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Old 04-28-2017, 02:30 PM   #1
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Okeechobee prop strike

Came across Lake O on Sunday 4/23. When we were between Moorehaven and Clewiston we felt a thud. I thought the wife slammed a door. We were in about 10- 13 feet when it happened. I must have seen over 100 gators in this 10 mile stretch of the canal. Some crossing in front of me and diving under. Its mating season. Once across the lake the wife said an odd sound was in the aft cabin. At 1000 RPM there was a bubbling whooping sound. I thought it was the cutlass bearing. Later I would decided it was cavitation sounds. Brought the speed up to 3/4 power and I could feel the vibrations.
Sooooo I think we hit a gator. Went into River Forest near Stuart and got awesome survive. I talked to the guys at Blair's Propeller shop and he said they see stainless props bent much worse from a gator strike. I would recommend Blair's for repairs. After discussing the prop with them I have decided to get new props this summer. My current props are 25 X 27. I didn't know that they don't make 25 X 27 Dyna Jet props. My props had been reworked by PO and the blades are very thin. I am at risk of bending the props anytime I have a small bump. I will be going to standard 26 X 26 which will have more meat on the blades. You can actually flex the blade tips with your finger.
So.... gator strike, thats my story and I am stikin to it.
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:49 PM   #2
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Yikes! Glad it was just minor damage. I can't imagine hitting a gator. I guess you don't go over the side to check for damage.
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:56 PM   #3
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Yikes! Glad it was just minor damage. I can't imagine hitting a gator. I guess you don't go over the side to check for damage.
Funny you should say that. I had my mask in had and my trunks on. Started out the boat and the wife said " what about the electricity in the water". It was fresh water and I had read the stories about electrocutions in fresh water. The real zinger is the next day the yard guy told me there was a 12 foot gator that patrols the basin that I was going to dive in.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:07 PM   #4
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Well, one less Florida Gator in the world. No loss. :-)
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:19 PM   #5
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Next time try to keep his skin to make a nice handbag for your wife

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Old 04-28-2017, 03:38 PM   #6
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Gators are tough, you could cut one in half and he wouldn't even know he was dead for a week. A little nick like that prop strike was probably like a mosquito bite.

And I believe you Fry, seen it




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Next time try to keep his skin to make a nice handbag for your wife L.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:57 PM   #7
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Wifey B: Shame on you running into an innocent little alligator. Even worse if he or she was trying to mate at the time. Bad boy.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:23 PM   #8
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Wifey B: Shame on you running into an innocent little alligator. Even worse if he or she was trying to mate at the time. Bad boy.
By jumpin jiminy, there will be no fornicating under my boat!
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:27 PM   #9
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Somewhere there is a gator hanging out with his buddies telling the other side of the story. Probably bragging that his skin is thick enough to force a boater to get new props.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:02 PM   #10
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When I was going from Moore haven to Clewiston last month, there was a dead gator floating on the surface. My guess is that a fair number are killed or injured just like manatees, from prop strikes.

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Old 04-28-2017, 11:41 PM   #11
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In all seriousness, I dinged one of my props 3 years ago in the St. Lucie River just east of the lake entrance. I was pretty close to the bank passing a tug and felt a small bump. It was pretty slight damage, no vibration or anything, small enough that I didn't bother fixing it until my next haul out.

I thought at the time that I grazed a log, but it was on the prop that was closer to the middle of the canal. After reading your account, I wonder if it was a gator.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:53 PM   #12
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That Gator is calling an attorney right now. You'll be getting a notice from "The Strong Arm" or maybe the "Heavy Hitter" tomorrow
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Old 04-29-2017, 12:33 AM   #13
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It would probably be hard to tell the difference between a well water logged dead head and a gator. I see dead heads hanging in the water column on the sounder from time to time, and always wonder if they are on the way up, down, or just suspended there taking on more water before the final plunge...
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:17 AM   #14
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There are now cook books for Manatees and Gators so it need not be a total loss!
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:35 AM   #15
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The problem with gators is getting the skin off-we use a pickup to pull it off. Taste like fish.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:57 AM   #16
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Gators got to be hard to filet!
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:12 AM   #17
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I guess I am a non believer. You obviously hit something but I doubt if a 7 knot trawler can hit a gator which has a natural sonar in 13 ft of water. I am unable to get close to them in my nearly silent kayak. They can feel me coming and get into the water from the shoreline often before I even see them. But admittedly, the gators we have encountered on the St Johns are extremely shy and somewhat reclusive. That might be due to all the fishing boats that zip by at 45+MPH.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:17 AM   #18
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Yikes! Glad it was just minor damage. I can't imagine hitting a gator. I guess you don't go over the side to check for damage.
Why not?

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Old 04-29-2017, 10:59 AM   #19
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I guess I am a non believer. You obviously hit something but I doubt if a 7 knot trawler can hit a gator which has a natural sonar in 13 ft of water. I am unable to get close to them in my nearly silent kayak. They can feel me coming and get into the water from the shoreline often before I even see them. But admittedly, the gators we have encountered on the St Johns are extremely shy and somewhat reclusive. That might be due to all the fishing boats that zip by at 45+MPH.
Years ago, my Brother-in-law was running a 20 CC boat in a 25' wide Marsh Island canal doing about 30 knots. Hit a 12 foot gator and as we watched it trash around in the canal ran up into the marsh about 100 ft-high and dry. Of course every few years the gator gets bigger
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:19 AM   #20
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had dinner with a group. gator was on the menu but the only person that said he liked it was a lawyer.
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