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Old 28-03-2019, 08:50   #1
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Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Recently I spun the hub on my Yamaha 15 Enuro prop. No problem, easy field fix, just do the good old drill & screw fix. Done, prop got us thru a couple of weeks before it started to slip again. Unfortunately, to reduce turbulence/cavitation I had cut the heads of the screws off flush with the outter hub so could not tighten them up. No problem, plenty of room left to drill & screw again in slightly different locations. So, I did, but I tightened the screws more aggressively, not wanting them to slip this time. Unfortunately, when I tried to reinstall the prop, the hub would not fit back over the shaft...oops. By tightening the screws more aggressively I had distored the relatively soft inner bronze hub. No field fix for that...new prop time...of course no props (or anything else) available here in the San Blas...gonna be rowing for a few days...I could use the exercise anyway!


Lessons learned:

1. Always carry a spare dinghy prop. Preferably IN the dinghy (plus relvant tools). Duh.

2. Dont cut the screw heads off. They may affect prop efficiency, but it will likely work sufficiently well at lower speeds and you can re tweak as needed.

3. Dont snug the screws up until after the prop is reinstalled on the shaft to prevent distortion.

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Old 28-03-2019, 15:20   #2
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Good advice! thanks for posting it.

Jim
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Old 28-03-2019, 15:37   #3
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Cool. I found a unused prop on Ebay for like $23 as a spare, it was not the same pitch but thought "what the heck". Later I spun my hub and sure nuff it worked fine. I couldn't tell the difference. I often wonder if pitch matters much on a planing dingy really. You are often way over powered anyway!
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Old 28-03-2019, 16:07   #4
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Whatever happened to stress pins (not enough money in them !)
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Old 28-03-2019, 16:29   #5
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Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Cool. I found a unused prop on Ebay for like $23 as a spare, it was not the same pitch but thought "what the heck". Later I spun my hub and sure nuff it worked fine. I couldn't tell the difference. I often wonder if pitch matters much on a planing dingy really. You are often way over powered anyway!


In my case my motor came with a 10Ē prop.
As soon as my dinghy got on plane good and the motor started to sound right to my ears it hit itís rev limiter (Iím used to the way a two stroke sounds) however it would jump on plane, even with two people and a load of gear
So I got a 12Ē pitch prop thinking 2Ē would be enough, with the 12Ē prop it bogs bad, will barely plane with two people and then you have to lean forward while it crawls on plane, two people and gear and it would never plane.
Solo though it was fast, as in 30 kts fast.
So I now have an 11Ē pitch prop, a 10.5 would be perfect, but there isnít one.

Pitch makes a huge difference, you got lucky.
Different makes of props having the same pitch will have different results, the Solas SS prop of the same pitch, acts as if itís 1Ē more pitch than most aluminum props
Also how much ďCupĒ a prop has on its trailing edge will make a big difference, adding cup is the same as adding pitch.
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Old 28-03-2019, 18:21   #6
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

A64.....if your 10" prop needs a little cup, do what the racers do....a ballpien hammer and a trailer hitch ball. You can fine tune to your hearts desire! Also works taking cup out.

DougR
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Old 29-03-2019, 04:45   #7
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

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Good advice! thanks for posting it.

Jim
Youre welcome.
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Old 29-03-2019, 16:09   #8
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Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

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A64.....if your 10" prop needs a little cup, do what the racers do....a ballpien hammer and a trailer hitch ball. You can fine tune to your hearts desire! Also works taking cup out.



DougR


The 11Ē works good enough, only a couple hundred RPM low, but within the acceptable range. I like to tinker and set things up to as close as possible to ideal, itís just my nature.
I was just surprised to see that a 10Ē was too little, triggering the rev limiter, and a 12Ē is way too much.
Iím going out on a limb and thinking that maybe prop pitch is more critical to little four strokes than two strokes?
However as this is the only small four stroke outboard Iíve ever owned itís hard to say.
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Old 29-03-2019, 22:42   #9
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Spinning a prop is so rare I can't imagine carrying a spare. With that attitude you'd also carry a spare outboard.
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Old 29-03-2019, 23:21   #10
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

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Spinning a prop is so rare I can't imagine carrying a spare. With that attitude you'd also carry a spare outboard.
You sure about that? I've had three rubber hub props fail over the years and a couple of ones with shear pins. The latter were easier to fix!

