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Propeller Care

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Boat Maintenance Special:

By Capt. Bill Pike

Pink propeller

Oh No! A Pink Prop

As we all know, props are pricey. So it was quite understandable when I freaked out about the color of my prop after a routine boatyard haulout—bronze that is corroding for one reason or another evinces a ghastly pinkish color. I addressed the issue by calling a marine electrician upon the advice of my friend, the boatyard foreman. After working his magic on Betty’s bonding system the electrician opined, “You need a shaft brush—your engine’s bonded okay but for some reason its not making good contact with the propshaft and prop so they’re not adequately protected.” The shaft brush the guy subsequently installed for about $60 was a steal by comparison with the price of a new prop. Connected to a copper bonding strap by means of a green #8 wire, it rides atop Betty’s propshaft via an arm secured to an alongside stringer, thereby directly, instead of indirectly, connecting the propshaft and propeller to Betty’s bonding system. Did it fix the problem? Yes indeedy, and a nearby shop rescued my prop with some comparatively inexpensive bronze-infused repair techniques.

Shaft brush

A shaft brush keeps my prop from getting as pink as the poor devil above.