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Buying a spare prop

Discussion in 'Members Zone: Props and Power' started by bushido, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. bushido

    bushido Member

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    I tried finding a similar issue among the other threads and could not so I apologize if I am being redundant. Being a pessimist I always keep a spare prop on our boats, along with whatever tools ae needed to install the prop (spare cotter pin, pliers, wrench, etc.). normally, being a back-up prop in case the one on the boat is damaged, I try to economize by buying the cheapest prop of the same size. This would normally be a comp (composition) prop. Solas and other companies have a decent reputation in this area. However, you probably would have to also buy a hub kit that adapts the spare to your engine.

    While I have replaced props using hub kits a problem could arise if you needed to change the prop while on the water. This is not the most ideal position to be in. A tip in the case the water is too deep to stand up in comfortable: wear your life vest upside down like a diaper. This will float you chest high and make it easier to work. This is also a comfortable way to float in the water when parking in a bay and having beverages.

    Over time I have come to the conclusion that it might be more practical and possibly just as economical to buy an OEM replacement prop and not have to deal with a hub kit. Also, if your spare is a comp prop you would still want to buy a new main prop. Now my logic works best if you are using an aluminum prop. They are more likely to ding than a stainless steel one. If you ding an aluminum prop it is a simple matter to switch to the OEM prop and if you can file down the ding, let the old prop become your replacement and not have to switch props again. If you are running a stainless steel prop in good shape I would still buy an OEM aluminum prop since stainless props don't ding heavily and can be machined to satisfactory tolerances.

    Experience: In august of 2017 my wife (honestly, she is the only one that drives) hit a floating object on KY Lake that took a decent chunk out of our aluminum prop. We have a 2018 24SLX tritoon with a 150 Yamaha and run aluminum props due to the shallowness of the lake. You could definitely feel a vibration at higher speeds, say around 30 mph but the prop is still useable. In trying to find a replacement prop the dealer said they were back ordered from Yamaha. I got on Amazon and found an OEM for less money. I swapped props and filed the ding on the old prop and made it our spare. Now if we ding the new prop as well I at least have a spare for emergencies and then will have to buy a new OEM prop.
     
  2. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    It's funny the things we take for granted. I also boat on a rather shallow lake but with a mainly marl/sand bottom and relatively few floating obstacles, carrying an extra prop has never really crossed my mind (knock wood).

    However, on our trip west last summer we camped along the Missouri river the first night and I was amazed at the number of logs floating down the river. I was also amazed at the number of boats going up and down the river pulling skiers and tubes. Once night fell, there were still a few boaters out there as well. Personally, I'd have been stressed out trying to watch for all the obstacles if I boated that water. I can't even imagine allowing someone to ski or tube but plenty of people were doing it.

    Obviously, it must be that the potential danger isn't what it appeared to me to be, but that evening I thanked my lucky stars that we don't boat there. Of course, no disrespect to those that enjoy the Missouri but I think it takes a special captain to do it.
     
    Vikingstaff likes this.
  3. bushido

    bushido Member

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    Thanks for your comment. KY Lake is the last lake in the TVA chain. It used to be the TN River that was flooded along with several other lakes. TVA uses it as a dumping ground and buffer for flooding all the way up the chain. The deepest part of the lake is about 64' with the main channel averaging about 40'. If you get off it there are numerous shallow areas even though the lake appears quite wide at that point. Being a flooded lake there can be numerous obstacles like bridges, trees, houses, RR tracks etc. especially as you go into coves. Quite often flooding occurs into June and as the lake is let down one can see large trees and other debris floating by all over the lake. The winter pool is supposedly 5' lower than the summer pool in preparation for spring flooding. However the summer pool is up only from about mid-may to mid july. Thus underwater obstacles are all over the place and the ground consists of rock and hard clay. When the TVA dumps flood water from all the earlier lakes in the chain it is not unusual to have the lake rise 10' above summer pool. We have lost lift motors 15' above summer pool on our fixed lift. The lake being 186 miles long from dam to dam there are numerous remote areas on the lake where it would be difficult to get help. Even on weekends there are times when we see no other boats in sight when on the water. Long story short - carry a spare prop and make it ease to switch. It is a pretty lake but one has to be very careful when boating.
     
    Michiman likes this.
  4. goldnrod24

    goldnrod24 Moderator

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    Boating tip: Aluminum props should always be used in place of SS props if you boat in waters full of obstacles. Aluminum is easily repaired and gives (or absorbs) jarring hits better than SS. I've seen too many situations where a SS prop transferred the shock to other parts in the lower end. And that's a much more expen$ive repair than a prop repair (or replacement).

    The downside for higher HP boats is that aluminum props "flex" at higher rpms and performance is reduced.

    YMMV.
     
    PlaneFun, Michiman and Vikingstaff like this.
  5. gnc1017

    gnc1017 Well-Known Member

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    Bushido,
    Thanks for the insight on KY lake. We have a trip scheduled there for early next August, staying at the Moor's up on the northern end. Should we be concerned that time of year with underwater obstacles, such that that we really need to ensure we avoid going out of the main channel? Or is that typically in the later part of summer and off-season?
     
  6. 2fast4u

    2fast4u Active Member

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    I use WWW.IBOATS.COM for a spare prop Bought a prop with hub kit for $130.00 Since you may have to change the prop in the water by the hub kit install it in spare prop and bolt it on for a test fit when your boat is out of the water just to be sure everything fits and you have the correct tools for this job. A aluminum prop works great for a spare.
     
    Spoiledrotten likes this.
  7. Dougncrew

    Dougncrew Well-Known Member

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    So on this subject. I am looking at a new prop but see "standard Rotation" and "counter Rotation". Can I well by looking?
     
  8. cwag911

    cwag911 Moderator

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  9. Dougncrew

    Dougncrew Well-Known Member

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    so that would be standard rotation?
     
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  10. cwag911

    cwag911 Moderator

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    Standard or right hand rotation.
     
    Link likes this.
  11. Dougncrew

    Dougncrew Well-Known Member

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    I have a 14.8x17 3 blade now. Would I benefit with a 4 blade? As I have said I am real new to this and would love to get the most out of the boat. I have the 5.7 Volvo Penta IO.
     
  12. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

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    I went with a 4 blade prop. I was not concerned about top end. I wanted hole shot and tubing power. I am very happy with it.
     
  13. Dougncrew

    Dougncrew Well-Known Member

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    so the 4 blade is slower? how much?
     
  14. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

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    You might lose 1-2 mph.
     
  15. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    You should gain acceleration though. I had a Merc Spitfire. 4 blade. It knocked my max speed down from 35 to 30, but the extra tubing power was noticeable. Not enough to keep me from trading the 115 in for a 150 though.

    Prop selection is all about trade offs.
     
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  16. Dougncrew

    Dougncrew Well-Known Member

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    So I got the new 3 blade 14.8x17 and I want to try a 4 blade. I think I read that you should go down on pitch. So would I be looking for a 14.8x16 or 15 pitch?
     
  17. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

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    I would call PropTech and talk to them.
     
  18. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    You have a similar boat as us with a 150...

    I think you are way off on prop size. You should be around 15x15 in a three blade, and possibly a 13 pitch on a four blade. But don't take my word as gospel here. Others will weigh in.
     
  19. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    Wait, you have the IO. Forget what I said. I thought you were the original poster with the 150.

    I don't mind that you hijacked this thread, just know that it can cause confusion with multiple subjects going on in the same thread. You risk getting bad info....
     
    BulldogsCadillac likes this.

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