April 2006 --
This is really self indulgent.
Since I'm putting in a new engine
I need a new prop. My old one wasn't pitched right, and for some reason it has become really pitted after only five years. It's probably the marina, but I don't know if the damage was caused before I installed a galvanic isolator.
Besides the stainless steel construction,
this one can be repitched in the water.
I've never had a properly pitched prop, but have bought four of them in my brief life. Every time, the expert asks the same questions about engine, gear reduction, waterline, displacement,
and every time it's wrong.
I figure I could spend $400 on a Michigan prop, guess wrong on the pitch and have to spend $600 hauling and $200 having it repitched, and maybe I'd get it right but probably not. So I'd have to spend another $400 on a new prop (you can only repitch once) and $600 on the haul to replace it, and try a third time and might get it right.
Just for fun, I put a little bit of grease on the facing ends before bolting it back together.
The seam is so tightly machined that it's
virtually invisible when the unit is assembled, but maybe a few little bits
of grease will remain in the seam,
and that's a good thing.
I got it a while back, and it sat on the coffee
as a conversation piece.
It replaced my old conversation piece, which
was the Ritchie compass that belongs on my pedestal.
The Ritchie compass was a poor conversation piece, because it didn't do anything. It just sat there and pointed in the same direction all the time. Whoopee.
I now know exactly where North is in my living room.
This was much better for a coffee table ornament,
because one could play with the blades
and make it do things.
Like the Maxprop, or any of these fancy props,
you have to hack off the end of
a perfectly good prop shaft.
Gee. What's the deal with that?
Now I can never put a backup prop on
without a major hassle.
No, it doesn't have to be this way.
A good engineer could have designed it
to fit on a normal shaft.
I'd planned on this, and wanted to drill a
hole through the cutoff end for a cotter pin,
but all my drill bits broke on the shaft.
I said heck with it and moved forward.
I sure hope I don't regret it someday.
So, I could potentially spend $2,200 and a lot of time, pain and agony getting a new prop pitched perfectly for my new engine.
Or... I could spend a boatload of money on this cool feathering
prop that can be
repitched in the water.
This is called rationalizing.
Isn't it great?
Since I was in the yard,
and they have lots of free air,
I used a right-angle die grinder
to polish off the end.
This tool is a haulout essential, in my opinion.
Getting it on was a bit of trouble,
since I don't have an engine in
and couldn't lock down the shaft.
After some seriously creative work with three sets of neoprene hose/vice grips I was able to brace the shaft and get the requisite torque on the nut using a 1/2" torque wrench.
Then, I had to overtorque it
so that the little notches would line up
and I could punch in the little brass/bronze pin. You can see the pin on the SouthWest corner of the nut. Before you can punch it in,
you have to make two notches line up.
It's a game.
It's a swearing game.
Here's a couple of pics
of the adjusment posts.
The interior is packed with grease,
and taking it apart would be a pain,
so you can turn these posts on the outside of prop to change pitch.
After measuring ten times
(I don't want to screw this up)
I cut once.
I noticed that my favorite yard
doesn't stock these zincs.
I'd better make sure my diver does.
There's a stainless core through the center of the zinc, so that it won't
eat away internally around the bolt.
There's a zerk fitting on the tail,
where you pack it with grease.
From what I understand, if you keep it full of grease, saltwater won't get inside and start corroding the gears.
I'm going to pack it like heck, and then wait until my 2008 haul and pull the whole thing apart to see how it looks.