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Old 04-25-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
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Shaft cutters

Good day all
We will be launching in Tracy's Landing MD and bringing our 39.4 Sea Ranger home to St Catharines Ontario what is the consensus on shaft cutters and cruising the chessapeak , Delaware and north to the hudson any input would be great
Thanks
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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Greetings,
We constantly cruise in areas with crab pots and don't have shaft cutters nor have we ever had them. We DID on one occasion pick up a piece of line (no damage done) which was only discovered by the diver cleaning the hull so I don't know if it was a whole pot line or just a stray piece of flotsam. Other than causing damage to the boat my greater concern is the loss of the pot and subsequent financial loss to the fisherman. I can afford the insurance but the waterman is going to lose the income. $.02.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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Have had them on previous boat and current one. They work (sometimes). Some lobster fishermen around here don't like to see them but some use them themselves. Gone the prop cage route now. Has its own drawbacks, but so far the peace of mind is well worth it.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:40 PM   #4
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A test of some available by Sailing Today: http://www.ropestripper.com/document...opecutters.pdf


Some discussion here: Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Shaft Razor long test, with a look at the competition
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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They can be nice to have but hardly mandatory. Look at it this way, most boats run around without them and they have few fouling issues.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:06 PM   #6
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Drift nets in the night particularly in the Pacific convinced me years ago as to the benefits of line cutters. My last encounter with one was 2012 to the west of Princess Royal Is in BC. It took about 5 minutes to chew up the lines and net fouled around the shaft and prop.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:56 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for your responses more research required by me
Thanks again
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:20 PM   #8
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I dove for TowBoat US in the Penobscot Bay in Maine for 5 summers. It was great fun and I made lifelong friends from it (by cutting boats free). Every call I went on was a boat picking up more than one lobster pot.

From the 5 years, 50% of the boats I cut free had cutters. Spurs were the most common that I came across. There are different conclusions you can come to from those findings - either cutters don't do anything or they give the pilot a false sense of security and they are then more careless.

Either way, I have no cutters on my twin props hanging out begging to have some type of pot picked up - and I still live in Maine with all those lobster pots. So far, I haven't picked up anything in now our 12th year with the trawler.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:42 PM   #9
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My boat came equipped with "The Shark" cutters. I believe they have worked a couple of times but usually I miss the lines. So far I have never been stopped by a wrapped line, I have backed off a couple.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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I dove for TowBoat US in the Penobscot Bay in Maine for 5 summers. It was great fun and I made lifelong friends from it (by cutting boats free). Every call I went on was a boat picking up more than one lobster pot.

From the 5 years, 50% of the boats I cut free had cutters. Spurs with the most common that I came across. There are different conclusions you can come to from those findings - either cutters don't do anything or they give the pilot a false sense of security and they are then more careless.

Either way, I have no cutters on my twin props hanging out begging to have some type of pot picked up - and I still live in Maine with all those lobster pots. So far, I haven't picked up anything in now our 12th year with the trawler.

No wonder you like it when I am the canary.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:16 PM   #11
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We have a Shaft Shark on our Catalina and wouldn't cruise the Chesapeake without it. We do everything we can to avoid the crab pots and I don't think we have ever actually got one fouled in our prop but we feel much more secure knowing that we have the cutter installed.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:31 PM   #12
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No wonder you like it when I am the canary.
Rule-of-thumb: Always be the second boat!

Gerald, I'll follow you anywhere - just saw your boat at Charleston Harbor Marina as we pulled in today...
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:30 AM   #13
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In LI Sound and on up to Maine shaft choppers would be worthwhile.

Esp in Maine , where it gets foggy and some lobster guys string their traps INSIDE the channel from buoy to buoy so they can find them.

Eyeballs work , but in the fog its a bear.

Just running the Chessy and up the Hudson Eyeball MK 1 Mod 0, in daylight is all you need .
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:32 PM   #14
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"...either cutters don't do anything or they give the pilot a false sense of security and they are then more careless."

I have to disagree with that statement. I had a set of Spurs cutters installed on my boat when it was built. The cutters are effective. They will cut rope, they do not give me a false sense of security, and I'm not more careless.

I do everything I can to avoid trap lines. If I didn't have the Spurs and I hit a line I'd have to dive over and cut the line anyway. The Spurs just keep me from getting wet.
The end result for the trap line is the same, it's cut.


"Eyeballs work , but in the fog its a bear."

Night makes it difficult as well and not all floating rope has a nice visible buoy tied to it.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:02 PM   #15
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I do everything I can to avoid trap lines. If I didn't have the Spurs and I hit a line I'd have to dive over and cut the line anyway. The Spurs just keep me from getting wet.
It's great that you feel that way. It doesn't change the fact that I dove on plenty of boats that had picked up traps only to cut them away and find Spurs installed. If it had happened once or twice in 5 years, I'd think the Spurs were just overloaded or something. If you saw them time and time again, you'd come to the same conclusion as me.

Keep avoiding the traps you see. That's probably what's keeping you from diving over and getting wet.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:46 PM   #16
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We have 'em never had to use them though so couldn't attest to their ability to do what their mad to do.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:53 PM   #17
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I dove for TowBoat US in the Penobscot Bay in Maine for 5 summers. It was great fun and I made lifelong friends from it (by cutting boats free). Every call I went on was a boat picking up more than one lobster pot.

From the 5 years, 50% of the boats I cut free had cutters. Spurs were the most common that I came across. There are different conclusions you can come to from those findings - either cutters don't do anything or they give the pilot a false sense of security and they are then more careless.

Either way, I have no cutters on my twin props hanging out begging to have some type of pot picked up - and I still live in Maine with all those lobster pots. So far, I haven't picked up anything in now our 12th year with the trawler.
In speaking to the diver that finally had to get the lines off my prop, he said that line cutters only work 50% of the time and that he has daily customers, Lobster boats, that he checks every morning.

Also, every lobster boat I saw out of the water in Maine had some kind of cutter, usually just the disk type.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:08 PM   #18
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We picked up a crab pot during a very high tide in GA. I thought the boat was holed because it made such a bump and noise. We limped forward on one motor. Had I known I would have looked, and instead we had to pay for a short haul.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:14 PM   #19
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I had a lobster boat in Maine. It was a really traditional one. Like most of them, they have cages around the prop. They cost at least 1/2 knot of speed but they let you move through anything with no fear.

Most lobstermen wouldn't want anything that would cut lines on their shafts.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:37 PM   #20
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I've accidently gone dead nuts head on to numerous trap bouys, and only got one that wrapped on the shaft. It seems on the single screw the boat has a good chance of pushing it one way or the other before the screw gets to it. On my previous twin screw boat, my luck was much worse.

I'm in the "no line cutter" camp, but barely. Had to dive in 45F water once on the twin screw to get a crab pot off the wheel. No wetsuit. No fun.
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