Becoming a boat owner can be a thrilling experience. You get a sense of freedom and adventure that not everybody undergoes. Most importantly, you get to spend some quality time with your friends and family, whether it’s for a fishing trip or a weekend getaway.
However, for your boat to last a long time, you have to take care of it regularly. That’s especially true when it comes to your boat’s propellers. The quality of your propellers determines your boat’s efficiency and power. If left in a poor condition, it can ruin your vessel. If you want to avoid paying for expensive boat propeller repair costs, here are some facts you need to know:
Common Propeller Problems
Getting yourself more familiar with the common propeller problems lets you know what to do when you encounter them. Here are some of them:
- Damaged Propeller Blades – Your propellers are constantly at risk of being damaged. It’s mostly due to running aground, hitting sand bars, or getting too close to rocks. These can cause your blades to warp, dent, or bend out of shape. In some cases, you may even lose some chunks of the propellers. Often enough, significant damage to your blades is easy to spot but hard to repair.
- Corrosion – One of the biggest problems that you may encounter would be corrosion. Many boat owners choose to go out into the sea whenever they’re on a boating trip. However, since the seas are full of saltwater, this can corrode your propeller blades, making the alloys weak and ruining them.
- Wear and Tear – Sometimes, prolonged use of your boat can wear down your propeller blades no matter how much maintenance you do. This makes your vessel less effective than it used to be. If you also noticed that the trailing edge of the propeller blades is sharp while the leading edge is blunt, that could be an indicator that it needs replacement.
Taking Care of Your Boat Propellers
Taking care of your propellers can go a long way in making them last for a long while and preventing you from spending a lot of money on boat propeller repair costs. Here are some things that you can do:
Inspect Your Boat Propellers From Time to Time
Get into a habit of inspecting your propellers from time to time. Although modern propellers are durable and can withstand years of use, inspecting them allows you to spot any potential signs of damage before it becomes a bigger problem later on.
Although the propeller is a low-maintenance part of your boat, it’s a good idea for you to carefully inspect them every spring and autumn when you do your maintenance. During boating season, keep an eye on their condition when you use them, especially when you accidentally had a collision with something underwater.
Clean and Grease the Propellers Often
When you’re not using your boat, it’s best if you take some time to clean your propeller as thoroughly as possible. A clean propeller minimizes fuel consumption and provides you with optimal power and speed.
Use a plastic scraper to remove any barnacles and prevent any other marine life from growing on your propellers. If you want to be thorough, wash them with water and a mild detergent solution to remove any salt, oil, and old grease.
Once they’re cleaned, wipe the blades with a water-repelling lubricant. Use some 2-4-C marine grease as well on the shaft and seals. This keeps their parts well-lubricated and working properly. This also protects your propeller from further corrosion.
When in Doubt, Call the Professionals
Some minor damage and scratches can be repaired all on your own. However, there are some instances wherein the repair your propellers need is beyond your capabilities. When in doubt, be sure to call a local professional boat mechanic. They can tune up your propeller properly and get it to working condition once again.
If you don’t know any nearby boat mechanics, ask around your dock for recommendations. You can also search online or ask your boat dealer for mechanics that they know.
Do not ignore any of these common boat propeller damage. The earlier you deal with them, the better.