What smacking a boulder does to your lower unit gears

7/8/10 @ 10:08 PM
ORIGINAL POST
BoatFever
BoatFever
USER since 10/7/07
Today, I picked up my boat from a lower unit rebuild. I had hit some boulders just beneath the surface in a bone-headed maneuver that cost me $1070. From the sound it was making, I thought my entire engine was falling apart, but it was just the gears in the lower unit. I thought I'd post a picture of the gear for everyone's amusement and so you can say "Glad that wasn't me!" which is the opposite of "Sucks to be you!".

Enjoy and Safe Boating! Wink Cool

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 15 Posts
7/16/10 @ 8:27 PM
Boatdoctor
Boatdoctor
USER since 12/3/05
I have seen countless damaged gears, mainly from stainless steel props. Secondarily from aluminum props. Something has to give, and it will be the weakest link. I see driveshafts twist, propshafts twist with aluminum props. I see gears crack, driveshafts break, propshafts break, with stainless props. Stainless are far less forgiving, but aluminum props will transfer damage as well.

For all you guys, regardless of what you decide to run on your motor, here's the best free advice you'll ever get regarding your boat:

Make sure your insurance provider has your boat covered for striking an underwater object. If it's not, get it soon. If you're not insured at all,check with your homeowner's policy holder. They can attach most boats for less than $300 per year.

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7/11/10 @ 7:17 AM
Steve @ G & S
Steve @ G & S
MEMBER since 6/15/01
muskie-addict asked:

What "stuff" have you hit at slow speeds with your SS props that wrecked an output shaft or mashed your gears......

Nothing, and that's my point. Give me stainless any day.

Where are you boating anyway that you hit so much stuff?

Anywhere from up in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico (prior to the spill). I've hit rocks, stumps, gravel bars on Boom Lake in Rhinelander, the same on Lake Mohawksin and the Wisconsin River.

I've banged boulders in Canada and Oyster Bars in the Gulf.

Then here on Kentucky Lake, we have in the water, old building foundations, roadbeds, shell beds and trees that the flood pulled loose. Plus occasionally I'll have a brain fart and hit the lake bottom at various shallow water boat landings. Fish as often as I do, in as many different places and you will hit things eventually.

The point I'm trying to make is that I've been out with friends in their boats and I've felt low speed hits on their aluminum props that tore it all to heck. And with my stainless, I've only had to file out a nick or two.

Formerly Steve @ G & S

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7/10/10 @ 10:02 PM
muskie-addict
muskie-addict
USER since 6/9/02
What "stuff" have you hit at slow speeds with your SS props that wrecked an output shaft or mashed your gears......that if you'd have had an aluminum prop, you might have serrated a fin or two, or removed a fin or two, done no damage to your lower unit, gears, etc., and only been out a $100 some odd dollar prop?

Where are you boating anyway that you hit so much stuff?

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7/10/10 @ 7:21 PM
MrGloomis
MrGloomis
USER since 1/12/08
Can you grind me a pound too? Just kidding, yes, im glad that wasn't me.

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7/10/10 @ 1:56 PM
Steve @ G & S
Steve @ G & S
MEMBER since 6/15/01
And for what I'd spend repairing and replacing props on an annual basis, I think I'll stay with stainless. I can't tell you how often I've hit something with my stainless prop and it just bounced off, where an aluminum prop would have been trashed!

Yes, if you hit something at speed, it doesn't matter what prop you have, you're going to trash something. If you don't know where you are on the lake, then slow down. If you're in stumps or rocks, idle through until you're in the clear. And sometimes you're going to damage gears.

Formerly Steve @ G & S

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7/10/10 @ 1:04 PM
muskie-addict
muskie-addict
USER since 6/9/02
'The thing is about aluminum, sometimes it gives before the gears, sometimes it doesn't. And given that, I'd rather have the performance and durability....

As much as I respect nearly everything Steve says, I gotta somewhat disagree with ya on this one, bud.

I'm not boat doctor by any means. But I don't think that 90% of us would notice any performance loss with the motors most of us run.

Aluminum gives some. Stainless gives basically none.

I run a SS because its what came on my boat. But I think given the choice I'd choose a nice aluminum prop. At least with aluminum you have a chance that the prop will bear the brunt of the impact and save the guts of your engine and lower unit. Versus with a stainless that might be mangled and need either expensive fixing or replacing...... AND you could very well have a bent output shaft or something else to ALSO repair if you have an impact.

Just my opinion.

Good fishin', Eric

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7/10/10 @ 12:24 PM
FISHEAD
FISHEAD
USER since 7/2/01
Years ago I was in eastern Ontario fishing a small lake in my ranger bass boat 17ft. with a 150 evenrude, took the stainless prop of and put a aluminum prop on. Had a life jacket blow out of the boat when I had 3 kids out. The next day took the oldest with me to look for it . Just idleing around , she's standing on the bow and I have my hand on the controls hit a rock or what ever and thought she was going to fall over the bow, hit the gas to keep her from going forward , she didn't fall in. found the life jacket, and was going to get on plane , the motor was vibrating badly . Beach the boat by the cottage and trim up the motor to change the prop , the prop didn't look that bad , till I took it off , the spline was bent. When I got home took the boat in , 5800.00 for a new lower unit. Thank goodness for under water obstuction insurance.Beind a new boat with a new motor , it took almost 2 months to get it fixed. Crying

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7/10/10 @ 10:45 AM
PumpScout
PumpScout
USER since 9/21/08
Had a renter do something similar to one of my 'toons once. He knew he'd done it, and didn't gripe about the $1400 repair job. 40hp Yamaha 4S, involved replacing the entire lower, plus prop (aluminum, we didn't put stainless on anything). The whole thing was thrashed, and he was going slow when it happened.

Things happen out there, that's for sure!

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7/9/10 @ 10:07 AM
Steve @ G & S
Steve @ G & S
MEMBER since 6/15/01
gmjammer,

The lower unit gears could have ended up looking the same even with an aluminum prop. The thing is about aluminum, sometimes it gives before the gears, sometimes it doesn't. And given that, I'd rather have the performance and durability....

Formerly Steve @ G & S

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7/9/10 @ 9:54 AM
BoatFever
BoatFever
USER since 10/7/07
I was running a stainless, but wasn't really going that fast. I was at no wake speed going between two islands up North and there were some large boulders about a foot below the surface. The prop's blades were curled over like a Frito and the skeg was bent pretty good, too. Expensive little gears! You'd think they were made out of gold.

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 15 Posts