If you are a fisherman, you probably have a boat. If you are not a fisherman, you probably have a boat anyway. What you need is a little knowledge about fishing lines because these can cause considerable damage to the prop of your boat.

How Fishing Line Can Damage a Lower Unit

When a fishing line gets entangled in the around the prop, this is what happens. The fishing line wraps itself around the propeller and moves forward towards the spot where aft end of the housing of the lower unit and the front part of the barrel of the propeller are joined together.

The line eventually moves to the shaft seals after getting sucked into the prop shaft. It gets wound up around the prop shaft. This activity heats it up, and it melts. It becomes brittle on drying. Its edges cut through the gearcase seals. If anything happens to the prop shaft seals, water starts getting into the gearcase.

This reduces the lubricant quality of the gear oil. Changing gearcase liquid is an expensive proposition. This damage will cost you hundreds of dollars in parts and labor.

How Do You Fix It?

Here is how you can remove fishing line from your prop and lower unit easily. Firstly, to avoid any damage, you need to check for fishing line around the propeller every time you get out of the water. Checking every 50 hours is also not a bad idea. Simply take the propeller out and check if there is any fishing line entangled in it. This way, you’ll know about the real damage or any impending damage.

  1. Take off the prop and thrust washer regularly and check for fishing line wound around the prop shaft.
  2. Drain the gear case lubricant periodically to see what color it is. If it’s the regular color and it smells right, then your gear case is ok. However, if it is white and bubbly, it means there is water in it. Contact your local technician and drain the gear lubricant. Check prop shaft for fishing line and remove it.
  3. For smaller fishing lines caught in your prop, scratch the area where the shaft passes through the seal. If line comes out of the seal, contact your local technician.
  4. Trim the motor, take off the drain screw which is attached to the bottom of the gear case. Then open the vent screw. Then you will be able to drain the gear case lube.

How Remove the Prop and Check

Tips To Avoid Damages

If you want your boat not to suffer damages due to fishing lines getting entangled in your prop or gear case, do a regular checkup.

  • Periodically, after you come out of water, take out the propeller and check to see if there is fishing line caught in it.
  • If there is all you have to do is unwind it and take it out.
  • If there is no fishing line in the propeller, check the gear case fluid.

Drain the fluid periodically to see if it is alright. In case it isn’t contact your local mechanic so that he can change the gear case lube. Most importantly, keep your ears open for any irregular sounds from your propeller. If you hear anything irregular, check it out. It’s a real easy fix that will get you back on the water in no time!

Featured Image – Life’s Better with a Boat/YouTube

Categories: Boat Props