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Old 16-10-2015, 11:34   #1
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Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

My wife and I plan on cruising in the Caribbean this fall, and we are debating: Are prop shaftline cutters a good safety investment or a waste of money?

I've seen a new model that combines a zinc anode with a cutter blade for about $50--about double what a regular zinc anode would cost and way, way less than Spurs or some other brands of cutters. I think we need the cutter; my wife thinks we don't.

Please help us decide. Let us know what you think.

Thanks!
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Old 16-10-2015, 11:49   #2
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

When you have got the line around the prop shaft the prop will not move and thereby not cut anything.
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Old 16-10-2015, 12:03   #3
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

I have Spurs. Yes they are expensive but they have come in handy. I disagree with the previous poster. I have had mine cut away crab pots and a spinnaker sheet that I let get away from me while learning how to use it. It starts cutting long before the shaft gets completely snagged. It's not just crab pots but discarded nets and fishing line.

My vote is yes.

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Old 16-10-2015, 12:17   #4
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

Cutters are not 100%. Expensive cutters are 100% better than the cheap ones.
If you're in an area of crab pots or other buoyed fishing gear they are helpful. Many commercial fishermen think of the ocean as a big garbage can and dump old line overboard. If the line gets between the prop and strut or stern bearing, it can wind and push the prop back until the coupling fails or twists the shaft. I know... I have twice acquired crab pot line in my prop over a 40 year period. The cheap cutter probably wouldn't have cleared the line. The expensive cutters get most, if not all line, kelp, etc. Former commercial fisherman.
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Old 16-10-2015, 12:35   #5
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

IMO, a worthwhile investment, and if you are going to the trouble, get the best!
I used to scoff at the idea until I wrapped my prop up in a big wad of discarded line.
Murphy was there, and the rudder got involved and ultimately was snapped off at the hull before I was able to figure out what happened and find neutral.
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Old 16-10-2015, 13:38   #6
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

Have a look on you tube there is not a lot of difference of cheap ones or expensive ones.expensive ones need drilling and fixing and can cause a lot of damage if they rip out.
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Old 16-10-2015, 16:09   #7
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

A big yes from us.

We've got two from Prop Protector (one on each shaft) and they've been invaluable so far heading south. Pulling into Nazare, we removed a significant amount of poly prop off one of the shafts, presumably from a submerged crab pot as neither of us recalled hitting one.

For not a lot of $$, they represent a nice bit of insurance.

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Old 16-10-2015, 16:13   #8
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

Buy a high quality cutter. Mine has cut through several lines, I've also needed to dive using scuba to untangle a fish farm mooring line. You need both scuba and a line cutter.
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Old 16-10-2015, 17:07   #9
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

Plenty depends on your shaft configuration. Some shafts are very short and very protected (esp. in long keel boats that have their props in a cutout just ahead of the rudder).

If you have a long exposed section of a shaft and if you expect plenty of floating rope around (mind those crab pods!) then you may like to have one BUT where to place it on a long shaft is beyond me (likely close to the prop?).

On a small boat you get the risk that you may hit the cutter with your foot while swimming about).

So, I think, it depends very much on how big your boat is and how willing you are to go into the water to clean a fouled prop (this involves you, the line, the knife and SHARKS). Think JAWS.

Cheers,
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Old 16-10-2015, 17:37   #10
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If you have a long exposed section of a shaft and if you expect plenty of floating rope around (mind those crab pods!) then you may like to have one BUT where to place it on a long shaft is beyond me (likely close to the prop?).
Yep, just in front of the prop

Quote:
So, I think, it depends very much on how big your boat is and how willing you are to go into the water to clean a fouled prop (this involves you, the line, the knife and SHARKS). Think JAWS.
Reminds me of a time when myself and two friends were in the Florida Keys and managed to hook a line. We'd just pulled into an anchorage at shark o'clock (ie. just getting dark), dropped the hook and were backing down to set it. Engine stalled twice, no chance of setting the anchor due to a lack of wind or tide. Anyway, the three of us ended up in the water with two people taking it in turns to dive on the prop, and the third on shark watch

All went well and we settled a few frayed nerves afterwards with post-sundowners...

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Old 16-10-2015, 18:02   #11
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

I have one ....about 500 bucks for a 1 inch shaft....is it worth it, I think so, I just traveled from toronto to florida without any trouble.....and that was alot of crab pot areas....
If you dont have one, you will wish you did at some piont, but be very careful when diving under your boat, these devices can be very sharp
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Old 16-10-2015, 18:23   #12
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

I've had Spurs on my boat since it was built 28 years ago.. I don't know if they are working or not. I once found about a foot of rope hung up on them but that's the only sign I ever hit a rope. My previous boat, without a cutter, did get stopped by tangled rope a couple of times.
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:15   #13
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

If one should only buy a good one, which ones are good
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:43   #14
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

I've had a Shaft Shark and Prop Protector. Both 100% effective (so far, knock wood) in the half dozen times (I know of) that I've snagged a trap line. I try to be careful and avoid them but wind, waves, current, darkness and sun glare often make avoidance impossible.

Tell your wife I said she's wrong and it's cheap insurance: A line wrap can cause severe damage to the rudder and running gear, or disable propulsion possibly under hazardous circumstance or tight situation.
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Old 16-10-2015, 20:52   #15
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Re: Prop Shaft Line Cutters: Yes or No?

Have Spurs on a 2" shaft with feathering prop.

Did not prevent a sail from getting wrapped around the prop (don't ask 😔&#128557 but probably an impossible ask really. Took a diver an hour to cut free.


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