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How To Clear The Propeller On A Narrowboat

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Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 2:15pm

Advice On De Fouling The Propellor On A Narrowboat

There is often a lot of debris in the canals, particularly at this time of the year after winter winds have blown twigs, leaves and general rubbish into the water. This can cause problems with rubbish and debris getting caught up in the propeller of your narrowboat, which in turn can cause stress to your boats engine.

As the propeller on a narrow boat turns during cruising, any leaves or debris that are floating or suspended in the water can collect on the propeller blades and get stuck in a lump on the propeller. As a result, the narrowboat will be loosing drive and this can potentially make the engine overheat, putting a strain on the engine.

If you are experiencing loss of drive and engine stress and you think that you have something caught in your propeller, first of all try putting the boat into reverse and back again a few times, to see if this clears the problem. If this fails, you need to stop the boat and moor up in a safe place. For safety reasons, make sure that you isolate the batteries and take the keys out of the ignition so that no-one can start the engine. Get down into the engine room, remove the weedhatch and have a look down into the propeller to see if you can see anything. You can then try to get the blockage out using your hands. If this doesn't work, you can buy a tool which is called a 'prop mate' this is basically like a knife on a the end of a long metal handle. Push the tool down into the weedhatch and move it around making sure that it's all tightened and sealed down properly. De-isolate the batteries and start the engine, hey presto! Away you go!

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