I have a 1978 Beneteau 30 with a folding prop that I believe is original. I would like to replace it with a fixed-blade prop, but I cannot figure out how to remove it. The design appears to be different than any I've seen. Can you help?
Dan Dickison responds:
There are a couple of things you can try. First, of course, make sure that you've removed the retaining nut(s) from the shaft aft of the propeller. If you can't seem to seat a prop puller on the prop, you can always resort to a small block of hardwood and a hammer. Set the hardwood against the boss of the propeller and knock that smartly aft with the hammer. If your shaft is one with a key way in it, you'll probably have to concentrate on that area because that's where the greatest friction is likely to be.
After doing that, if the prop still won't move, the pros recommend that you get yourself a propane torch and heat up the hub of the prop. You need to be sure that you're heating the hub evenly and not just in one area, so move the flame around in a uniform fashion to cause all sides of the hub to heat up and expand. Once the prop is sufficiently heated, you should be able to tap it off with the wood and the hammer.
Now, if all of those methods fail, you should probably get in touch with the manufacturer of the prop and see if they have any additional suggestions for you. Best of luck with your project.