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Old 02-13-2010, 03:23 PM   #21
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I've had two episodes where line wrapped around my shaft and both of them involved having to dive on the boat (at a later time) with scuba gear.



One story is described on this page, another is described here.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:43 AM   #22
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A simple solution which I have used a couple of times in the last forty years or so is to get some one to hold the end of the line that is attached to the prop out over the side with finger tips making sure that the line is free to run.

Hold the line out over the side and pull it up gently with finger tips, now with a person in the cock pit who can see it clearly, start the engine in neutral and idling then very very carefully put the engine into gear and pull it out of gear again.

If the line continued to coil around the shaft /prop then put it in the opposite gear then it will uncoil. The line must be held carefully so it can be released if it wants to take the holder with it. It must also be held at right angles to where the propeller is.

I have used this method twice so far and it worked beautifully each time.

Getting in the water at sea is not to be taken lightly and I would not recomend it unless it is flat calm and no wind, a friend once used this method to free his prop and was nearly killed when he accidentaly stabbed himself in the head when his boat rolled.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:11 PM   #23
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Another good thread or topic!

I read all the previous posts. Enjoyed the stories and the thoughts you all shared.

My experience with this was out in pacific half way from Hawaii to California.

Yarn coming.....

It was morning watch (others asleep below) and as part of diligence I looked behind the boat. I was surprised to see a very large bright green sea dragon following our boat. It was about 50 feet long! It swam with an undulating motion of its tail. It had multiple bulging eyes that surfaces as it rolled in our wake. Ugly thing!

Of course this turned out to be a large section of green fish net with a few plastic floats, it was about 50 feet long that had caught on the prop. It was very dense stuff, must have been deep gill net.

We hove to, one of the crew put on a tether and mask and jumped over to cut us free.

Lots of tools have been mentioned.

For cutting tightly wrapped lines such as a jib sheet, a hack saw would be my first choice. Long strokes make faster work. Second choice would be long serrated blade (the bread knife sound very good). straight edge divers knifes are often dull stainless or have very small serrated surface, so would not be my first choice.

For cutting nets, I would use a different tool. Small lines used in nets are best cut using heavy "scissors" which makes it easier to do the cutting with one hand. So pack a pair of specialty vey heavy duty scissors or pruning shears (as used by gardeners). Really, when under water, heavy "shears" work better than most knives and are faster on loose stuff. After getting tangled once scuba diving I dove with a pair instead of a knife.

I like the plunger idea and suction cup too. I can see how those would be handy.

But I have another idea. If the boat does not have a plunger on board, I would pass another line under the hull and snug it close to prop, sort of like a belt around the boat. This becomes a hand hold that goes around the boat from port to starboard and makes it easier to stay in place if there is current or slight swell even if coming up for air or break or communication. Not too tight to prevent the diver from getting a grip. The diver goes up and back down holding the line. Remove the line after the diver is back aboard.

Others have mentioned some of the risks: head injury from hull coming down on diver, entanglement, hooks in fishing lines, and premature engine starting. Good to be aware of those.

Safe sailing!
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:27 AM   #24
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Default Use rubber suction cupped gripper

Several years ago I ended up with the spinnaker sheet wrapped around my prop in the Singlehanded Guadalupe Race/// Pulled in behind the island (lee side) and went overboard with knife, hooka and rubber 'gripper (to hold onto the boat while it bucked up and down - thereby keeping myself away from the hull). Hated to cut the high-tech line, but figured it was better to have a free prop with all the MX freighters around not using lights and sailing under autopilot... didn't have to use the engine on the trip back up to CA, but felt a lot safer knowing that I could if needed.

Only stupid thing I did was not tie myself to the boat...sails were up and luffing... when I got back onboard and realized my stupidity, I cursed myself for the next hour while sailing back out into 25 knots upwind for the next few days. Suppose I could have swum to the island, but Robinson Winkel was not who I wanted to be.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:48 AM   #25
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OUR EXPERIENCE - We were on a mooring buoy just off of the Caves of Norman Island, BVI. As we attempted to motor up to the buoy to release, we got our prop shaft tangled in another buoy's submerged tether. These were our actions: 1 - Shift into Neutral immediately / 2 - Assess the situation - With the backwind coming over the cliffs, there was an onshore breeze toward the rocks 100 ft away, however the snagged prop was holding us - Don't do anything to screw this up until another mooring method was in place / 3 - Deploy the main anchor via the dinghy offshore and into the wind. Ensure that it is set and the rode is taught / 4 - Send a crewman over the side to deal with the line around the prop shaft / 5 - When clear, start the engine and ensure that it is operational / 6 - Retrieve the anchor and motor away with another experience in the memory banks. George - gts1544
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:54 PM   #26
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Suction lifter can be another name for a toilet plunger, which works well.
I have a blade at a 45 degree angle, bolted to my deadwood , just touching my prop hub, around which a line would have to tighten, in order to warp around the prop shaft. Works well on half inch line , but has problems with1 1/4 inch poly steel.
I think a hunter's gut hook on a pole would be handy for cutting line or nets off a prop.
A long enough pole would let you do the cutting with your snorkel out of the water the whole time, eliminating the need to hold your breath, or get under the boat.
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