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Tips for Maintaining Your Boat’s Propeller

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Problems with your boat’s propeller can make a day on the water memorable – for all the wrong reasons. To keep a damaged prop from leaving you stuck at the dock, or worse, stranded offshore, here are a few tips for maintaining your boat’s propeller.

  • First, and perhaps most important, always have a spare prop onboard. Think of it like a spare tire for your car. Having a spare prop onboard means if your propeller gets damaged you still have a way to get your boat – and you – home. It also means you can keep using your boat while your main prop is being repaired.
  • Give your boat a visual inspection before each outing. Look for any nicks or dents. If you find any, get it fixed. Running your boat on a damaged prop can lead to severe damage to your propeller, engine or stern gear.
  • Pay attention to your boat’s performance. If you notice a loss of power or speed, a drop in fuel efficiency, or any vibration or cavitation, those are often signs of a propeller problem that you may not be able to see.
  • Completely remove your propeller a couple of times each season to remove anything that may have gotten tangled around it, namely fishing line.
  • Grease your propeller shaft with waterproof grease to keep it from getting corroded and becoming stuck in place.
  • Keep an eye on the prop nut. It can loosen over the course of a season, and you don’t want it falling into the deep.
  • Make sure to clean your prop regularly to prevent corrosion and discoloration.
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