Thursday, January 27, 2011

Propeller Protector

Also, in 1994, I added a cable system under my propeller, from the lower tail end of the keel, to the lower tip of the skeg.  This protects the propeller from most floating lines, crab and fish trap floats etc.

.........for old photos see this link. Original 1994 Propeller Protection cable

(Photos and description of newest system are below)

Both connectors were made of 3/8" stainless steel.  Two, 2" x 3/8" plates were bolted through the keel and bedded with 3M's 5200, with a tang facing aft to connect the cable to.

The skeg stainless bracket was affixed to the back of the skeg by drilling and tapping the skeg for 2" x 3/8" bolts/also bedded in 5200.

Originally I had a H.D. cable with turnbuckle but have now gone to a 'Sacrificial' cable.  I thought it better if the cable broke, than the system broke!  So far it has held up fine for the last 6 years, so I just replaced the 3/16" cable and clamps.

I use the standard steering cable used for small boats for this application. It's thin cable covered in clear plastic.  On the ends, I seal the metal cable with heat shrink used for electrical wiring.  This keeps water off of the metal and therefore it does not rust and degrade.

For an adjustment, I make the cable about 4" shorter than needed and then use 1/8" lanyard wrapped numerous times as in a 'truckers hitch', around the aft end of the cable and the bracket on the lower skeg.

IF needed then, I can cut the cable free with a knife or serated blade tools.

When done, paint it all and launch.

Oh, also made an additional plate that attaches to the bottom of the skeg bracket that keeps any lines from catching between the skeg and rudder.
 Before the Travel Lift places the pick up strap under the boat/through the slot of boats bottom and prop protector, I cover the cable with plastic.  Easy to remove with a dive, but protects the anti fouling paint on cable when the yard recovers their lifting strap.

No problems since installed in 1994.

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