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Old 06-18-2017, 07:21 AM   #1
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Tangle in props

Can the forum share their tips in untangling a prop while at sea from lobster line, fish netting etc
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:23 AM   #2
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Cut it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:27 AM   #3
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No easy way, need to dive under and cut to untangle. Also try putting in reverse to see if can help to untangle. I also have a knife you can attach to a boat pole. Its v shaped and the cutting part is inside the V. You get the line inside the v and pull which cuts the line. I don't remember the manufacturer. I'm am sure you can google it, and have it on hand for the next time.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:29 AM   #4
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You can try reversing the prop but usually you need to get out the mask and snorkel and as mentioned a sharp knife and or wire cutters. Worse case senario pay to have travel lift haul you out.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:29 AM   #5
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I've unwound it by turning the prop in reverse by hand in the ER while someone else was pulling on the line. Worked once!
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:32 AM   #6
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I have never had a problem cutting a tangle out.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:36 AM   #7
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Cutting is usually the only way and a serrated knife works best. WM sells a folding blade serrated knife that I keep on the boat for just that purpose.

Now lets talk about the time I wrapped the metal frame of a crab trap around the prop!!

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Old 06-18-2017, 07:37 AM   #8
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A serrated knife does best .

Folks that venture to Maine or other garden spots that grow miles of floating trap lines might consider shaft cutters of some sort.

Some are EZ to retrofit , but might be a danger to a diver looking for a shaft hand hold.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:49 AM   #9
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All I can say....depends....and all the above does work sometimes, so start with the easiest first.

But ultimately, it depends on the line, netting, clearance around the line wrap ect....

Some props only have a very small space between them and the cutlass bearing. 1/2 inch nylon melted together there can be a bitc*.

So can a wad of netting wound completely around the prop in a big ball.

Without supplemental air, chances of getting these types out unless you are a Navy Seal.... doubtful....especially if older and in not great shape and you like living. Especially if it isn't very calm.

I have towed a guy with about 100 feet of tug boat hawser wrapped in his props....maybe easier underwater, but I nearly had a heart attack just cutting off and lifting what wasn't wrapped aboard the towboat. Took nearly 15 minutes with a new hacksaw blade to get through it while I was standing in the towboat.

One time I picked up the whole crab pot in the towboat prop. Got towed to a travel lift, took 3 of us standing on the ground to hand bend the re-bar weight/frame off the shaft.

Picking up the whole pot isn't common, but I hear it enough, it worries me more than just crab pot lines as most of the time I don't know I even have one till my annual hauling.

So.....it depends, but getting in the water while very dangerous some of the time is part of the process to be successful.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:59 AM   #10
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I generally launch the dinghy and work from there with a knife on the end of a long boat hook. However, I never cut line until I have made a significant effort to simply get it off the wheel.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:06 AM   #11
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I find I probably pick up pot lines on nasty days where you dont see them till the last moment.

Not really a lot of safe options....still toying with line cutters, stand alone or the one that comes imbedded with the zinc.

My hesitation is that a lot of divers have unwrapped lines from boats with cutters...makes me ponder.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:23 AM   #12
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If nylon melts into a disc between prop and strut, it pretty much takes a hacksaw to get it. PITA. Especially in 50deg water with no wetsuit.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:25 AM   #13
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And old man lungs....
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:26 AM   #14
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I have shaft cutters but try to be very diligent about avoiding pots. Nevertheless last year I did pick up some line but never even realized it until I saw a small piece of line hanging under the stern. I was able to grab it with the boathook and while my wife pulled I tried rotating the shaft. In the end I needed to go in to get it off. I'm a good swimmer, had the equipment and we were in a harbor. It was about 6' of pot warp and it wasn't tightly wrapped. so it turned out to be easy to get off once I was under there. I have cut resistant gloves and this year I added a shorty wetsuit to my list of gear.

Did the cutters help? I think so. If I did in fact catch a pot I probably would have been stopped in the water. If you have the room between prop and strut there are several kinds that can be installed without removing the prop.

Since I frequent Maine waters I'm glad I have mine. Do I think they'll always work, no way, but I firmly believe they help a lot.

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Old 06-18-2017, 09:38 AM   #15
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I have picked up dozens of pot lines from NJ to Fl.

Not one has even ever caused a vibration.

And that has been in a variety of boats.

Even 1/2 inch docklines are usually cutup and shredded on the assistance boat to the ooint where it is run for days till I can jump in and cut tbem out.

Guess the could wrap a shaft tll stoppage, just never had one that bad. Sometimes had 2 or 3 line remnants on the shaft.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:23 AM   #16
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Think this falls under the spare tire principal. If you have everything to easily change a flat tire, the less likely you seem to be for having one. Have surface supplied air, wet and dry suits, sharp fillet knives, hack saw, bolt cutters and a pry bar. So far so good; hope my luck holds.

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Old 06-18-2017, 10:43 AM   #17
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Cut resistant gloves are a good idea. I keep some with my fishing gear, but probably wouldn't have thought of that.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:38 AM   #18
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My fish-cleaning gloves are (a) very cut resistant (b) grippy.
If there's a way to put the hand tools on tethers, consider that. Small diameter shock cord is good.
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:04 PM   #19
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Wrapped a pot warp around the prop and found myself anchored stern too in a nasty chop. Stern was slamming up and down, not a safe place to be. Finally dragged my dinghy anchor (4 folding prongs) over the warp, winched it up, and cut it.
Lessons learned: 1) Need an extremely sharp half serrated knife tied to your neck with a cord long enough to extend to your hand. 2) Have a dinghy anchor with ample rode handy 3) Have a good mask and snorkel 4) Keep Sea Tows number handy.

I now keep a complete diving outfit on board but by the time I get suited up I expect to be pooped. If the pot wedges in a rock you are going to be solidly anchored. At my age I am not thrilled at putting my head under the stern that might be 8 feet over my head ready to come crashing down. Once you cut the warp the boat starts drifting but the shaft my still be jammed. You will probably have to go under and saw away at the 5 or 6 layers of very tightly wrapped line.

Maybe 30% of the boats here have cutters. Have no idea if they work or not. They're not that sharp. (When pot warp jammed prop shaft stopped and would not turn in either direction. It stalled engine. Warp turned into an anchor rode fastened to prop shaft)
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:12 PM   #20
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Ive had to cut line out twice successfully. What I learned from the first swim kept me from swimming on the second so here goes.
Try to get both ends on board
Pull one end then the other to see if you can gain any ground. If so, cut the other as close to the prop as you can then pull any slack from the first.
If not,
Tie both ends off different stern cleats as tight as possible.
Bump the trans in reverse for a fraction of a second. Hopefully one of the two lines will slacken for a second. While in neutral, try to recover that slack, even if its only an inch or two then retie tight. Another bump forward or reverse, again looking for slack. Keep repeating, pulling in any gain and preserving it by retie to the cleat. Provided the line is not fused, hopefully it will work loose.
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