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Old 17 July 2015, 19:37   #1
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Propsavers???

I was considering one of these propsavers (the plastic ones).

I know there is no substitute for careful boat handling but as my SR4 is likely to be used an awful lot for towing the kids on watertoys, I was wondering if it would be good idea as a little extra precaution.

Local cadets use them on their ribs without exception.

But I've read few bits of info online to suggest they can have a negative impact on a boats general handling...

Knowing that not everything you read online is good advice, I'm just wondering if any members have experience with them?

They are 170ish odd quid so just want to get some user thoughts before splashing out. Seems a lot of mixed opinions?
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Old 18 July 2015, 03:54   #2
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Assuming this is a prop guard. I'm not sure prop saver suggests the right thing. Prop vs person in water you can do what you like to the prop its the person that matters. Anyway

They do reduce power. Someone who knows more will be along soon I'm sure.

Sea Cadets have adopted it nationally as a mandated requirement. Very few sailing clubs have. Sea Cadets have children who may be 'arsing' (rafting, paddling, sailing, other recognised watersports and some that may appear less disciplined) around in water, sailing clubs tend to have people doing relatively predictable things near to boats. Rescue boats near to boats **generally** operate at low speeds.

RNLI, Army, Navy don't use them. All put people in water in awkward situations.

Some would suggest guarding it makes you complacent. Guarding doesn't prevent a prop strike. There was some suggestion that strikes that might be fatal were reduced but "minor" glancing blows might become worse as its easier to entangle in...

My suspicion is for your own kids who you can educate that there is a f*n dangerous mincer on the back if the boat you have less of an issue. It's the other water users, the swimmer you didn't see because you were looking over your shoulder at the kids on the toys, the kids best friend who comes for a one off...

Think you will get mixed opinions, and hard to prove it ever worked...
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Old 18 July 2015, 05:07   #3
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I have simple rules for safety when ringo-ing
1) engine OFF when they are climbing on to it / off it
2) pay the tow line out before starting the engine -to prevent anyone messing around with bridle / tow line over the stern with the prop turning
3) Pick up from the water as a MOB - careful approach and engine OFF before recovering them inboard
4) if recovering them on the ringo engine OFF before hauling in the tow rope
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Old 18 July 2015, 05:28   #4
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We had plastic ones on our sailing club safety boats, but only briefly. All three of them were noticeably slower in both acceleration and top speed. I don't recall any other differences in handling.

We launch and recover on an unprotected shingle beach, so they only lasted a couple of months before the first breakage. If I remember rightly, the most used one didn't even make it through a whole season before it was taken off. We also managed to damage one on another club's boat that came to help us out for a week a couple of years ago.

Having a sensible operating procedure like Lakelandterrier's — and sticking to it — is much cheaper and much more beneficial, in my opinion.
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Old 18 July 2015, 06:41   #5
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Thankyou for the replies. Its exactly the sort of info I was looking for.

Yes...its engine off for me when near kids in water at all anyway. And I

Sounds like they are not worth the bother then.

I'm extremely cautious with the kids in the water anyway...still remember clearly, a really close shave about 7 years ago...young boy literally ran over by a fletcher speedboat that was coming in slow but busy chatting to his mate and ran straight through designated swimming area. The boy literally dissapeared under the boat and popped up a few meters behind the stern...completely uninjured thankfully.

Anyway, it was something I thought worth enquiring about as a secondary measure.

Thanks for the frank and honest replies.
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Old 18 July 2015, 08:17   #6
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If you want to get an idea what it will do to your speed/acceleration get a large strong bucket, drill some holes in the bottom and tow it behind the boat on a bridle!

Of course it might save a dreadful accident, but there is strong evidence that every bit of safety equipment introduces some element of risk compensation in the user. This is not something you can avoid it is ingrained in our mentality.

Don't forget that whilst the prop is the really scary bit the hull itself at any reasonable speed can do some serious damage too. In various watersports over the years I've been recovered by a lot of ribs with varying degrees of helmsman skill. I've never once been really concerned about the prop (because not only are they prop aware but I won't go near it until they turn it off) but I have had a couple of painful smacks to the head from the hull at not much more than walking pace.

I'm not saying the cadets have made the wrong decision, but they've had to assess risks which are different from yours, and formulate a policy they can apply country wide.
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Old 18 July 2015, 08:17   #7
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And yes...you are correct.

Should have worded as prop guard since my query wasn't remotely focused on protecting the prop itself.
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Old 18 July 2015, 08:57   #8
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bear in mind, if you pick up a weed which is attached to a small rock the rock can get pulled into the cage and will truly ruin your prop.
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Old 18 July 2015, 09:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starovich View Post
bear in mind, if you pick up a weed which is attached to a small rock the rock can get pulled into the cage and will truly ruin your prop.
And that's a valid point I never even thought off.

Thanks again for all the replies.
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