Propeller Problems on your Boat
With all due respect to the captain, it’s the propeller that drives the boat; and its condition determines speed, fuel consumption, how long your engine will last, and how smoothly your boat sails, not to mention whether you can get back to the dock or not.
The propeller of a power boat is such a basic element that we often tend to take it for granted. But just as sail boaters have to keep a keen eye on their sails as well as the wind; motor boaters need to be aware of not just the engine, but the propeller.
It’s like taking care of your car’s engine but ignoring the tires; no matter how good the engine is, if you ignore what make your car or boat actually move, you’re literally dead in the water.
Replacing or repairing a propeller is too complicated to fix at the marina, and dealers don’t generally fix propellers; so you need to go to a “prop shop” certified by the National Marine Propeller Association, the organization that provides training and certification for propeller-repair and maintenance.
The days when props could be repaired with an anvil, a welding machine, and a coat of paint are over. Today’s props require trained technicians. Nevertheless, a boat owner can still “fine-tune” his propeller.
Here are some of the things to look for:
- Damaged/bent blades. Propellers are sophisticated, any damage can slow your boat slower and affect fuel efficiency.
- “Spray Can” Reconditioning. Usually seen on older used boats. It makes the propeller look good, but often hides damage that affects performance.
- Nicks in the propeller edge. Tiny nicks are a big deal, they cause stress and cracks. Worn blades won’t work.
Boat maintenance is a big deal, and so is protecting your boat. CMC Canvas LLC provides all weather protection for your boat.