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Old 03-10-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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Prop fouling

There is quite allot of junk and discarded pot lines floating near the surface of the water , at night this can cause a big problem , even to the point of this shutting down your engine.


Twin engine boat could be a little more vulnerable, but do have that second engine to carry on with.
Single prop boats can and do get prop fouling.
A prop shaft can come loose from the flange coupling.
An inspection is required here, a 1/2" line can cause allot of damage
You could get lucky by momentarily putting the boat in reverse.




First option :- Ch 16 or Cell phone. *SEA TOW. Have a professional deal with the problem.




Last option :-


What i am about to tell you is very dangerous and requires prudence and due diligence
and must only be performed as a last option by a healthy competent person.


There is a need to have a plan of action or chain of events *that is agreed upon.


For Example " Show and Tell " *address crew by name.


Mavis *: I am stopping the Engine
Mavis : *I am stopping the generator
Mavis : *I am lowering the anchor.


The key to safe boating is " Communications"


I have had a dinghy line in my prop and i am not the only one.


May I put it this way , i am out for a cruise .


If we get a prop fouling and i have no other option open to me but to go over the side, *i would wait it out, till i decide *that it is safe to do so.


First of all the anchor will need be to be set *to secured the boat into to wind.


I will need :-
On Deck assistants.


Face mask.
Flippers.
Heavy gloves.
Tools.
Personal Safety Line, to the boat with a rescue pull code established, in case of leg cramp.


There are two other items required


1) A*construction helmet with chin strap *or a large motor cycle *helmet *with styrofoam removed and replaced with sponge rubber foam.


The helmets must be pre drilled at the top to eliminate buoyancy.
The helmet is a safety device to protect your head under water from a pitching boat.


2) *Hacksaw, also attach a line to prevent loss.
The *Blade should be *set in reverse *for a" pull action."


I would not *take any kind of *knife in the water.


I would not stay under water for long periods, just short stints.
I would allow for rest periods.
You are already stressed to start with.
Take your time.


Plan "B"
Have a parrots beak cutter pliers as an alternate cutting device which would *be safer to *use , also attach a line to prevent loss.


It is *VERY * dangerous *to go under a boat at sea.










-- Edited by SOMERS on Friday 11th of March 2011 04:59:02 PM
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: Prop fouling

I had to dive in without mask due to allowing the dingy painter to fowl the prop when trying to set the anchor. I was in calm waters just off the ICW and the anchor was set. Reversing did no good. It took 3 tries, but I was able to untangle without cutting. I was exhausted when done.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: Prop fouling

Anybody use line cutters?* I installed Spurs but don't know whether they have ever come into play.* If they have, they worked cause I didn't notice.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: Prop fouling

I've thought about putting in spurs... but they are PRICEY. I have twin screws, so I figure if I foul one, i could limp home on the other engine.
I've only fouled a prop once, on 20' center console with an outboard - even tilting the engine up, on a warm summer day in super protected waters with a GOOD sharp serrated knife - it was ALOT ALOT ALOT of work to cut that line (I tied it back to the pot's float, so the lobsterman wouldn't lose his pot).
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #5
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Re: Prop fouling

Fouled prop can be really bad news. Friend of mine reported that he had lost his father to a fouled prop. Off Sandspit Haida Gwai, the old guy (early fifties) was out getting his crab traps and fouled a crab trap line around the prop on his tin boat, and overturned before getting it freed. Take care guys.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:47 PM   #6
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Re: Prop fouling

An alternative to Spurs, although equally pricey is quicKutter, which has a very simple but seemingly effective action.* You can see a video of how it works on their site.* It looks like every installation requires some machining, so installation is more complicated, but I like the fact that there are no moving parts but still very effective cutting action.

http://www.h4marine.com/QuicKutter01.htm
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:49 PM   #7
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Re: Prop fouling

I never thought about wearing a hard hat or bike helmet under the boat.

It doe's make a lot of sense to protect your head.

I can't work* well in heavy gloves so I think those light ones with the Kevlar dots would be my choice.

I only cut one line off the prop shaft years ago on my Dads boat.* It was no problem-but what is when you are a strapping teen?

I still scrape my prop and change zincs in the water but only when it is calm and warm.

Like Somers said be CAREFULL*under a boat!

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Old 03-11-2011, 09:27 AM   #8
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Re: Prop fouling

Because we were worried about fouling our props when travelling down the Atlantic coast with all the lobster pots, we installed propshaft "line cutters". *

Needless to say, we tried to avoid all obstacles, but if we did catch anything on our props, the linecutters seemed to have worked - we never had a problem!


I can tell you that they really are sharp!
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:53 AM   #9
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Re: Prop fouling

Quote:
Delfin wrote:

Anybody use line cutters?*
We installed a ProProtector.* Does it work?* I don't know.* We have traveled 10,000+ miles since installation and have never fauled the prop with lots of overnighters.*
*http://www.prop-protector-usa.com/rope_cutters/
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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Prop fouling

I installed Spurs on my previous single screw old Mainship. They cut lines cleanly 3 times (that I know of) *during the 14 years I ran them.
My current boat has a cutting disc similar to the "shaft shark" shown in the previous post but without serrations. I have never encountered a line with this disc.


-- Edited by jleonard on Friday 11th of March 2011 10:56:28 AM
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:10 PM   #11
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Re: Prop fouling

Quote:
SOMERS wrote:

First of all the anchor will need be to be set *to secured the boat into to wind.


I will need :-
On Deck assistants.


Face mask.
Flippers.
Heavy gloves.
Tools.
Personal Safety Line, to the boat with a rescue pull code established, in case of leg cramp.


There are two other items required


1) A*construction helmet with chin strap *or a large motor cycle *helmet *with styrofoam removed and replaced with sponge rubber foam.


The helmets must be pre drilled at the top to eliminate buoyancy.
The helmet is a safety device to protect your head under water from a pitching boat.



It is *VERY * dangerous *to go under a boat at sea.






-- Edited by SOMERS on Friday 11th of March 2011 04:59:02 PM
*
Or, you could do what I did when a rush of stupidity caused my sea anchor to become fouled on the prop while fishing outside the Golden Gate, in the shipping lanes, in the fog.* Not a good place to be.* With no way to anchor due to deep water, and no diving gear aboard, my choices were call for help, and hope I wouldn't get run over by a ship while waiting or simply go under the boat and free up the prop.* So, I stripped down to my underwear, tied a rope around my waist, grabbed a knife and went under the boat.* With the boat pitching up and down, I held the shaft with a straight arm so the relative motion was small, and proceeded to untangle the lines.* It took about three dives, but I got it free.* On the last dive, I came up under the sea anchor, and had to dive back down to swim past it.* Not the smartest thing I ever did, but with hundreds of dives under my belt, I was very comfortable under water, and it seemed the best option.* The wife was really mad at me for doing it, and didn't speak to me for a week, but we made it home, and had a nice salmon dinner.* I wouldn't recommend others try anything similar unless you were VERY confident of your skills.................Arctic Traveller

*
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:20 PM   #12
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Re: Prop fouling

We used to have a rule that he or she who was at the helm at the time a lobster pot line was fouled in the prop had to do the dive and knife routine. She did it three times before I caught one. The rule got changed then and there to limping into harbor (twin engines at that time) and calling a diver. My excuse was that a female has more natural insulation against the cold water. Then the fight started. Not really. We were younger and more fit then as well. Now we have a single engine, a Shaft Shark and pray.
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