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Old 12-09-2019, 10:43 AM   #1
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Propeller shaft cutter

We are boating in the St-Laurence River, Thousand Island, Lake Ontario. Problems of rope entangle around shaft and propeller is rare. In 2020 we plan for a trip to the Bahamas via the ICW where the potential of rope entanglement on the propeller may be more present. Is a rope cutter on the propeller shaft is effective?
Jacques
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:13 AM   #2
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I have had Spurs and now have Shaft Sharks. I can't speak to their effectiveness since I've had no known use of them. Or, maybe they've cut lines that I didn't know about....can't say. The Sharks are more simple, Spurs having an anode that needs changing.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:21 AM   #3
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You'll have no more trouble in the ICW and Bahamas than you do in the Thousand Islands with crab and lobster pots. Unless you plan to go through Maine - that is a whole different universe.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jacques Raoul View Post
We are boating in the St-Laurence River, Thousand Island, Lake Ontario. Problems of rope entangle around shaft and propeller is rare. In 2020 we plan for a trip to the Bahamas via the ICW where the potential of rope entanglement on the propeller may be more present. Is a rope cutter on the propeller shaft is effective?
Jacques

I have Shaft Shark style cutters. As far as effectiveness goes, they *usually* will cut a line that wraps the shaft but there is no guarantee that they always will.


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Old 12-09-2019, 07:06 PM   #5
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+1 on the Shaft Shark style of cutter (on my boat that is). Like others have stated, I don't know if it has ever cut a line thus preventing an entanglement. I also doubt that it would be 100% effective in all situations (depending on line type, fishing net, etc.), but it will save your bacon at least in some situations compared to no line cutter at all.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:27 AM   #6
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I have a Prop Protector cutter installed. Over the years, I've run over submerged lobster pot floats and on 3 occasions, the Prop Protector cut the lines. However, there's been a couple of occasions were the line was not cut and I had to go over the side to remove wrapped line, and once a jammed float between the prop and rudder. On my Nordic Tug, I only have a couple of inches of exposed shaft. Traveling in New England waters, particularly at night, can be a challenge regarding running over lobster pots.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:52 PM   #7
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Doubt you will run into pot warps in the ICW. I have spurs. Can't judge overall effectiveness but I can say they won't cut through 5/8' dock line. Snapped the stop bracket on the strut, snapped the screws on the stationary cutter which promptly fell off, turned my drivesaver into a pretzel, and stopped the engine.

Keep a mask, snorkle, and sharp knife on board.
(and don't back over your dock lines)
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jacques Raoul View Post
We are boating in the St-Laurence River, Thousand Island, Lake Ontario. Problems of rope entangle around shaft and propeller is rare. In 2020 we plan for a trip to the Bahamas via the ICW where the potential of rope entanglement on the propeller may be more present. Is a rope cutter on the propeller shaft is effective?
Jacques
I have the Shaft Shark style cutters.
After several wraps over the last 30 yrs I decided to get cutters (gettin to old to dive down anymore comfortably especially when it happens at the worst possible time) .
A few years ago in Bahamas we were motoring along and felt shudder and bang!
Then everything OK, or so I thought. Noticed some vibration so knew all was not quite right. Stopped at the next anchorage and found 25í of line still wrapped up on shaft and dragging behind.
My theory is the cutter cut off most of the line and the bang was a crab pot hauled up and thud on the bottom.
Bottom line, Im happy I had them, the result could have been much worse, (have locked a shaft in the past, and motor quit). They are not fool proof or an answer to all situations, but I believe it saved me from a much larger proble that day.

Bottom line, install them for peace of mind but donít rely on the to solve all your situations.
Hope this helps,
Happy & safe travels.
PS: when you get to the Bahamas and explore the beaches you will see thousands of feet of line washed up, lots of it poly (which floats) sooner or later one will find your prop!
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:49 AM   #9
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I had Spurs on my ex, an old 34 Mainship. They definitely work, I know I cut lobster lines 3 times over the years I had that boat.
All lines were below the surface, pulled down by strong currents and seaweed.
All 3 times I heard the "thud" of the buoy hitting the hull, then I'd look aft and see the floating buoy.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:15 AM   #10
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25 years boating in Maine without any type of line cutter and I have never had to go over the side. I have snagged two lines. Both floats were pulled under by current. A little work with the boat hook freed me up. The trick is not to run over lobster gear.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:59 PM   #11
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No kidding! Who would have thunk it.
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25 years boating in Maine without any type of line cutter and I have never had to go over the side. I have snagged two lines. Both floats were pulled under by current. A little work with the boat hook freed me up. The trick is not to run over lobster gear.
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:18 PM   #12
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With so many ghost traps out there with floats just under the surface, if you cruise enough....snagging one is inevitable.


