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Old 10-03-2010, 11:02   #1
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Propeller Accident Story from BoatUS

"My wife Sandy and I lived in a waterfront condo in St. Petersburg, Florida. Late in the afternoon of July 4, we were taking our nine-foot hard-bottom inflatable dinghy to Shell Key, a small island and popular beaching spot. I was sitting on the port tube, operating the 15-horsepower outboard with my right hand. Sandy was seated across from me and slightly forward on the starboard tube. On our return trip up the channel to our condo, we were traveling in a no-wake zone with the throttle set at just above idle. My practice had been to only wear the engine cut-off switch lanyard when I was going to run the boat on plane; I had removed it from my right wrist as we entered the no-wake canal."

To read the entire story, go to:

BoatUS.com - Seaworthy Magazine
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:11   #2
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A good article worth reading.
I myself am guilty of sitting in the center of the dingy with a throttle extension so I can more easily plane out. The shut off line is too long and if I were to go over board I suspect the same outcome would result. Worth re-thinking how I do things.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:21   #3
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Note that the article refers to a legal distance from the dive flag for the diver. There is no "legal distance" for the diver. A diver may go as far as they want from the dive flag, the flag simply provides them a protected area. Whenever a dive flag indicates divers in the water I suggest a lookout be posted to look for bubbles in front of the boat and a wide berth from the divers flag. As a diver I have been "buzzed" many times by boats even with a divers flag flying. I personally surface using my anchor line if at all possible. It should be noted that the danger is not always to the diver. In Florida in the mid 70s a diver was running out of air while a boat buzzed his dive flag. With the boat coming at him he was forced to push off the bottom of the boat to avoid being hit. Unfortunately for the driver of the boat he pushed off with his armed bangstick. The boat driver did not survive.
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Old 23-03-2010, 11:55   #4
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Safety Propeller

Just as a side note.
'The Safety Propeller is a new propeller that will not cut, injure or kill people or marine life. It is almost identical to regular propellers in its construction, and will perform equally as well, but a slight yet crucial design variation allows a person to stick their limbs directly into the propeller’s way without any harm."

This prop won the New Inventors (Aussie TV show) 2009 product of the year. As some one who has seen the effects of a prop strike on a childs leg, I think this product has a lot of merit and it is something I would seriously look at for certain boating functions.
New Inventors: 2009 Finalists
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Old 23-03-2010, 12:24   #5
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Great idea. I hope it catches on.
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Old 23-03-2010, 13:22   #6
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FWIW...

...I have modified the lanyard by adding a velcro wrist band (like a watch band). The dinghy doesn't get untied from the cleat until the velcro is around my wrist, and it gets tested almost every outing since it is easiest to just pull my wrist forward to shut off the engine.

I can't imagine falling off without pulling the lanyard off the kill switch.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 23-03-2010, 14:13   #7
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Efficiency of safety Propeller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogdog View Post
Just as a side note.
"The Safety Propeller [...] will perform equally as well."

New Inventors: 2009 Finalists
With such a thick leading edge, it's obvious that the Safety Propeller will suffer from cavitation when operating at high rpm. Then, "thrust breakdown" will occur and cause a big drop in efficiency as well as in boat speed...

I would rather fit a Propguard: For Your Outboards & Stern Drives - Prop Guard propeller guard

Alain
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Old 23-03-2010, 15:35   #8
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I wonder how log it took to convince the safety propellor test guy to put his arm against that thing!!!!!
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Old 23-03-2010, 16:15   #9
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As a diver for nearly 40 years I certainly worry about being hit whilst surfacing, and have the appropriate evil thoughts about folks who buzz diver-down flags.

On the other hand, I see LOTS of dive boats who display the diver down flag 24/7. This common practice does little to encourage folks to respect the flag or the divers.

We could clean up our collective acts...

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Church Point NSW Oz
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Old 23-03-2010, 16:47   #10
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I for one would be happy to fit a safety prop on my tender.

Speed is a lesser priority, and exposure seems much more likely. My daughter takes friends out, and though she is careful.... I would feel better.

On the sailboat... no. The engines are mounted well under and present less hazard.
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Old 23-03-2010, 16:59   #11
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I'm curious. The article said the dinghy driver was sitting on the port tube controlling the motor with his right hand. I would find that extremely awkward. Anybody here do it that way? If so, are you left handed?
Thanks.
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Old 23-03-2010, 17:18   #12
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Yes and yes
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Old 23-03-2010, 19:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
I'm curious. The article said the dinghy driver was sitting on the port tube controlling the motor with his right hand. I would find that extremely awkward. Anybody here do it that way? If so, are you left handed?
Thanks.
I reckon that's how most of us would do it?
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Old 24-03-2010, 08:08   #14
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Kordie -
Do you mean most lefthanders or most people?
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Old 24-03-2010, 08:14   #15
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Mike,

I'm with you. I've always thought sitting on the port pontoon and steering w/the right hand was a bit unbalanced.

Then again I am unbalanced on so many levels it's a wonder that I sit on the starboard pontoon and steer w/the left (I'm right handed).

Fair Winds,
Mike
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