Day 11 of Summer Trip 2014 – Stern gland repacked and exhaust elbow refitted

In the morning Kevin came over and refitted the exhaust elbow. The exhaust elbow had been x-rayed and a section of the exhaust elbow had been chopped off, and a new section fabricated and welded on.

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After the exhaust elbow was fitted, Kevin then repacked the stern gland. The stern gland basically keeps the propeller shaft watertight. My stern gland was dripping constantly and needed seeing to.


Old stern gland packing.


New stern gland packing.


These seemingly insignificant little bits of what appears to be mushed up plastic, are solely responsible for preventing water gushing into the boat, where the propshaft passes through from the outside to the inside of the boat. Pretty nifty huh.

So with those two jobs done I’m now ready to go back in the water on Monday!

In the afternoon I took a trip to Gillingham chandlery which is a 30 minute walk from Chatham marina. The walk takes you through the University of Kent, sadly I didn’t stop at the SU bar. My intentions were to buy a water gauge, but as often is the case when going to a chandlery you end up coming home with everything but what you set out to buy.

I came home with a fishing rod, some pilot books on North Brittany, the Channel Islands, and a River Cottage Handbook on Sea Fishing (how old do I feel!). All useful stuff. I guess now I have some pilot books on North Brittany I should make it my business to put them to good use…I feel a plan coming together 😉

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I can’t wait to start fishing for dinner! By the way “Ugly Boat” apparently is a good make of reel, and in no way a reflection on Excalibur! Incidentally the fishing kit is second hand and came to £55, and is tough enough to handle larger fish when I get into dorado territory 😮


In the evening I went out for a few drinks with a couple from the yard who are getting ready for their big adventure with a Contessa 32, below is a mechanical self steering system that they’ve bought. I haven’t heard of this make of wind vane before so shall be interested to hear how they get on.


The funniest incident of the night after a few beers, was getting to a bar that I shall not name for fear of retribution from the bouncer should he ever read this! One of the bouncers told me I had to remove my baseball cap, the following conversation ensued.

“You need to take your hat off”

“Really? I got sun burnt last week and its peeling like mad mate”

“Nah it’s gotta come off, it’s the burgers!”


“Yeh the burgers”

“W-w-what do you mean the burgers”

“The burgers, we gotta be fair innit”


“Yeh you know the burgers that women wear, where you can only see their eyes”

“Ohhh burkas, well people are going to get bits of my flaky scalp in their beers” I joked

“Sorry mate, we can’t do anything about it” he replied sincerely

That pretty much made my night! Good times!


Trip Stats
Miles: 0
Total Miles: 50
Groceries for breakfast £5.35
Lunch out £8.90
Drinks in the evening £29.40
Summer trip total expenditure £286.80


Author: Tim Butler

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