Prop Damage Can Be Costly If Not Corrected
Even if you haven’t used your boat much this season, you may know that damage to a boat’s propeller is as common as, say, running out of gas while fishing. It’s not shameful to admit that props get dinged, dented, scraped and damaged beyond repair. While frustrating, it is a fact of boating.
What Damages Boat Propellers?
Any number of unseen hazards can damage the best prop, whether it’s made of sturdy stainless steel or aluminum. The team at Power Pro’s can attest to that. A prop can be damaged by chains, ropes, hidden logs and rocks. Propellers can also be subject to debris, mainly driftwood, plants and trash. Rocks and churning sand can also diminish your prop quality
When does prop damage need repairs or replacement?
A quick checklist may help you decide if you need to replace your prop:
1. Do you notice a drop in performance? If your acceleration, cornering or general overall handling of your boat drops significantly, check your prop it may be time for a replacement or repair.
2. Feel a vibration? That is a bad sign. A vibration can damage other parts of your boat that you don’t want to have to replace, namely your motor! This can cause uneven wear on the gears which could become a high dollar repair that won’t be covered by your warranty.
3. Are you in the RPM range? Variations can result in poor fuel economy and other damage to your motor. Gas isn’t cheap these days and the cost of fueling your boat can add up quickly.
4. What’s the thickness of your blade? Know your baseline and watch this detail because it can affect performance.
5. Cracks in the blades? No question, time for a replacement.
6. When in doubt, get a boat mechanic’s advice. He’ll probably err on the side of caution, but who wants to be left stranded when your prop or motor stops working?
Rules of Thumb on Prop Maintenance
If you’ve run into hazards with your prop, it’s best to inspect the propeller as soon as the suspected damage has occurred. If you heard something or felt a jolt, it’s likely that damage has happened. Props can be repaired, so it’s worth considering a repair versus a replacement if the damage is caught in time. The Power Pro’s can advise whether saving the prop is a worthwhile option. In many cases, it could be just as cost effective to replace a prop rather than pay for piecemeal repair or welding. If you haven’t experienced a bump while boating, then inspecting your prop regularly should be enough to keep it in good, working order.