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Old 24-11-2014, 02:14   #31
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

Well stories of fouled props while mooring brings to mind another story, also from this year. This one thankfully not involving me, but witnessed by me while in Greece. The attached picture shows the sorry outcome, but the story was apparently...

The yacht had been in a small fishing harbour and a violent storm came up in the night. The yacht was moored true Med-style, stern-to, and her anchor started to drag. The skipper decided to take the boat out, I presume initially to reset the anchor, and then maybe due to limited space in the harbour took the boat outside completely.

In the noise, wind and confusion it would seem a forward mooring warp was left on the foredeck and still cleated-off. This seems to have fallen overboard and if you look at the picture, you can see that they were using white warps and where this one ended up. The picture will also tell you all you need to know about this sorry episode.

This makes me think at a more fundamental level; why does a yacht typically use its engine? Either in close quarter manoeuvring or to punch wind and/or tide and adverse conditions. Typically therefore, you are using the engine because you need to and loss of power may be catastrophic, as per the picture. It also reminds me of a dive trip in the Red Sea. This was on a large 100’+ dive live-aboard boat with twin monster diesels. We’d been out to ‘The Brothers’ islands a long way offshore and had a 8 hour return passage. During the passage we were caught in a big storm…maybe F8 or 9…enough for water to be flooding the fly bridge and soaking the instrumentation. Then we lost one engine and all of a sudden, ‘two engines’ didn’t seem much back-up as now we were on one and in very poor conditions to lose the second engine and be unable to maintain our head to wind/sea. It brought home quite quickly how things can go very wrong, very quickly, as I suspect happened for the unfortunate skipper of the yacht in the pic.
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Old 24-11-2014, 02:19   #32
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

Has anyone tried using a tree-lopping saw cutter on a long handle to clear a line or more rubbish? Some of those are 15' or so aluminium handle and look like they might do the job.


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Old 24-11-2014, 02:45   #33
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

And you have me on a roll now as ropes around props and in harbour reminds of two other stories from a yacht charter company.

One this year was someone that got a warp around their prop and thought they’d just burn it off. Well they didn't, but they did break all four engine mounts! Apparently the damage wasn't as bad as you might imagine and I didn't see it personally, but the idea of even a small 20-something hp block of iron attempting to rotate itself in the engine bay of a yacht is quite an eye watering thought.

The other was another charter where the skipper got a warp around the prop and also decided to just burn it off. Result was a bent P bracket, bent shaft and incapacitated yacht!

I have even seen someone back-up with their dingy lashed to the swim ladder and watched the lose painter pull tight...only to have the guy lean over the counter, cut it off and depart!

And as a final 'by the way...'. You want to use a serrated bread knife for removing tangled lines. Much better than ruining the blade on a nice hunting knife and the serrations work well on just about anything. Divers I know that clear props for people all use £1/$1-type cheap bread knives, so they’re a good item of equipment to have on board :-)
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Old 24-11-2014, 05:59   #34
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Has anyone tried using a tree-lopping saw cutter on a long handle to clear a line or more rubbish? Some of those are 15' or so aluminium handle and look like they might do the job.
I carry one of these, but thus far I never had to use it:
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Old 24-11-2014, 06:37   #35
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

Another line cutter article.

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Old 24-11-2014, 08:40   #36
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

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One this year was someone that got a warp around their prop and thought they’d just burn it off.
Modern synthetic lines will not "burn" off a prop shaft. What they will do is melt into a solid ring.

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Divers I know that clear props for people all use £1/$1-type cheap bread knives, so they’re a good item of equipment to have on board :-)
Serrated- yes. Bread knives- no. Long, thin bread knife blades are not really suited for cutting away fouled lines, or anything else underwater. I suspect the reason anybody would use one is because they are cheap, not because they are effective. A short, stout serrated blade (like a dive knife) is the best tool for the job.
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:22   #37
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

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Modern synthetic lines will not "burn" off a prop shaft. What they will do is melt into a solid ring.
I wasn't avocating this and indeed the outcomes of this approach just plainly illustrate what a very poor idea this is. Breaking all four engine mounts I found to be quite some achievement, although have watched an engine 'bounce' as it struggled with a net on the prop I was surprised the mounts didn't give way. They stretched to an extent I would NEVER have believed possible.


