Tip of the Week: Carry a Spare Prop & Prop Wrench

A spare prop and prop wrench can save the day. Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.
A spare prop and prop wrench can save the day. Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Carrying a spare propeller and prop wrench onboard your boat can get you out of a jam should you strike a rock and damage the existing prop.

Perform the prop swap on a beach or some place where you can retrieve any washers, bushings, pins or nuts that accidentally fall off. If that’s not an option, have some one hold a landing net with a towel or shirt placed inside below the lower unit to catch any parts while you remove the propeller. Oh, and remember the order in which the hardware was attached when you install the new prop!

A propeller wrench can also come in handy if you happen to pick up loose fishing line on the water. While you might be tempted to simply cut the line and continue on, note that the line—especially braided line—can damage the seal around the prop shaft, allowing water to enter the lower-unit gearcase. Therefore, the safest move is to remove the prop and make sure all of the line is removed.