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Old 28-05-2019, 00:13   #1
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Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

Brunton Autoprop
Has any vessel you know of lost a blade from a Brunton Autoprop propeller.
I have one fitted to my 42 ft Adams cruising yacht and three years ago one of the three blade dropped off. It was because the securing nut came loose and disappeared along with the blade. I returned the prop to Bruntons to have them install a new blade and balance the propeller. They did this at some cost.
Recently another blade has dropped off. I have again returned the Autoprop to Bruntons UK. What should I do? Has anyone had a similar experience?
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Old 28-05-2019, 06:58   #2
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

This appears to be the new style of prop that is greased?
The third picture, it looks like the ball bearing race is in extremely bad shape, may even have hard growth in it?
Was it vibrating a lot before the blade slung?

Iíd try to get to one of the bigger cheeses at Bruntonís, try to demand a replacement at zero or near zero cost, if this is one of the older water lubed props, my position would be that itís plainly a defective design, and I want a new style prop at a huge discount.

I donít know if a letter from a Lawyer would help or make things worse, maybe start without one?

This is a high dollar item, with a reputation to protect, not sure how you would politely let them know that this story is making its way around the sailing social media sites, and their response will be seen by many potential customers.
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Old 28-05-2019, 16:58   #3
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

The pictures are the two events on the right the second some weeks after it lost the blade because I could not get it hauled out and hence the growth. The left photo is the prop after removal. The vessel had been hauled only months before and the prop inspected and greased. I took pictures. It was in good condition with nothing obviously wrong. I returned from Fiji to Bermagui Australia and the vessel remained in a pen. Granted the antifouling had come off. I embarked on a day sail and only got outside the harbour when the blade came off. Took pictures.
Started very politely with Bruntons. There last letter was describing a prop which was not mine. Blade "torn off" so have taken to social media to establish if other have had the same experience. I will reserve the analysis till later but I am not alone.
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Old 28-05-2019, 17:48   #4
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Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

Your not alone, but I have not heard of any failures on the newer grease-able prop, supposedly only the old non greased prop would fail.

Iíd go the Lawyer route and or maybe first suggest that Brunton obviously didnít do the lock washer right as no one else had touched it, and it spat a blade.
Iíd have to assume it wasnít put together properly, or itís a design defect, and there havenít been any other failures on the new type that I have heard of so that takes us back to not put together correctly, in my opinion.

Course you may not want a new one at this point, just want your money back Iíd assume.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:58   #5
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

I hope Bruntons UK come up with a solution. The Australian consumer law is very strong on any product that is not "Fit for Purpose" I dont want to go that line yet but they have failed to respond to my email. There is no time-limit on OZ legal action.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:30   #6
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Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

If I had to get aggressive and ďmakeĒ them respond, Iíve go for damages if possible, loss of use of the boat etc.
I guess youíll have to decide if itís worth getting aggressive or just write it off and never do business with them again.

Of course as an Autoprop owner myself, I hope they step up.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:42   #7
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

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Has anyone had a similar experience?
These props are notorious for throwing blades. Have personally seen it multiple times.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:06   #8
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

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These props are notorious for throwing blades. Have personally seen it multiple times.


I wondered what took you so long.
To clarify that though the old design was bad about it, Iíve not heard of any of the newer ones do that, and they are old by now so if they were going to, they would have the same bad rep the old design does.

This one, is one of the new designs.

Itís really the same design as an automobile wheel, and while they do occasionally do fall off, itís very uncommon.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:12   #9
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

The OP clearly doesn't have the newer version, so whether the new ones have a propensity to throw blades or not is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that I have dealt with props on many tens of thousands of boats and without out a doubt have seen more missing Autoprop blades than on any other prop, be it fixed, folding or feathering.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:15   #10
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

The old style was water lubricated, no grease.
You can see grease in one of the photos, and the OP said he had the boat hauled and the prop greased.
Pretty sure itís the model that is greased
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:18   #11
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

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Pretty sure it’s the model that is greased
If so that pretty much shoots to hell your contention that the new version doesn't throw blades, since the OP has already lost two off this prop.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:40   #12
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

More anecdotes...on my water lubed Autoprop I swapped the SS cap screws with titanium and used Vibratite in lieu of Loctite on ALL threaded fitments. Never an issue and upon disassembly for cleaning and PM that Vibratite was still doing the job. No way a blade would ever fall off.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:41   #13
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Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

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If so that pretty much shoots to hell your contention that the new version doesn't throw blades, since the OP has already lost two off this prop.


Well it does bring questions up, ones that I think Brunton ought to answer.
Like there doesnít seem to be a problem with other of the same design as I said they have been out for years, yet he has lost two blades?
Would seem to somehow indicate an issue with this prop, but other than being incorrectly assembled, I canít think of what.
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Old 02-07-2020, 15:26   #14
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

Just lost an Autoprop blade. Greased model. Anybody learn the reason? What is the next step toward getting this resolved?
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Old 02-07-2020, 16:05   #15
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Re: Lost a Brunton Autoprop Blade

I have one of the older H5 BB (water lubricated bearings), that is 25 years old. Replaced the bearings 3 times and remachined the races (by Bruntons) once. I recently ran across a almost new identical model on ebay. As I was prepping and painting the replacement, I tightened up the bearing play. All three of the litle wedge shafts that lock the bearing caps in place were loose enough that had I installed the prop as found, slinging a blade would be in my future. No way of knowing the history of the replacement, but it had never been painted. Mybe they have assy QC problems from time to time.


Good for another 25 years,

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