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Serrated- yes. Bread knives- no. Long, thin bread knife blades are not really suited for cutting away fouled lines, or anything else underwater. I suspect the reason anybody would use one is because they are cheap, not because they are effective. A short, stout serrated blade (like a dive knife) is the best tool for the job.
Well I'm sure a dive knife could work, but personally my dive knifes tend to be shorter and more scalloped than serrated with a blunt nose. They're also expensive, more expenseive to wreck on a propshaft and even more expensive if dropped and lost. I've only ever seen people use and recommend bread knifes and indeed this article proposes a Kitchen Devil-type kitchen/bread knife, so I am clearly not alone in my thinking.
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:31   #38
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

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I wasn't avocating this and indeed the outcomes of this approach just plainly illustrate what a very poor idea this is. Breaking all four engine mounts I found to be quite some achievement, although have watched an engine 'bounce' as it struggled with a net on the prop I was surprised the mounts didn't give way. They stretched to an extent I would NEVER have believed possible.




Well I'm sure a dive knife could work, but personally my dive knifes tend to be shorter and more scalloped than serrated with a blunt nose. They're also expensive, more expenseive to wreck on a propshaft and even more expensive if dropped and lost. I've only ever seen people use and recommend bread knifes and indeed this article proposes a Kitchen Devil-type kitchen/bread knife, so I am clearly not alone in my thinking.
Just giving you the benefits of my personal, twenty-years-of-clearing-fouled-props experience.
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Old 24-11-2014, 13:07   #39
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Has anyone tried using a tree-lopping saw cutter on a long handle to clear a line or more rubbish? Some of those are 15' or so aluminium handle and look like they might do the job.


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I use a sharp knife lashed backwards on a bamboo pole to clear kelp from our props and rudders, but find it is a lot of work to use. The "hook-knife" from Sailor's Solutions, while expensive, seems a much better tool.
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Old 25-11-2014, 09:09   #40
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

A boat on the rocks. One of the potential outcomes of a fouled prop.

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Old 27-11-2014, 22:58   #41
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

My boat has a "rope catcher" rudder. this is a pic of my solution. 1/2" SS rod welded to "pintle plate" 1/4 " ahead of rudder.
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Old 28-11-2014, 08:34   #42
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

Deblen, I like it.
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Old 28-11-2014, 09:09   #43
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

we have a line cutter on the shaft plus a very sharp Javelin with hook that attaches to the end of our gaff. If our full keel doesn't stop a line from entering, and the shaft shark doesn't work, and the javelin doesn't work, we keep a bike helmet on the boat!
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Old 28-11-2014, 09:32   #44
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

@deblen, what a brilliant enhancement. Like it a lot.

And @zboss, a bicycle helmet. What a brilliant idea and I even have an unused helmet. I guess a rock climbing or canoeing helmet would be better as they wouldn't have the buoyancy of a foam cycle helmet, but as an easy, cheap and available idea, this is just brilliant and of course would be equally relevant to going up the mast if there was a need at sea.

I've had a need to that on a trans Atlantic crossing and the failure of the genoa shackle meaning someone had to go up and retrieve halyard, and on that occasion we used a towel and gaffer tape, but a cycle helmet would have been excellent. That idea is definitely one to remember, thanks :-)
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Old 28-11-2014, 10:30   #45
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Re: Prop Rope Cutter

"....we keep a bike helmet on the boat!"
Great idea. If you have to dive under the boat in any kind of sea, there's a good chance you'll get bonked on the head.
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