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Old 05-28-2021, 10:58 PM   #1
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Rudder Viewing Port

A sailboat I was on had a viewing port to the propellor and rudder. And I haven't seen any mention of them on trawlers.

Does anyone have a viewing port? Or maybe a cctv to see the keel, prop and rudder?
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Old 05-29-2021, 12:13 AM   #2
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Not that I have ever heard of.
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Old 05-29-2021, 05:32 AM   #3
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I'm envious each time I come across a boat with a shaft &/or rudder access port. It would be such a luxury knowing that, if the prop became fouled with a line ,I could unbolt the cover and cut the line out vs having to jump overboard or worse yet go to a boatyard to be hauled. It seems that the commercial boats like Provincial & Hutt Bros. have the ports glassed in as standard.
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Old 05-29-2021, 05:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by phillippeterson View Post
A sailboat I was on had a viewing port to the propellor and rudder. And I haven't seen any mention of them on trawlers.

Does anyone have a viewing port? Or maybe a cctv to see the keel, prop and rudder?
Was it a viewing port or a prop cleanout? Many Downeast and Novi boats have prop cleanout ports that enable the operator to cut a line away from the prop via the port thru the bottom of the boat. Hamilton Marine and others sell them. Lots of boatbuilders make their own with the hull cutout blank being the bottom of the plug and fiberglass exhaust tube as the tunnel stock. A knife attached to a wood handle can make short work of line in the wheel scenarios.
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Old 05-29-2021, 05:48 AM   #5
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How does one prevent water from flooding in, when the port is open?
Perhaps, it is a trunk that is tall enough to prevent the interior flooding, similar to the sea-chest on a DeFever?
Guess you would need to carry a pole type tree pruning saw to eliminate the tangled line.
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Old 05-29-2021, 07:01 AM   #6
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Lidded trunk to near or above waterline...Sailor of Fortune mentioned where commonly found...they allow both, seeing your gear for wrapped line, then being able to cut free.
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Old 05-29-2021, 08:16 AM   #7
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How does one prevent water from flooding in, when the port is open?
Perhaps, it is a trunk that is tall enough to prevent the interior flooding, similar to the sea-chest on a DeFever?
Guess you would need to carry a pole type tree pruning saw to eliminate the tangled line.
It's like a seachest with the top above the WL.
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Old 05-29-2021, 09:10 AM   #8
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Was it a viewing port or a prop cleanout?
It was just a round window for viewing. It was not able to be opened and was for viewing only.

It would be nice to know if the prop was fouled or if the rudder, or a stabilizer, was dragging a crab trap.

It seems like a cctv would be even better so the bridge could see it on a monitor.
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Old 05-29-2021, 09:50 AM   #9
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It seems like a cctv would be even better so the bridge could see it on a monitor.
This seems like a simpler and far less costly solution. Perhaps a camera on a stick would suffice. Go-pro waterproof cameras are likely much more affordable than a hull modification.

How many of us have actually needed to check our props for a line wrapped?

in almost 50 yrs of boating I have had a line on my own prop 3 times. None of those times came as a surprise, no uncertainty about what had stopped the turning of the prop, so no viewing necessary.

I would, however, like to view the collection of barnacles on the props, so as to know whether I should get a diver down to clear them away. A camera would do it.
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Old 05-29-2021, 09:53 AM   #10
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It was just a round window for viewing. It was not able to be opened and was for viewing only.

It would be nice to know if the prop was fouled or if the rudder, or a stabilizer, was dragging a crab trap.

It seems like a cctv would be even better so the bridge could see it on a monitor.
It would be even nicer to be able to do something about it if it is fouled but I'm not sure it would be feasible on many sailing vsls
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Old 05-30-2021, 08:46 AM   #11
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Many of the Brit narrow canal boats have a covered area that is used to clear the prop and rudder from debris tossed into the canals for a century.


Just a view port would allow seeing the prop cavitation or surface fouling.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:47 AM   #12
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You don’t need a view port to know when your propeller is fouled, but a real service port would be worth a million bucks in cold waters.
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Old 05-31-2021, 09:40 PM   #13
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Have a second generation GoPro that I attach to the end of a scrub brush pole. Gives a great view of the running gear without getting wet and cold. Easier to use from the dock, but swimstep works if you lay down.
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Old 06-01-2021, 04:22 PM   #14
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If you have an access port that is up to the water line how long a spear would you need to clear a fouled prop?
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Old 06-01-2021, 04:33 PM   #15
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If you have an access port that is up to the water line how long a spear would you need to clear a fouled prop?
First, I would used a tree pruning saw. They cut when you pull on them.
How long of a handle, well that depends on the distance to the prop. I would recommend securing a light line to the pole saw.
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Old 06-01-2021, 04:45 PM   #16
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If you have an access port that is up to the water line how long a spear would you need to clear a fouled prop?
Depends on the boat.

Often the waterline is not very far above the prop.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:23 PM   #17
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First, I would used a tree pruning saw. They cut when you pull on them.
How long of a handle, well that depends on the distance to the prop. I would recommend securing a light line to the pole saw.
A pole saw would be useless against a wad of rope.
A sharp serrated blade knife with some backbone would be my first choice of implements to clear rope from propeller and shaft.
A forked stick would help, sometimes just unwrapping the offending line is easier than cutting it off.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:30 PM   #18
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A pole saw would be useless against a wad of rope.
A sharp serrated blade knife with some backbone would be my first choice of implements to clear rope from propeller and shaft.
A forked stick would help, sometimes just unwrapping the offending line is easier than cutting it off.
and that is why I suggest a pole saw, pull to cut. go slow.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:09 PM   #19
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and that is why I suggest a pole saw, pull to cut. go slow.
I’d encourage you to actually try and cut some rope with a saw before you add it to your onboard emergency kit.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:30 PM   #20
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I’d encourage you to actually try and cut some rope with a saw before you add it to your onboard emergency kit.

I carry a diving rig, wet suit, face mask, fins and a couple of very sharp diving knives.
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