Between my own boats, commercial boats and delivery boats...I have it probably dozens, maybe hundreds over many years from Rhode Island to the Keys.


I have never had a line stop me, but I have had two pots wrap up on the prop.


One I pulled apart with the boat hook...but starting a few years back, some pot makers used rebar to frame the bottom and act as weight.


Had one rebar completely encircle the assistance towboat shaft and had tobe lifted where it took 3 men to unbend it from the prop.


I have though about cutters, but haven't gotten around to it as pot lines never seem to do much when I sag them till the next haul out.



Now I am talking near shore or ICW type pots...not large offshore strings.
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Old 12-13-2019, 05:38 AM   #13
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I have 2 new sets of spurs if anyone needs them for a 2 inch shaft.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:29 AM   #14
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No kidding! Who would have thunk it.

Perhaps I should have put it this way. Pay attention to the water. If in Maine don't run on autopilot or at night and you won't have many problems. Lobster and crab traps are few and far between south of Cape Cod, particularly compared to Maine.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:36 AM   #15
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Perhaps I should have put it this way. Pay attention to the water. If in Maine don't run on autopilot or at night and you won't have many problems. Lobster and crab traps are few and far between south of Cape Cod, particularly compared to Maine.
I would agree to the point of overall waters and pot density.



However, the mouth's of some rivers in the Chesapeake are/have been so thick with pot buoys you can hardly get a 40 foot boat through them without running one over.


Fortunately there is usually one or more marked opening though the barrier...if you find it before trying your approach.


And like I posted before...it' not always the ones you can see that get you.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:42 AM   #16
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The Lobster pots in our area can be a pain. The grounds have been picked over hard, so the guys are going in to deeper water, and right at the edge of the marked channels which will sometimes drift into the channel. I know 2 people who have snagged them. One wheeled the cage all the way up into the prop while in shallow water. I don’t know anyone who has a line cutter, but I have definitely thought about one. I don’t mind going into the water to clear it, but the bad place/wrong time scenario is what scares me.

Edit, agree, some of the bouys are laying just below the water line so no matter how hard you look, they can be missed or with any type of weather or chop they disappear.

Second Edit, somewhat related. When I was in high school I guy I knew drowned while surfing when his leash tangled with a lobster pot that drifted into the surf line.In the 70s these things came ashore more frequently than now. Shortly after that, if I remember correctly, surf leashes with a rip cord type device came on the market to allow you to detach. I would often mock drill it, reaching back to the safety release rip cord pin on my ankle and pretend to pull it.
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Old 12-13-2019, 11:45 AM   #17
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What about a prop cage instead of a cutter? Lobster boat roaming in the middle of pots lines have the prop enclose in a cage that protect them.

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Old 12-14-2019, 11:21 AM   #18
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The Lobster pots in our area can be a pain. I know 2 people who have snagged them. One wheeled the cage all the way up into the prop while in shallow water. I donít know anyone who has a line cutter, but I have definitely thought about one. I donít mind going into the water to clear it, but the bad place/wrong time scenario is what scares me.
Thanks to all, if it can save me once from rope entanglement on the shaft propeller, it is a GO to install one. Just need to figure out the space between the propeller and the bearing which is occupy by the zinc anode.
Jacques
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:35 AM   #19
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The Lobster pots in our area can be a pain. The grounds have been picked over hard, so the guys are going in to deeper water, and right at the edge of the marked channels which will sometimes drift into the channel.
SoCal has no lobster pots - in comparison to Maine. The lobstermen of Maine have no restraint at all: pots all over the middle of marked channels, all around fuel docks, throughout anchorages, middle of harbor fairways. Several times I've had them dropped well within my anchor circle while I watched. They just don't care. Yeah, that's a broad brush and I'm sure some are more responsible than others. Add toggles, some current, a few white caps and avoiding them in some places is impossible.
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:53 PM   #20
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Perhaps I should have put it this way. Pay attention to the water. If in Maine don't run on autopilot or at night and you won't have many problems. Lobster and crab traps are few and far between south of Cape Cod, particularly compared to Maine.
Paying attention, yes, that works, most of the time. It absolutely does not work with stuff submerged just under the service.
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