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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10592
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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T a submerged rock at about 6-8 knots about 7 PM tonight in

Customer Question

Hit a submerged rock at about 6-8 knots about 7 PM tonight in my 1986 Ski Nautique 2001. Wheel jerked in my hands, log metallic sound, boat stalled out. Restarted boat, engine not happy, ran a bit rough. In gear forwards, ok at slow speeds, sounds different and unhappy. Anything over about 1500 RPM and the vibration, noise, etc. bad. Have to keep throttle on more than usual to keep boat moving forwards at low speed.
At dock, went down and looked for damage. Rudder ok, shaft and bronze shaft pylon look fine, OEM three balded prop however has evidence of a good scrape and one blade has a 1" x 1" section bent dog eared at 90 degrees to the rest of the blade. other blades show evidence of nicks on edges,but, nothing bent anywhere else.
Now what? will I be able to bend back that dog ear enough to enjoy the boat for the summer and deal with this in October? If not, can you do the prop replacement while it's in the water(5' deep). If not, with the bent blade will the boat still climb up on the bunks the trailer came with as it does not have a winch and floatingall the way on is not an option( I don't think).
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 3 months ago.

Hello. My name is Tan.

The prop will have to be reconditioned. When you hit a submerged object and it bends the prop it knocks it out of balance. This will cause damage to the running gear and the transmission due to vibration. The prop can be changed in the water as long as you can get it off. It might take a prop puller to get the prop off.

No you can't as the prop is out of balance.

Yes you should be able to get the boat back on the trailer as it will only be a short burst of power to get it on.

When the boat is out of the water you need to inspect the strut real well and check the prop shaft to be sure it isn't bent.

Post back with questions and concerns.

Expert:  Tan replied 3 months ago.

Do you need further assistance on this issue?

Thank you.....Tan

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Tan:
Did some quick checking on a replacement prop. Seems like$400-$450 for the prop and another $50-$150 for either a prop puller or a more complete case and kit. The prop being reconditioned would seem to mean more down time in my already short New England summer, so I am thinking replacement of a 30 year old prop which shows other signs of earlier nicks and scrapes might be the best path forwards. Thoughts?
Second question: Worth the effort to motor over to pull the boat out and do this repair or is it simple enough for a first timer that the only real difference is being wet and working with wet tools? Have never done a prop before, seems rather straight forward. I have done carburetors, alternators, starters and batteries as well as a large number of hoses and filters over the years. Getting it off is my only worry as it looks like the original 1986 prop. Will in the water or out make much of a difference on that score?Thanks,Steve
Expert:  Tan replied 3 months ago.

Hello Steve. Yes you will have down time getting the prop repaired. Buy a new prop to save time then have the old prop reconditioned as a spare for next time.

I would pull the boat as you can do the work much easier and you will be able to inspect all the running gear for other damage.

Removing a prop in the water can be difficult if it is on real tight. It is hard to get leverage in the water.

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