Boating NZ - - Feature -

If your boat doesn’t re­spond to a bit of throt­tle, don’t as­sume the prop’s miss­ing. Sim­i­lar symp­toms can be caused by a cable link­age prob­lem, a bro­ken shear pin, a ‘stripped’ key in the prop/shaft, a sheared flex­i­ble cou­pling or even a gear­box fail­ure.

Iso­lat­ing the prob­lem is easy: open the en­gine cover, start the en­gine and have some­one put the en­gine into gear while ob­serv­ing the en­gine and drive mech­a­nism.

As­sum­ing all is in or­der, you’ll need to check the prop. An out­board or stern­leg can be tilted up, but with any sort of shaft drive you’ll have to jump into the wa­ter to phys­i­cally check out the prop.

If the prop’s still on the shaft but not turn­ing when the en­gine is in gear (or only turn­ing slowly) the prob­lem is likely the shear pin or key (the piece that sits in a slot be­tween the shaft and prop hub).

With out­boards, it’s pos­si­ble that the rub­ber hub in­side the prop is dam­aged (it’s de­signed to pro­tect the en­gine and gear­box if you hit some­thing solid). In ei­ther of these cases re­mov­ing the prop and re­plac­ing the sheared item is a rel­a­tively easy fix.

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