Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-02-2013
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Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

My boat does not have a motor mount that can be retraced out of water. And the well will not allow me to tilt it out either.

It has a hole/well at the back of the cockpit in front of the transom through which I lower the outboards's prop. There is a cover which protects the motor from weather.

During freezing weather I understand the benefit of storing the outboard in the cabin. But it's a pain in the butt to lug the thing up into the cockpit every time I want to go for a sail.

So.... aside from the risk of getting frozen water in the outboard, is there any downside to leaving the prop in the water indefinitely? Again, the upper portion of the motor is protected from the rain etc by the motor well's cover. Many boats in my marina appear to leave their outboard props submerged. Most have a retractable mount or tilt it out.

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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

gunk growing on it. Your outboard is going to grow a beard
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

Will it grow a beard if I sail it once a week for instance?
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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

If you sail? Yes, if you motor, probably not
Make sure the zincs on the leg are good and you should be fine.
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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

It'll also significantly slow you down while sailing. The motor itself doesn't tilt (I guess in a well there is nowhere to tilt it)?
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

I've seen lower units that have been painted with antifoulant.
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

Is the well centered? or offset? If offset the sailing drag will be worse on one tack than the other. You will eventually get some growth here in the PNW even if you use it frequently.

I suppose even if you fashioned or found a vertical lift mount, when retracted the well hatch wouldn't close over the motor?
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
If you sail? Yes, if you motor, probably not
Make sure the zincs on the leg are good and you should be fine.
Actually, you should expect it will grow a beard even if you motor. Guys with fast outboard & sterndrive powerboats also complain they can't keep the growth off their lower units even with antifouling paint. Periodic cleaning is probably the best you can do. Hopefully you can get at it easily with a brush either from the well, or with a snorkel. If you are in warm, high growth waters, you may have to scrub it weekly. If you do choose to paint it check the paint for compatibility with aluminum.
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

My boat has the same setup. The motor is in a well and it would be a pain to remove if the motor were light, which it's not.

I used Interlux Trilux; the brush-on kind, not the spray-on kind. It's easier to get thick coats on with a brush than it is with the spray. They recommend that you prime with Interlux Primeocon. I don't know if that's completely necessary, but I did use the Primeocon and I never had any adhesion problems. The Trilux helps keep the fuzz (beard) away, but not forever if the boat doesn't get somewhat regular use. Ironically, regular use helps keep growth off the outdrive, but it makes the paint on the prop wear off more quickly.

Make sure when you paint, you don't block any of the exhaust blow out holes or the intake. On mine, the intake has a fine screen and since the screen couldn't be painted, it still grew some fuzz from time to time. It usually came off easily by jumping in with a toothbrush and giving it a scrub a dub dub.
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Re: Downside to leaving outboard motor prop in water?

Barnacles will multiply inside your water passages and it is extremely difficult to remove.
Don't ask me how I know.
Dick
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