'Course, we do more dinghy miles than most, but ever since we hit a bit of unseen flotsam on a dive trip some 5 miles from the boat (Sea of Cortez, 1989) and had the prop hub fail, I've been a believer in carrying a spare prop when traveling far from the boat. That was a very long arvo getting back to the boat at idle speed. Not likely to forget!

Outboard motors seldom fail outright, so a spare isn't indicated to me. Besides, carrying a spare is pretty easy!

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Old 30-03-2019, 01:38   #11
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Just bought a new prop and am now carrying the old prop as a spare. Excellent advice. Thanks
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Old 30-03-2019, 04:11   #12
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

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Spinning a prop is so rare I can't imagine carrying a spare. With that attitude you'd also carry a spare outboard.
Like many spares, a lot of what you choose to carry is based upon where you cruise. If you can pop into a nearby West Marine for a spare then why bother. If you prefer to cruise more remote areas then best to be prepared.

I do know cruisers who carry a spare OB. Its not uncommon. Usually a small HP engine thats easy to stow.
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Old 30-03-2019, 04:25   #13
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

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You sure about that? I've had three rubber hub props fail over the years and a couple of ones with shear pins. The latter were easier to fix!

'Course, we do more dinghy miles than most, but ever since we hit a bit of unseen flotsam on a dive trip some 5 miles from the boat (Sea of Cortez, 1989) and had the prop hub fail, I've been a believer in carrying a spare prop when traveling far from the boat. That was a very long arvo getting back to the boat at idle speed. Not likely to forget!

Outboard motors seldom fail outright, so a spare isn't indicated to me. Besides, carrying a spare is pretty easy!

Jim
I like to make longish trips by dinghy too, spinning a prop miles from the boat in a remote area could end bady. RIBs dont row worth a crap...not so bad just to get to nearby shore in an anchorage, but miles against the Trade Winds...not good.

I got very lucky yesterday and scored a spare prop from another cruiser. Yeah! But, I still plan to buy a new one as a spare and keep it in the dink.

Sailing to Bocas del Toro in a few days. I can buy a prop there and a prop nut wrench for the dink tool bag.

Another item I keep in the dink is a handheld VHF. Its in a dry bag with dinghy specific tools and a small air pump. If going on longer runs, especially outside the reef, I often bring the InReach along too. Drifting offshore with a spun prop and no comms would be a really dumb way to die...unpleasant too.
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Old 30-03-2019, 14:20   #14
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Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSadler View Post
Spinning a prop is so rare I can't imagine carrying a spare. With that attitude you'd also carry a spare outboard.


Maybe Iím just lucky, but I have never in my life spun a prop hub.
Iíve busted several props on rocks etc, but never had one spin the hub.
I was under the impression that when one spun, you could limp home at idle, worst case?
I have a spare prop, two actually, but I donít carry them and a wrench and pliers in the dinghy.
I do carry a handheld.

I keep contemplating buying a spare outboard, cause I figure it unlikely that if my computer controlled, fuel injected one breaks that Iíll be able to source the parts to fix it.
Iím thinking of buying a small 2.5 HP as a spare.
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Old 30-03-2019, 17:42   #15
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Re: Outboard Prop Field Repairs, Lessons Learned

Yes, you can usually limp along at low RPMs on a spun hub, but it gets progressively worse quickly, esp if you try and push the RPMs a little.

Ive spun a total of 3 over a life time of boating (running OBs since I was a child). Ive worked as a charter captain and lived in a water access only location for many years, so probably lots more hours on OBs than most.

You can spin a hub by impact, and the sacraficial rubber bushing doing its thing, or the rubber/bond just gets old and deteriorates, probably exacerbated by the occassional minor impact.

Its a relatively low probability event, but sure is damn inconvenient when you are somewhere remote. Small engine props are cheap so carrying a spare is no biggie.
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