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Old 01-24-2016, 09:35 AM   #1
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Prop shaft line cutters

I'm thinking of getting a set of prop shaft line cutters.

The reason is simple...

Very little would stop my boat faster than something getting caught in the props.

I had a line get caught in the prop in my last boat (a stern drive) at a very bad time, in a harbor, at maneuvering speed, during a very windy day.

So...

Do you use line cutters?
Which ones do you use?

Do you think, or know of your line cutters actually working in a real world situation?

Do you know of a situation where they did not work?

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:07 AM   #2
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I'm thinking of getting a set of prop shaft line cutters.

Do you know of a situation where they did not work?

Thanks!
<groan> Yes, I do, but it involves my most embarrassing moment on the water--which taught me a lot of lessons.

My son and I were moving our new-to-us Defever on the ICW from Palm Coast, FL to Fernandina on our way to the Chesapeake. I did everything wrong. We got a late start, pushed too hard, didn't have a fallback and arrived at an unfamiliar mooring field after dark--tired and in a heavy current with a boat we were still learning about. After several attempts to pick up a pennant from a sundeck (including tying to hold on to one by hand and restrain a 44,000 lb boat in a strong current--and slicing my hand with barnacles) we fouled a prop on the pennant. (There were two words for this situation and the first one is "cluster.") Spent the night hooked backward to the pennant with an anchor out for insurance in case we had cut it enough to break free. The next day, a diver got us free and the line cutters hadn't made a dent in the pennant.

Anyway, I'm sure my line cutters work fine for crab pots, but not so good with mooring pennants, which I doubt you'll ever have to worry about.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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I'm using a "PropProtector" cutter on my 2" prop shaft. They work. In 10 seasons, have cut through buried lobster pot lines 3 times. On my NT, there is very little of the shaft exposed, covered mostly by the PropProtector. On one occasion, the line wrapped around the prop, wedged the float against the rudder, but the PropProtector cut the line. With a rudder shoe, most of the lines you run over will roll under the shoe and beyond the rudder.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:43 PM   #4
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I found their one mentioned above, the prop protector, along with a few others.

Prop protector has a flat blade, and either slips over, or clamps around the shaft depending on side.

Shaft shark has a serrated blade and clamps around the shaft

Shaft razor has two serrated blades and slips over the shaft

Spurs both connects to the shaft and has a component on the strut
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:56 PM   #5
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I have only had an entanglement problem one time, and it was a piece of a trawl net floating outside of Kodiak harbor. It wrapped the prop and the bottom of the lower unit (I/O drive) and stopped the prop and killed the engine. Luckily I was going into the harbor at low speed rather than running planed out at high speed.

It was sufficient to actually break gear teeth in the outdrive (which I did not know) and I ran it all the way back to Homer, noticing only that shifting was getting more difficult as time went on. Luckily I was fully insured (new boat) and the $4000 it cost to repair it was covered less the deductible.

I don't believe a line cutter would have improved the situation. I did hook a floating pot line once, but now floating lines are banned and I never see them anymore. At slack tide there used to be floating line all over the surface with poly lines...
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:35 PM   #6
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I use Spurs. Spent 3 months in NE this summer and never had any line on the shafts/props. While I did all I could to miss every pot, I seriously doubt I did. Especially in fog where I could barely see past the bow. So I'd say they Spurs did their job.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:55 PM   #7
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I have had shaft sharks on two boats and either I have not had a run in with anything or they are working perfectly. I suspect the theory that they are working perfectly. We travelled at night through Mexican waters with many drift nets and had no problems. Other boats in the area were constantly complaining about fouled props. I wouldn't own a boat without them.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:09 PM   #8
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Had spurs cutters on our last boat. We picked up a couple of pot lines whilst running in the dark and the cutters did there job even shredding the small bouy on one of them.
http://www.spursmarine.com/
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:51 PM   #9
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May work with small line but the one inch poly that wrapped my prop and once a net it had no effect on. Better than nothing but not 100%. The Sea tow guys who bailed me out both times said they have seen many boats with cutters wrapped up.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:10 PM   #10
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My boat has had Spurs since new in 1988. Never had a problem with picking up a line.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:57 PM   #11
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My boat has had Spurs since new in 1988. Never had a problem with picking up a line.
I have had several boats over fifty years and very few had cutters and they did not pick up lines as is the case with most boats. Therefore for me its more significant to look at the failures. No harm having the cutters also for most not likely to need them its a matter of what lets you sleep better. Of course I carry a mask-wet suit-sharp knife and hack saw just incase.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:45 PM   #12
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Have cutters on my boat. I admit that while I know nothing is perfect and I try really hard to spot and miss lobster pot buoys, it's real minefield here in the NE. I had some really close calls last summer with *submerged* buoys. Having them eases my mind a bit.

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Old 01-26-2016, 12:36 PM   #13
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I had spurs on my previous boat. I know they cut lines 3 times. There is never a doubt when that happens you can hear and feel it.

Current boat has a disk similar to "prop protector". To my knowledge it has not yet cut a line.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:02 PM   #14
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Spursmarine

We have Spurs on Avalon and have never picked up a line that we know of. Now I do pay close attention to not running over pots so perhaps they have never been used while under way.

However, last season one of our 3/4" double braided dock lines slipped off a piling as we backed into the slip and the spurs chopped off about 3' with engines at idle. Provided a great test but one I'd rather not repeat with new dock line. They do take some annual maintenance but nothing too terribly difficult, time consuming or expensive. I do have them sharpened every 6 or so years.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:12 PM   #15
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stabilizer line cutters too?

If you have hydraulic stabilizers, you might want to invest in line cutters for them as well...
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:51 PM   #16
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If you have hydraulic stabilizers, you might want to invest in line cutters for them as well...

This may not cut line, but it keeps it from wedging in between the fin and hull.
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Old 01-27-2016, 12:37 AM   #17
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Another bucket list item....Thanks Kevin

I have heard the horror stories of crab pots and drifting old crab pots between the Columbia River bar and Cape Flattery...........
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Old 01-27-2016, 12:59 AM   #18
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I'm going to get either the shaft shark, or the shaft razor product.

The shark shaft has 2 halves and clams onto the shaft like a zinc.

The shaft razor is one piece and slides into the shaft. You then drill a couple shallow indentations in the shaft, using the unit as a guide. Then set screws are used to secure the unit.

I'm a little scarred of drilling a even small indentation into my prop shaft, so I'll probably go with the shaft shark for that reason.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:06 AM   #19
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I have heard the Shark was a good product and I am with you on drilling holes....
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Old 01-27-2016, 07:50 AM   #20
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Why are you guys scared of drilling dimples in you prop shafts?
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