matter if you have old, obsolete gear, we can weld in new bosses that will take a more common type, machine and weld in new chatter plates, we can even convert from one type to another to suit your boat.

When fitting new stern gear, we can tune it to make your propeller work more efficiently, making your boat handle better and possibly saving in fuel.

We repair any rudder problems, eg fitting new bearings, modifying bearing arrangements for more suitable types, take out any free play, make a new rudder, or modify your existing one.

If you have any stern gear, engine mount, drive coupling or rudder problems, please do not hesitate to come and discuss it with us and see what the right course of action would be. Don’t put up with a wet, greasy bilge, or an unruly rudder.