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  #11  
Old 04-17-2006
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The prop was made by Autoprop. I forwarded the pics to Caliber and they said that they have never seen a prop blade sheer like that. They too believe that the prop failed. Be warned if you have an Autoprop. As for the comment above about the strut being inferior, Caliber's comment was that it was a good thing that the strut was 2 peice (and thus allowed it to break off). If it had been one piece it could have ripped a hole in the hull - and we would have certainly sunk the boat. Our friends have a Tartan that this happened to. Their boat "sunk" in their slip when they inadvertantly wrapped a dock line around their prop, and pulled their strut out completely through their hull. (Upon inspection, it was determined that the strut had been damaged and badly repaired.)
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Count your blessings and make a sacrifice to the sea gods.

I hope that Autoprop is going to help with the repairs and replace the prop. Let us know what happens. There are too many manufactureres that don't stand behind their products, it would be nice to find one who does.
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2006
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You may not be happy about this, but to me You have made a too hasty conlusion. I have a litle too much free time at the moment so I used it to 'blow up' and 'clean' your pictures to study the damages more closely. Unfortunately I have not seen the damage myself, only the pics but:
I do not think the propeller is to blame!
I still think the strut broke first.
The surface of the broken strut looks rater eaten up when it concerns the part left at the hull.
The dammage of the propeller hub indicates that the blade has been knocked off by a 'sledge hammer' more than a broken center bolt has sent the blade flying off.
The damage where the stern tube comes out of the hull indicates that the shaft has been sent 'down' with a considderable force.
Your shaft seems to be rather bent, and it would be interesting to see the distance to the hull when holding up the shaft where the blade is missing and what it takes to 'bend' it up to make a blade hit the hull.
The dammage on the hull from the blade seems to be in a possition and a pattern that it may only have been made while the blade was still at the hub/propeller.
When You had the boat up did you dismantle the propeller and lubricate it according to the yearly maintanance instruction?

I do not accuse you of anything, I feel sorry for anyone haveing such a breakdown. However if You do not find the real cause for the breakdown it may happen again. Be honest even if it hurts. It may probably be covered by Your insurance?
(30 years in the business, numerous consulting jobs for insurance companies, running my own marina etc have given me some experience.
Damage is allways sad, to find the true reson is the most imortant in any case).
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2006
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I have to agree with haffiman37. It looks to me as if the strut broke, allowing the moving blade to come into contact with the hull (thus the "swipe" athwartships), causing the blade to break. Common sense dictates that a fairly significant impact would be required to do this. I have seen Autoprops throw a blade before, but never seen one simply break off. Unless there is noticable corrosion on the stub of the blade, it seems unlikely that this would occur. Even if there is corrosion, the fault is not in the manufacture of the prop. Further, although it is hard to tell from the pix, the broken end of the strut does appear to be corroded, which, if is the case, could certainly have caused it's failure.

