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Old 02-27-2014, 04:32 PM   #1
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Prop protection

I've been looking into Californians and am suitably impressed. First the 34's, then the 38' Aft Cabin, then back to the 34's because of the Salon/Cockpit openness. I have not seen that many pictures of the bottoms. Do any Californians have a keel, and do any have any sort of prop protection like the picture below? And how important is something like this?
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:21 PM   #2
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You will likely find that single screws are protected, as the engine sits in the center line of the boat and there is a shelf that the screw comes out of and the keel is perpendicular to the bottom of the prop. The twins are not. The shafts and prop are below the vessel on most trawlers. A trade off. Simply........ I'd rather have twins..... just don't run into rocks.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:39 PM   #3
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The shafts and prop are below the vessel on most trawlers.
DeFevers' keel is comfortably below the twin props. Ditto twins from Selene as well as Krogen, Dashew and Nordhavn with their twin keels. I've seen other twins with keels lower than props, can't remember brands though. According to Volvo the IPS drive system has not resulted in an increased level of strikes.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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I think Marin always used to say his props on his Grand Banks were above the bottom of the keel.....

The theory that the keel will protect your props is just that ....theory. There are lots of way to ding your prop because the world underwater isn't always flat.

That said...the more that encases a prop or keeps it away from things...the more protection there is "in theory"....

Just how important that is depends on A LOT......
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:43 AM   #5
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My prop is unprotected. Lots of boats are similar. The tradeoff is that a big keel or skeg to protect the prop is a lot of drag, and puts disturbed water into the prop. The disturbed water makes for more prop vibration. I decided the low drag was worth the risk of dinging a prop.

It's like driving a car with low ground clearance. You just need to be aware of what's ahead and be more careful.

In my area, most of the skinny water is sand bottom. I've kissed it a few times with no damage. If you are dealing with rocks, gots to be soooper careful.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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A trade off. Simply........ I'd rather have twins..... just don't run into rocks.
+1 Agree
My Californian has her original props over 35 years now. In that time I have dinged and repaired one prop. Lots of rock on the bottom and water debris in the PNW. With a little care it's a rare event!!

Very few single engine 34' - 42' Californians. Twins engines were standard and singles the oddity. They also made a few 38' - 42' sedans which were set up like the 34' sedan. I have only seen one for sale in recent memory.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:24 PM   #7
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A keel-protected propeller and rudder were among my top three selection criteria. Lots of skinny waters here. Such boats are relatively rare because most boaters want to go fast(er) and have the redundancy of two engines.

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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To us a keel is a valuable thing, it's nice to have full protection of the prop.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:59 PM   #9
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A bit off topic, but why are you guys (2 above) running LH wheels? Most singles I'm around run RH due to fewer gears in play in the trannie.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:10 PM   #10
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A bit off topic, but why are you guys (2 above) running LH wheels? Most singles I'm around run RH due to fewer gears in play in the trannie.
Nevertheless, it's handy having starboard propwalk when the helm is also starboard, the side I prefer to dock or raft.

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Old 03-02-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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A bit off topic, but why are you guys (2 above) running LH wheels? Most singles I'm around run RH due to fewer gears in play in the trannie.
I've' never thought about it but we're LH also.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #12
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Oliver it looks like the hole in your rudder (presumably there for prop shaft removal) is too far fwd. Either that or your rudder post/shaft is further fwd than it looks like. And if your rudder post is far enough fwd to take advantage of the hole there is almost no "balancing" portion of the rudder fwd of the rudder shaft to have much effect. Perhaps you have power steering and don't need a balanced rudder. Seems an odd way to rig a passagemaker though.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:44 PM   #13
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THe BW gear box does not reverse the shaft rotation since it's a planetary arrangement.

Most other gearboxes will change the direction of rotation and most engines are CCW.

Most trawlers are from the 70s and had/have Brog Warner gearboxs. Most newer gearboxs have a two shaft arrangement whereas the output shaft rotates the opposite direction of the input shaft (engine).

Larry is your prop a Michigan MP-3?
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:14 PM   #14
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Shit happens!

I hit a submerged log years ago that dinged the stbd prop. Here's a shot immediately after haul out and removal of the stbd prop. It shows the lack of prop protection.



It wasn't the last time I damaged the prop. I later hit a submerged vessel and did some serious damage to the running gear requiring new struts, port shaft, retuned props and bottom paint. Fortunately insurance covered that one.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:36 PM   #15
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I wish I had protection. The only up side is the draft is 3'6" and it helps getting in the shallow channels.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:03 PM   #16
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I was surprised at how shallow the Indian River Estuary in Florida is. I was also impressed with how big it is.....

Many marinas/restaurants have less than 6 feet of water on the approaches and even with my protected single it's a little nerve wracking motoring around much of the areas outside of the ICW.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:38 AM   #17
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My prop is protected by the keel and skeg and I like it this way. I think it's a good design.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:00 AM   #18
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #19
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David, the lobster guys must love you. I had a set of Spurs put on my boat when it was built in Maine. The boat builder told me not to mention that to anyone. I got the boat out of Maine pretty fast.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:19 AM   #20
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RE Post #18:

Then there are those who go to great lengths with "over propping" and sweat bullets over the shape of buttocks and such hoping to gain the saving of a few grams of fuel per year through increased "efficiency" ...
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