A Stern Gear is the general term for the propeller, the propeller shaft and any supporting brackets or bearings.
So How Can I Check my Stern Gear?
You can only check your stern gear arrangement when your canal boat is out of the water, because the propeller is at the stern of the boat, hence the term stern gear.
So when you take your Narrowboat out of the water for a blacking or a survey it is then when you can take a good look at the stern gear. First of all you will need to scrape off any paint, weed or encrustations, just to see the general condition of the propeller.
Another check to perform is to tap the propeller with a coin, and generally if it is in a good condition then it will ring like a bell. If it is electrolysed, it will give a dull click.
It is important to visually check the stern gear of your narrowboat also. Bent blades should be professionally straightened (this should be done by a professional). Dents in the prop should be filled smooth.
There should be no free movement in the rudder from its bearing. The prop nut must not be corroded.
If you are in any doubt then it is worth getting in contact with a marine engineer or a marine surveyor so they can come out and check the stern gear arrangement.
The video clip below from our sister company's youtube channel shows a marine surveyor surveying a stern gear on a canal boat.
When ever you are working near the propeller on any canal boat, ensure that the engine is switched off. Our blog is for information purposes only and Venetian Marina cannot accept any liability.