How to Care for Your Boat’s Propeller

A damaged propeller can cause all sorts of problems for boaters. A dinged-up prop can sap your fuel tank or, worse, leave you stranded. But you can avoid most boat propeller problems by being prepared and by keeping up with regular maintenance. Here’s how to do that.

  • Inspect your propeller before every outing. A damaged prop can cause problems for your engine, propeller and stern gear. So get any nicks and dents fixed immediately.
  • Regularly remove your prop so you can take off anything that may have gotten tangled around it like fishing line.
  • Be aware of your boat’s performance. A drop in speed or fuel efficiency, or any vibration, could be a sign of a propeller problem.
  • Clean your prop on a regular basis to make sure it doesn’t become corroded.
  • Put waterproof grease on your propeller shaft to keep it from getting corroded.
  • Regularly inspect your prop nut to make sure it doesn’t loosen and fall off.
  • Always carry a spare propeller onboard. It can help you get home if you have prop troubles on the water, and can allow you to keep boating if your regular prop is being repaired.