Originally Posted by Seevee
Yes I have a full keel, but managed to bang it up twice. Both times I let someone else drive the boat. Never again. I'll always be in command when docking, or entering a channel or area that's questionable. And both could have easily be prevented. This last one is costing me BIG bucks and BIG time delay for my Loop trip. Errrrrr!
I rarely run wide open, 99% of the time at hull speed... 7 to 8 knots.
Looking forward to a 4 blade.
OK, I now get the thinking on the spare. I tend to view these things through the prism of my own experience as most of us will. I've ridden over logs that hobby-horsed the boat, soft groundings, plowed a furrow through mud, and the prop never suffered so much as a ding, well, except for eating a crab trap, I think. A ding that a quick touch with a 5" wheel fixed. But it's very well protected, so for me a spare doesn't enter the picture.
I can see how for you it makes more sense, particularly if you're looping. A 5 blade probably makes for a smoother, quieter ride. Since you already have one, it might make sense to tune it up and enjoy the quiet for all those potential miles. But the prop shop would be better qualified than anyone to advise you. There have to be plenty of shops in your neck of the woods who do the digital scanning. I doubt if it's cost effective to have it done in Deale, MD. even if they're really good.
Best of luck in finding the best solution.