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Old 07-01-2010, 03:23 AM   #1
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Default why stainless props arent always the best choice!

Here's a lesson to those of us that boat on local rivers with potential water hazards (logs, rocks, etc). My wife and her infinite wisdom took the boat from its slip a couple weeks ago without paying any attention to the water levels on the Spokane river...needless to say she ran the boat into a deadhead, smacking the outdrive and doing a number on the prop.

We took the boat out of the water and to our local shop for repairs, luckily no one was hurt and the log didnt come in contact with the boat hull. The mechanic had a look at the outdrive and come to find out the only damage was to the prop! The trim pump was fine, output shaft was fine and so on. He was quick to point out that aluminum prop saved us a some cold hard cash..the aluminum prop is much more flexible and forgiving when it hits foreign objects, stainless doesnt budge and causes damage up into the outdrive

Just an FYI
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:56 AM   #2
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it even can happen that your drive rod breaks when your boat has a stainless prop (dont ask me why i know that.......) when you hit something like a rock or wath so ever thats lying under water......

have a nice break.....have a boat......greatz, ed
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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that is interesting about SS props. The atribute that makes them desirable is the lack of flex allowing more HP to be converted into usable thrust, is also a potential downside if you hit an object. That is certainly something to think about. Though, I'm not sure that this was your wife's fault, necessarily. Admittedly I am not familiar with the Spokane river. though this doesn't actually sound like her fault.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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I think it's cool that she is confidant enough with her skills to take the boat out by herself.

That kind of thing can happen to anyone. I boat in the Potomac River and there's all kinds of stuff floating around - especially after a heavy rain. I know of one guy, an experienced Potomac River boater, that destroyed 3 outdrives, in one season, because of logs he couldn't see - or see in time.

Chit happens!
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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I agree about the unseen hazards. Rocks and Shoals at low tide or low lake/river water levels are one thing. Rocks and shoals rarely move (sand bars and shoals CAN move, but it's not the same as a floating object). Following charts, GPS and local knowledge can help you avoid those objects. However, a floating or dead head log is another mater completely.

about two years ago I was fishing with a friend when we saw a dead head log. The problem is, it would bob for a while, then disappear for several minutes. It would pop-back up periodically yards from where it was previously. We figured out which way it was going, relatively, and decided to fire up the boat and move in the other direction. I even read a story a few years ago about a boater in the Long Island Sound/Block Island Sound area that hit a submerge container floating about 4 inches under the water. It had apparently fallen off of a container ship out at sea. It became water logged, but had enough floatation to keep it just below the water and not easily visible, if at all. The guy hit it around 25 kts and it sank his boat in minutes.

It's a good reason to run with your VHF on and set to 16 AND PFD's handy. By handy I mean not stuffed at the bottom of locker under swim fins and snorkle's, shore cables, fenders, dock lines and the like.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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I became a firm believer in using the mfr recommended prop which in my case is an aluminum 3 blade. I had an aluminum 4 blade on last summer when my outdrive blew some gears which MAY have been partially caused by too much torque on my alpha 1/gen 2, in addition to age. I'd rather spend $80. for a new prop than to have to rebuild the outdrive, so will stick with aluminum.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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out here in the pacnorwest, we have all kinds of things floating down from rivers....dead cows...60 ft trees....logs....once going thru deception pass (a particularly spectacular place to run thru when the tide and stuff is really running), just to my port side a 60ft log shot up when a whirl pool released it..scared the crap out of me since it was maybe 25ft off my port side...came shooting straight up like a pole...found a 35 ft root ball one evening making a run to the san juan islands...we get all kinds of stuff around here....
so..I wouldn't necessarily blame the wife unit...trash is all over the place...
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:53 PM   #8
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I was up in Saugatuck when i came across what looked like a very large weed pile in the river. The motor rpm dropped significantly and then there was a vibration. I backed up thinking it was weeds and it cleared it, but afterwards I heard a funny noise when it shifts into gear. Mechanic thought that one of the blades on the B3 was curved a little, but thought it would make it until the end of the season. I hit this blob at a little above idle speed. Can that really do so much damage?
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:00 PM   #9
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the drives aren't designed to take impacts well..first off..welcome to the zoo..second...I once hit a chunk of wood ...sounded ok except for a slight vibration..when I got back to my slip..found the drive ahd a damaged bull gear at the top of the drive..so..cost me 2600 bucks to get th drive rebuilt..
so...best way to check is to pull the top cap off of the drive...4 screws and gently lift the cover...you will see the drive gears there..check it to see if there is any shavings of metal...also hand turn the props...vibration isn't good.....

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:52 AM   #10
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I turned the props and thought I felt some grinding, but the mechanic spun the prop and didnt think there was anything abnormal. He also said that if there was a gear broken the drive usually comes apart fairly quickly and I would not have made it 75 miles south on it if it had been damaged. Do you agree?
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:39 AM   #11
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After repalcing the prop and having the out drive inspected all is well! I took the boat out fully loaded with my family and sisters kids...and now my speedo finally works! How would have thought? I fight and fight to get that speedo to work over the last 3 years and no luck. Whack a log, replace the prop and now the speedo works...go figure :0)
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