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Weeds in the prop?

Jun 17, 2012
165
Hunter 356 Mackinaw City, MI
Ok so here we are in our 2002 356 yesterday. We were motoring into the Sturgeon Bay very busy channel. we were motoring about 4.5 kts. Suddenly we noticed the speed dropping while the rpms remained steady. after A few preliminary panic checks (prop shaft rotation, reverse action,) we figured it was weeds big time in the prop. We continued to deal with this until we found a marina slip (2 miles). in the last few hundred yards we noticed that the boat had very restricted forward motion regardless of throttle. So we think the prop and or keel are (hopefully) very weed fouled-still. It’s a 2 blade oem prop. Due to safety regulations in the marina ( electrical Shock potential) I can’t put on the mask and go take a look. Has any other sailor ever dealt with this. And incidentally this water channel is nearly totally covered with floating weed colonies….
 
Feb 10, 2004
3,471
Hunter 40.5 Warwick, RI
My experience is that a hard reverse throttle will clear any weeds. However, is it possible that you picked up a piece of line that was floating in or under the water? That has happened to me and the performance result was exactly like you describe.

As an aside....
We have made 6-7 Maine cruises and since I have a feathering prop ($$$) I installed a line cutter before our first Maine cruise. I found that the cutter worked great when hitting submerged lobster pots (if you can't see them, you can't avoid them). However, we did hit a piece of line with a pot attached that was not connected to a trap. The line nicely wound up around our prop and we limped back to the marina we had just left and had a diver untangle the mess. The problem is that with a floating line, it can't be pulled tight against the cutting edge of the line cutter, so it just winds up.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,456
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Have run into hydrillia in the California Delta on a skiboat and to avoid fouling the engine is put neutral until the boat passes through it. Another boat has a line cutter on each shaft to mitigate propeller / shaft fouling.
 
Apr 11, 2010
853
Hunter 38 Whitehall MI
The last time we were in the sturgeon Bay Area I recall they had weed harvesters working every day to cut and haul the stuff away. With at hot as it’s been this year weed growth has been heavy. Along with that wonderful toxic blue green algae.

Typically a hard reverse will unwind it for me. On occasion I’ve had to go anchor somewhere and pull some more difficult pieces out of the prop though.

Enjoy the area. Fish Creek and Egg Harbor are two of our favorites in Door County.
 
Jun 17, 2012
165
Hunter 356 Mackinaw City, MI
Thanks everybody. Weed update; found a local diver and he found No weeds in the prop but a Christmas tree sized bird nest of weeds wrapped around the prop shaft support. So my luck…no amount of reversing would have dislodged the entanglement. He spent plenty of time cutting…oh my what an adventure.
 
May 24, 2004
6,750
CC 30 South Florida
Any good marina should have at the very least a diver service they authorize and can recommend. If a hard reverse with the boat tied at the doc does not clear the obstruction a diver will be necessary and they cannot use that rule to push out to sea in an unsafe condition.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,776
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
My marina says no swimming, and yet every weekend people are in the water. I have done it myself once - rope wrapped around the prop - and I dove in to cut the rope off.

Not saying you should, and maybe your marina is more strict, but it can be done.


Greg
 
Oct 30, 2011
88
Hunter Cherubini 27 Mason
I dealt with this very same problem yesterday, We'er on Piscataqua river near Dover NH, we came onto some very heay weed flows, engine bogged down and loss of headway. Shifting from forward to reverse several times seemed to help clear the problem, but there was still a definite loss of expected headway give engine rpm. Once we were back on our mooring I dove down to check the prop. There was still a large mass of weeds wrapped around the prop shaft just forward of the prop. Weeds were wrappd so tight I could barely pull them off by hand. Needed to go back down with a diving knife to cut them off,.
 
Last edited:
Feb 10, 2004
3,471
Hunter 40.5 Warwick, RI
Get a Hook Knife. It is an amazing tool! It will fit on extendable handles too. It has saved me several times.

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