WARNING SIGNS AND SAFETY NEWS FROM BOATU.S. MARINE INSURANCE
This sailboat propeller has been incorrectly fitted, and the prop may end up out of center and wobble, caus- ing severe wear on the cutless bearing, not to men- tion wear on the nerves of skipper from the vibration.
The bronze key should not be visible sticking out the back
of the prop (arrow). This indicates that the key is the wrong
size for either the prop, the shaft, or possibly both. Also, the
prop hub has some rounding marks where it’s been hit with
a hammer, presumably to remove the prop from the shaft.
Unless done very carefully by a skilled expert and in conjunction with use of a prop puller, striking a prop can cause it to
become out of round, again leading to vibration and damage
to the driveline. Normally only a proper puller should be used.
One more thing to mention: The prop should not be
farther from the cutless bearing than the diameter of the
shaft (this one is too far). Otherwise the shaft could eventually break from the prop’s stress.
There’s a ton of stuff going on in this picture
– and nearly all of
it is bad.
1. The battery
charger is bolted
horizontally next to
the batteries and is
sitting in the bilge
where even a little
bit of water will
cause a short circuit
or even a fire.
2. Neither of the
batteries are retained in position with straps or hold-downs. That red thing (top right)
with the two rusty studs on it is a battery hold-down, but it looks like it’s been doing
hard time in a wet bilge for a while.
3. There are five connections to the battery stud on the lower battery; four is the
allowed maximum. It’s worth noting that one of these connections is just a bare wire
that has been smashed under the nut and washer.
4. Finally, there is a spare brown wire that is not connected to anything lying on top
of the battery. Depending on what this is, this is another potential source of a fire if
it accidentally contacts the wrong battery post.
BACK IT UP
Anything that penetrates the deck has to be (a) well-sealed and (b) fastened with a sturdy backing plate. This backing
plate for a small deck winch is neither.
It’s cracked so it’s no longer strong
enough to do its job, and water is
leaking through from the deck above,
causing corrosion of the bolts. Water is
most likely also finding its way into the
deck core. If the corroded bolts fail, the
winch (and whatever it’s holding) can
go flying. A rotted core is not easy to
repair; prevention is periodic removal