Changing out a Prop in Mid-Channel

Anyone who's owned a boat knows what a PITA it can be. If you have questions or solutions help fellow boat owners out!

Changing out a Prop in Mid-Channel

Postby Balluga » January 29th, 2014, 2:10 am

There will come a day when your prop hits a log, shark or other debris...does your tool kit have a spare lock nut, cotter pin, lock washer, big wrench, etc needed for the change out?...easy to forget one item and very easy to drop a part while working over 2,000' of water....been there, done that...there is nothing like sitting astride an outdrive or outboard, bouncing around in 4' swells while working on a prop changeout....another good reason to purchase an annual Vessel Assist membership....
Posts: 351
Joined: November 2013
Location: Long Beach

Re: Changing out a Prop in Mid-Channel

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 29th, 2014, 8:34 am

I've got all the things needed, but I don't have much confidence I could get it done in mid channel. Just last week I was watching my mechanic do my annual outdrive service- changing the oil, checking the linkage, replacing the boot. He and a very long wrench, and still had trouble breaking loose the anti-theft lock nut. Then the first DuoProp slid right off, but for the second one he had to put a piece of lumber between the rear of the outdrive and the front of the prop and pry. The props shaft looked well greased, but had just one tiny dry spot. There is no way I could have done that in any sort of normal seas, and probably not even in glassy conditions.

And then there is the possibility of dropping parts when a swell hits at the wrong time.

I took a lot of prep damage when I had aluminum props. Since switching to stainless, I've been OK so far. But if I damage one, I'm coming home at idle if that seems possible, and otherwise I'm calling Vessel Assist.
email me at
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
Posts: 3586
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Changing out a Prop in Mid-Channel

Postby otherxendxup » December 29th, 2014, 5:16 am

Sorry to resurrect, but this is a very good bit of info.

I spun my prop heading in this past Saturday. Luckily I had everything, including a spare aluminum prop, to swap it out. Instead of limping home at idle, or waiting for a tow, I was up and running again in about 20 minutes.

The only other thing I would add is that if your spare isn't the same pitch as your standard prop, and you plan on continuing your dive trip on the spare, make sure you adjust your range to compensate for the difference in fuel consumption.

My spare was just something the local shop had laying around that happened to fit. It gets the boat on plane just fine but only has half the top speed of my stainless at the same RPM's. I ended up using almost double the fuel that I would had I been using my standard prop.

Just something to keep in mind that might otherwise be overlooked, especially if you run a tiller with no tach. or fuel gauge.
User avatar
Posts: 4
Joined: December 2014
Location: Key West

Re: Changing out a Prop in Mid-Channel

Postby NaClAddict » December 29th, 2014, 12:57 pm

It's nice to have a 2x4 or other block of wood to jamb the prop in place while loosening the nut. On my boat a 2x4 wedges between the prop and lower unit just right.
Posts: 341
Joined: August 2013

Return to Boat Maintenance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users