In any event, I suspect you will have a difficult time getting Autoprop to accept responsibility. And of course Caliber was going to blame Autoprop for the problem. I think you were being naieve if you actually thought that Caliber was going admit that a broken strut was their fault.
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Old 04-18-2006
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Haffiman, I will definately post additional info as I learn it. It is interesting that you conclude the prop did not fail, but then go on to insinuate that we did not properly maintain it. Further, I really don't think you read my previous posts very well. 1). the prop is only 1 year old. 2). the boat was hauled and very, very thoroughly surveyed (and sea trialed) 2 months ago. I have photos of the strut, shaft, cutless, prop, etc. with the survey. There were no vibrations noted in the sea trial. The boat has about 20 hours on it since the survey. 3). There was no impact associated with failure. Why would a solid bronze strut (which is not under any type of load and w/no vibration in the shaft) that was inspected 2 months earlier, just break? Caliber told us that they have never (Never!) had any such reported strut failure. They have made a lot of boats for a lot of years and have an outstanding reputatoin for customer service. On the other hand, I have heard of Autoprop blades coming off - they even had a recall on 1998 - 2002 props for this reason 4). The prop blade cannot physically reach the underbody of the boat - even with the strut broken. There is 2" clearance. 5). I think you are mistaken about any severe bend in the shaft. In fact, the shaft looks surprisingly good. Perhaps the photo angles are fooling you. I am intrigued by the interest you have taken - You don't by any chance have any affiliation with Autoprop?
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
the prop is only 1 year old.
Irrelevant. Significant damage by corrosion can occur in weeks or months.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
There were no vibrations noted in the sea trial. The boat has about 20 hours on it since the survey.
Again, irrelevant. Why do you assume that the failure would be presaged by noticable (or any) vibration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
There was no impact associated with failure. Why would a solid bronze strut (which is not under any type of load and w/no vibration in the shaft) that was inspected 2 months earlier, just break?
Corrosion would cause this kind of failure. And of course the strut is under load, from torque, if nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
Caliber told us that they have never (Never!) had any such reported strut failure.
This may very well be true. Then again, how would you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
On the other hand, I have heard of Autoprop blades coming off - they even had a recall on 1998 - 2002 props for this reason
This is true. But the blades do not have a history of simply breaking off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLeLu
The prop blade cannot physically reach the underbody of the boat - even with the strut broken. There is 2" clearance.
Of course the prop can reach the hull. Without the support of the strut the shaft can easily flex that far.

I'm sure this has been an upsetting experience for you, but if I can dispute your claims quite easily, the manufacturers in question will certainly do so as well.
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  #17  
Old 04-18-2006
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Sailing gods looked downon us today...

LaLeLu, sorry if You feel offended, but read my posting again.
I tried to be a litle more diplomatic this time,ref gear oil, but that was wasted.
If you want to see what may happend to a one year old propeller, have a look at my web page: http://www.geocities.com/haffiman37
and read about the Gori 3-blade and my experiences with that one.
It seems to me clear that who ever surveyed your boat missed the corrosion on the strut, probably because it was all covered up by some years of anti fouling. If your boat builder have never experienced a strut failure with that design they have been lucky! With a casted bracked, stainless steel bolt and welded flat metal strut and no anode? It is just a question of time before a thing like that would happend. Note that the shaft anode do not protect the strut, that one is isolated with the rubber in the cutlass bearing. My reason for asking about yearly service was that I did not see any traces of grease anywhere. Either someone has used a bad quality of grease or there has been no service! If I am affiliated with Autoprop? Read my previous posts about my preferred propeller type! Why my interest in this? This kind of breakdowns and analysing has been my way of living for quite some years. Too often I have seen people repairing what have been broken without finding the real reason for the breakage, and I am quite concerned about safety at sea. If I find 'bad' products i go after the manufacturer, however in this case I think You are barking up the wrong tree!
It seems that I am not quite alone in my evaluation of the reason to the damage.
Unfortunately the problem is still Yours, but do not shoot the messenger that will not help You much in the future. This is not personal, for me it is pure professional and technical!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #18  
Old 04-18-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fstbttms
I'm sure this has been an upsetting experience for you, but if I can dispute your claims quite easily, the manufacturers in question will certainly do so as well.
I don't think that you can "dispute [my] claims quite easily" but don't feel like arguing with you - either of you - anymore.
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haffiman37
It seems that I am not quite alone in my evaluation of the reason to the damage.
Actually, everyone that has personally inspected it has concluded that it was the prop...

and fyi From Autoprop literature:

Your new Autoprop is fitted with greasing channels in each of the blades. Therefore blade removal is not necessary in order to re-grease the propeller bearings.
The Autoprop should be re-greased once every two years or if more convenient during your annual haul out.
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Last edited by LaLeLu; 04-18-2006 at 01:12 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-18-2006
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Susan,

FWIW based on the photos I'd vote with Heffiman in a sec that the strut failure was the origin of this problem, except for course I don't want to get my head bit off...

Over many years of boating I've observed and experienced far more failures in the human surveyor than in quality marine hardware...

Good luck with a successful resolution of the problem.
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