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Thread: Prop Shaft Lock

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    95

    Default Prop Shaft Lock

    Perhaps a simple question, but I am wondering how people lock off their prop shaft while they are charging their batteries under sail. If I put my transmission in neutral while sailing, the shaft spins like mad. I typically put the transmission in reverse with the engine off to lock the shaft with the folding blades closed.

    I would like to lock the prop off to charge the batteries, but in a way that can easily be overridden if I need to engage the engine in an emergency situation (i.e. without having to go below, undo something from the shaft, etc.). Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
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    65

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    On locking the shaft by putting the transmission in reverse... note that works for folding props but will lock most feathering props open (ie you are sailing dragging a bucket behind you). Maxprop recommends turning the engine iff with the transmission still in gear... the boats forward motion will then feather the prop...and then later putting in neutral. Best wishes!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Montara, CA
    Posts
    733

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimQuanci View Post
    On locking the shaft by putting the transmission in reverse... note that works for folding props but will lock most feathering props open (ie you are sailing dragging a bucket behind you). Maxprop recommends turning the engine iff with the transmission still in gear... the boats forward motion will then feather the prop...and then later putting in neutral. Best wishes!
    Oh my. I think I've been dragging a bucket. I've been putting my relatively recent MaxProp in reverse when I sail. Looks like I need to go back and read the instructions more closely. Dang....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,866

    Default

    Uh oh. Now she's gonna start beating us.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamayun View Post
    Oh my. I think I've been dragging a bucket. I've been putting my relatively recent MaxProp in reverse when I sail. Looks like I need to go back and read the instructions more closely. Dang....
    Depends on your setup...My Yanmar recommends leaving transmission in neutral.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Montara, CA
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    Depends on your setup...My Yanmar recommends leaving transmission in neutral.
    Yes, I used to keep it in neutral when I had the fixed prop on. My engine is also a Yanmar. Does the same hold for the folding props? Argh. Just when I think I have SOME of these things figured out.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    156

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamayun View Post
    Yes, I used to keep it in neutral when I had the fixed prop on. My engine is also a Yanmar. Does the same hold for the folding props? Argh. Just when I think I have SOME of these things figured out.....
    We need to do an experiment...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    That's what I was thinking.

    After 15 years of always closing the prop in the same sequence, Dave came aboard and did it in a different order, which worked just fine. So a second pair of eyes, plus listening/feeling the boat and watching the knotmeter, is the way to work it out. In my boat's case it also helps to know when the folded prop is in the least turbulent position but you'd need a diver for that. Do you happen to know one?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    545

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    When I sailed my Newport 30 with an Atomic 4 and a simple folding 2-blade prop l marked the prop shaft when the blades were folded alongside the shaft. A scribe mark. To "lock" the prop I'd dive into the cockpit hatch with a "C" clamp, align the mark up and clamp the shaft just enough to keep it from hand turning. Of course I had to remember to reverse the procedure. But if I forgot, don't ask, the force of the engine would toss the clamp off with a thud to remind me to remember the next time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Montara, CA
    Posts
    733

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    That's what I was thinking.

    After 15 years of always closing the prop in the same sequence, Dave came aboard and did it in a different order, which worked just fine. So a second pair of eyes, plus listening/feeling the boat and watching the knotmeter, is the way to work it out. In my boat's case it also helps to know when the folded prop is in the least turbulent position but you'd need a diver for that. Do you happen to know one?
    Hey yeah, hmmm, no wait, errr.....does this mean I would have to be towed off the back, holding on and looking at the prop, while it goes into forward, reverse or neutral? Sounds like a good way to earn a Darwin Award

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