By Capt. Ed Kopp
If you are a regular reader of my column, you know how much that I love inboard/outboard drive lines. Yes, I am being sarcastic — these motors and drives are at best problematic in our saltwater environment. Sterndrives are equipped with a series of bellows or boots located in the transom assembly. These parts are rubber accordion-like boots that protect and seal the mechanical components that operate inside of them. There are generally two or three bellows, depending on the engine manufacturer.
The uppermost bellows and the largest of the bunch is the u-joint bellows, which the drive shaft passes through between the engine compartment and the outdrive. The u-joint bellows protects the drive shaft, u-joints and gimbal bearing. The purpose of this bellows is to keep the water out. If a hole or tear develops, water will get inside, not only causing major damage to these metal components but also allowing water to leak into the boat. Obviously, this is never good.
You are currently not logged in
By logging in you can see the full story.