Oops - SSO - what are the reasonable next steps?

Marantzer

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Hey Folks - out Saturday and went too close to a shallow hazard, I thought I was clear but the bottom felt differently. The prop struck a rock or possibly multiple rocks, likely resting on or jutting out from the bottom. I immediately put the engine in neutral, cut it off, and raised the trim to inspect. The skeg shows some scratching and there are some signifcant dents/gouges in the stainless prop (see pics). I should note that the engine 'jumped' presumably due to the impact of the prop.
IMG_1010.jpgIMG_1011.jpgIMG_1012.jpgIMG_1014.jpg
Once I assessed that things were still in one piece, I started slowly back to the house and didn't notice any out of the ordinary vibration or noise. Everything shifted fine and the tilt worked okay. I crept up on cruising speed and couldn't see a difference in the RPM or the speed (or the mi/gal measured by the Simrad). Still no vibration or issues. I have not done a full throttle run to see if there are any changes in vibration or RPM at the top end.

I took the boat back out Sunday for a couple hours and noticed no ill effects, but still didn't push anything. When I pulled the boat out, I spun the prop to see if I could detect any obvious runout in the prop shaft (see video)

Clearly I need to either get the prop repaired (is that possible in this situation?) or get a new prop. But barring anything obvious developing, I am thinking I'll have the internals checked out at the end-of-season service. Being new to boating, but fairly mechanically adept, I feel that's a reasonable approach but would be really interested in the more experienced opinions here. What would you folks do?
 

BigKahuna

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Depending on the severity of the damage it could cost anywhere from $150-$350+ to repair a SS Prop. My SS Enertia prop is over $700 so fixing a damaged one makes sense. If your boat doesn't rattle or have a bad vibration maybe you can wait until the end of the season.........
 

DejaWiz

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If you're going to risk it and keep running it for a while, be sure to check for micro fractures, since you really don't want chunks of prop flying every which way like grenade shrapnel in the event of catastrophic failure.
 

AZHEAT

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You would be surprised what a good prop shop can do. In relative terms, yours actually doesn’t look that bad as far as being a candidate for repair. I wouldn’t keep running it like that though.
 

Marantzer

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Thanks guys, to be clear I’m definitely planning to repair or replace the prop before running again. It sounds like most don’t think there is much risk in waiting to get the lower unit inspected until after the season, is that a fair assessment?
 

DejaWiz

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Thanks guys, to be clear I’m definitely planning to repair or replace the prop before running again. It sounds like most don’t think there is much risk in waiting to get the lower unit inspected until after the season, is that a fair assessment?
I concur about the lower...they are are pretty stout external casing, so if something internal should fail, then the chance that a breach happens is slim to none.
 

AZHEAT

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You never know, as the stainless props obviously transfer more stress to the lower unit as a result of underwater strike damage, but I would be surprised if you bent the prop shaft/had any lower unit damage. Get the prop repaired and you should be good!
 

Remediation

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My experience. 150 hp mercury O/B. Out for a cruise with friends on a lake that was at flood stage. I hit a small navigation buoy that was almost completely under water. Did enough damage to the SS prop that I had it repaired for $65. Prop has been fine since and no vibrations. Had the boat in for service last fall, 3 years since prop strike and the service department calls and asks if I have hit something because the prop shaft is bent. The seal and bearings were still intact but eventually something would have failed. $1200 later we are good to go.
The prop can be repaired by a "good" prop shop. Get recommendations.
Have the lower end checked sooner than later.
Prop strike damage is not covered by any warranty.
Good luck.
 

BURRIS PROP

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Hey Folks - out Saturday and went too close to a shallow hazard, I thought I was clear but the bottom felt differently. The prop struck a rock or possibly multiple rocks, likely resting on or jutting out from the bottom. I immediately put the engine in neutral, cut it off, and raised the trim to inspect. The skeg shows some scratching and there are some signifcant dents/gouges in the stainless prop (see pics). I should note that the engine 'jumped' presumably due to the impact of the prop.
View attachment 27530View attachment 27531View attachment 27532View attachment 27533
Once I assessed that things were still in one piece, I started slowly back to the house and didn't notice any out of the ordinary vibration or noise. Everything shifted fine and the tilt worked okay. I crept up on cruising speed and couldn't see a difference in the RPM or the speed (or the mi/gal measured by the Simrad). Still no vibration or issues. I have not done a full throttle run to see if there are any changes in vibration or RPM at the top end.

I took the boat back out Sunday for a couple hours and noticed no ill effects, but still didn't push anything. When I pulled the boat out, I spun the prop to see if I could detect any obvious runout in the prop shaft (see video)

Clearly I need to either get the prop repaired (is that possible in this situation?) or get a new prop. But barring anything obvious developing, I am thinking I'll have the internals checked out at the end-of-season service. Being new to boating, but fairly mechanically adept, I feel that's a reasonable approach but would be really interested in the more experienced opinions here. What would you folks do?
Will repair for 135.00 + shipping. Burris propeller 239-772-3222 33yrs in business
 

Marantzer

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Thanks gents and thank you Burris Prop for the offer. I’ll keep that in my back pocket, but told a guy this morning I’d be dropping the prop of to him this weekend.
 

Phreakdout

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I asked about a SS prop when I just bought my R23SB with a Yamaha 110. The dealer recommended keeping the plastic prop as it will flex better if I have a prop strike. Less chance of damage to the engine. My lake has a few shallow sections. Is the good advice or dealer BS?
 

Link

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I have a Yamaha 115 on my R and I have the aluminum prop for all the reasons listed above. Not real people knowledgeable but heard than a SS prop wouldn’t make that much a difference on our lower HP engines
 

Marantzer

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I can certainly appreciate the value of having an aluminum prop to prevent damage to the lower unit. A counterpoint to that is, I’m guessing hitting a rock with aluminum would have stranded me in the lake. Sometimes that’s not a big deal and sometimes it is. I think you would also see much lower more efficiency with the higher hp engines matched up with aluminum. Would be interesting to see if anyone with a high hp engine has gone with aluminum and how it impacted performance.
 
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