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Date: 10 March 2016. Spare Prop has Swap Potential.


During the process of changing engines it was necessary to replace the old propeller. My original was fine and dandy for a big gasoline engine. For the smaller diesel it was not.  I ended up buying another leaving me with a perfectly good albeit wrong-for-me prop. I needed a place to stow the old one until I find a new owner. It has Swap Potential.


Details about that can be found in the Prop Problems (lesson learned)  article. On our old boat we kept a spare propeller in the bilge along with an extra shaft. Daddy believed in redundancy.

No I would not go out an shop for a propeller immediately if you have a perfectly good one on your boat. On the other hand I do have the size of mine written down in my wallet so IF I run across one at a song...


It cannot look like this one, advertised as in good condition.

So in the meantime I have simply put the old 16x16LH prop in my bilge. It wasn't secured and that worried me. In a seaway with the boat rocking having a loose heavy object is stupidity. I knew a solution needed to be found.

The propeller resided under the water pump for a time before moving to the locker under my bunk.

The real cause of the desire to move the propeller was knowing I'll soon be underway. It's amazing how many little projects jump up and need finishing just before leaving. The prop belonged in the bilge. I wanted it secured against the bulkhead.

In the meantime a few tools came out...

I seriously wonder how those folks who write the books (Calder, Casey, et al) can manage to have such neat work sites. Seaweed inevitably looks like a bomb went off, scattering parts, tools and hardware everywhere.

Proof, you want proof? Okay, here goes. The following was taken showing more of my poor boat.

All of this started because my water pump needed to be moved. I've made room for two batteries in that bilge for a start bank. No, I do not "need" two batteries to start a single 18hp Kubota diesel.

It's just that I had two Group 29 batts. One is quite old and I expect it to fail at some point. In the meantime it will add to my battery amperage total and that is a good thing.


Side Note: I had originally intended to use the oldest Group 29 battery in Algae as a power source for my trolling motor. Then I started thinking...

There are boat bums in the world. We all know that.

What I feared was that someone might spot a full-sized battery in my dink and misappropriate it. A smaller battery will take Algae to and from shore and be less tempting to the nefarious. And a little battery fits under my seat. Less obtrusive is better.


Using a smaller battery means I must recharge it frequently. I've solved that issue. An upcoming article will tell you how to do it on a budget. Price: less than $5.


The prop storage project involved installing a couple of tie down eyes on the forward bulkhead of my bilge. Then the propeller was tied to the bulkhead. Easy, secure, out of the way and easily accessible. All is just about perfect in my boat.

A piece of BRAIDED LINE secures the prop to the bulkhead.

The BLOWER sucks hot air from the bilge. I use a PLASTIC DOWNSPOUT to feed the air out.

Side note on the DOWNSPOUT: In the marine stores you can find a flexible white vent hose. It has metal to hold it open. That metal rusts and the thin plastic tears. I opted for a standard house downspout gizmo. It bends and thus far (five years) no issues.

Tie downs are a part of my Stash. I used them to secure the microwave too. They are quite handy and having a half dozen in your ship stores would not be inappropriate. I always try to have a few on hand. Find stainless ones at Home Depot or other box stores. I pay $2 or $3 per pair.

Plastic tie downs are in my view junk. I do not use them on Seaweed. This is something I intend to buy just one time. Thus I opt for the higher quality product in stainless steel.

STAINLESS TIE DOWN is one component securing microwave to the shelf in my galley.

Well, I've wandered around some in today's post. The things to take from this piece are threefold:

  1. Always secure loose items in your bilge. You do not want them flying around and damaging something nearby.

  2. Tie downs are useful for a variety of projects. Having some aboard is a Good Idea.

  3. When in the midst of a project some chaos is expected. It's always good to have everything put away afterwards.


By saving my old propeller should I ever damage this one I have something that is minimally "good enough" to get by with until I replace it. Or, I might be fortunate and find someone that requires a larger prop and is willing to trade for a 14x10. That is the size I would like.

Not all trades are Even/Steven.

I have swapped stainless hinges for LEDs and sockets. Thanks to Guanahani I have low power using lights throughout Seaweed. We both won and that indeed is the secret for any successful trade. Both parties have to win.

Well, I have a 16x16LH prop (1.25" tapered shaft) and at some point I'll have something I want more. In the meantime it is stored securely in my bilge.


That's it from the south today. Getting these little projects out of the way is a good thing. This one was essentially free as all pieces and parts were aboard. That is always a good thing.

In the meantime I'm back to re-reading an old favorite. Swiss Family Robinson is free and available on Amazon for your Kindle. Enjoy!

Do you have a spare propeller for your boat?
And, how did you come by it? (On purpose, or did you replace yours and save the old one?)



Categories: Boat Talk, Boats, Books, Gear, Organizing, Recommendations,

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