17 May 2014. Prop Problems (lesson learned)
This week the engine is in and
running well. Originally, when under load (in gear) she would
overheat. There are several possible solutions but the one we're
working with at present is that the thermostat has been removed. And
now Robert no longer gets too hot -- at least when in neutral.
In Case You Wondered:
Robert is the name of my engine. When my friend Bob Winter sold
her to me last autumn the name was supposed to be BOB but after a
few issues (recalcitrant child!) I asked Bob what he was called
when he was a boy. He said Robert, so the engine's name is Robert.
On Thursday (15 May) I started Robert for the
first time solo. The boys were away and my mechanics want the
engine started every day. So I did -- without issue. She ran
beautifully and I was able to get the readings from my new hand-held tachometer
Mother's Day I gave me two new
toys tools for Seaweed:
Years ago, the digital
tachometers ran $250 -- way above my budget but the prices
have really come down. Ditto temperature gauges. Now
that they are affordable ($20 each, give or take) I bought my own
set for Seaweed.
For diagnosing stuff
before it becomes a problem, the temperature gun will be
useful. Apparently my manifold will eventually start to become
restricted and then the temps will rise. When that happens
it's time to clean out the manifold -- a simple fix, and far
less money than the $1300 required to replace the one on my
Reflective Strip on my flywheel.
The hand-held tach counts revolutions via that strip.
So, Seaweed has a LH16x16
propeller. That means she's 16 inches in diameter and has a pitch
(curvature) of 16. She's Left Hand -- means turns that way for
forward propulsion. And, though that's fine for the old gasoline
beast, my new Volvo is much smaller. Oh, and the shaft size is 1.25"
To get the proper prop size, I used
online calculator by Victoria Propeller:
The prop I have is too big. I've
got a 16x16LH and of course that's one of the common ones (selling
for $200 or so, if you can find a buyer) BUT the one I need for the
new Volvo is a left hand 16x8.5 or 14x10 -- available thus far at a
cost of $500. That's a lot of $$, so I'm shopping and trying to find
one for less. Or something similar. It really doesn't have to be
exact, but 16x16 is too big.
So now I'm shopping for a 16x8.5 or
14x10 (or something similar) in a Left Hand version for Seaweed.
I'll start looking again seriously on Monday as tomorrow is Sunday.
Propellers, you need to know:
Sizing: the shaft
size of your boat is one component and you can only go up or
down 1/8". The hub of your new propeller has to be within the
1/8" margin, larger or smaller in diameter.
That might sound
confusing but it's not too. See this chart:
1 and 1/8" aka 1.125"
|What I have:
1 and 1/4" aka 1.25"
1 and 3/8" aka 1.375"
Thus my shopping allows a
bit of wiggle room, but just a tiny bit. The hub (center
of) the propeller can be adjusted 1/8" but no more.
Advice on used prop places
appreciated. And yes, I will update as soon as I've got one on
the way though I suppose having two would not be a bad thing -- if
the price were fabulous.
I started this quest for a
used propeller with an easy attitude that this would be a cinch.
After all, there are lot of propellers out there and I thought
finding one couldn't be all that hard. Soon enough I was
There are a lot of bad
propellers out there, and often for sale. I checked various
marine consignment shop across the country. Part of the
problem is the desired size: it's apparently not a common one.
But mostly it was quality
issues that bit me. Repeatedly I found in pictures curled
edges, chipped blades, and worse. Therefore I've opted to,
if I cannot find one from a propeller place (versus marine
consignment shop) well, I'll go retail.
This prop has gouges along the blade edges.
Prop was too large so someone cut off the
ends of the blades. Ugly, and for sale: cheap!
Painful financially but a
better option in my view than spending $$ for a propeller, then
reconditioning, plus re-boring. Those two items run (circa May 2014)
between $200 and $250, and up. Plus shipping every which way ...
well, I'll be better off spending $500 for a new one.
Don't 'cha just hate spending
that kind of money?! I'm rationalizing it as a one-time
expense and will most likely sell my old 16x16LH for the weight
Learned: Either buy directly from a propeller shop that
has reconditioned/guarantees the prop, or bite the proverbial
bullet and pay retail.
Final Update: A 14x12 left hand 3-blade
propeller with a 1.25" bore has been located at a prop shop by my mechanic
at Just Right Marine [http://justrightmarine.com].
It is being reconditioned/resized for Seaweed and for a sweet price.
The place is in Panama City, FL. [Yes, I'll post the name soon.]
Have you ever re-propped?
Any propeller replacement issues I should know beforehand?
In the Bilges,
What Used Boat? ~
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