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Old 09-29-2013
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Propeller cage

Anyone ever put a prop cage on a PSC? Many of the areas I love to cruise in Maine are peppered with insane quantities of lobster gear which make passage nearly impossible to enjoy. I'm thinking that a loss of 1/2 to 1 knot would be worth it to allow me to just plow through the damn things with wreck less abandon.( well not quite wreckless) I can sail through them fairly snag free but with the engine running it's hard to avoid damaging entanglement( about $500 last time)
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

Is your problem really one of getting lobster pot warp in your prop? I find the prop rarely contacts the gear. More often the skeg that supports the rudder snags line.

Some folks get spurs to cut line when it fouls the shaft.

It is sad but true that Maine has three times more lobster traps than it has people residing in the state.

Bob Steneck
PSC 34 Christmas Cove, Maine
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

Bob, When I snag them sailing they catch on the skeg and can be pushed/cut off. When motoring they wind around the shaft/prop. The last one jammed so much rope that it pulled the shaft out over an inch and destroyed the flex drive thing. Usually it's a slightly submerged pot or toggle.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

The only good answer is to simply pay more attention and especially to the lay of the buoys. Also understand that in much of Pen Bay they use toggles which makes it even more difficult. A sharp eye is the best tool in the tool box.

A cage will likely destroy your sailing performance and turn you into a trawler with a stick. As a kid my lobster boat had one on it when I bought her. I got horrendous mileage and my overall performance stunk even with a large Cummins. The cage was also a weed trap creating even more drag. I removed it for the second season of ownership and it was as if I had bought a new boat. I can't even fathom the performance hit to a sailboat.

We don't even have a full skeg for protection, fin keel/partial skeg, yet have not snagged one in three years now..

Sharp eyes and a hook-knife are your friends. Oh and a wet suit... You may try Spurs too.. I don't use them, and won't, but others seem to like them..
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

Maine, thanks for the reply. Drag increasing by the square of the velocity I would think that on a 5 to 6 knot boat it would be minimal as compared to a 20 knot boat. Not sure what the numbers would be. So many passages in Maine are so clogged with lobster gear that instead of altering my course every 150 feet I might make better time under power to go straight ahead at 1 knot less velocity and have time to glance at a chart or actually enjoy the scenery while I chug straight through the pesky hazards to navigation. Just a thought, but I could be wrong.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

I vote for an underwater sickle mower, preferrably bow mounted with a sensor that automatically deploys it when a crab/lobster/shrimp pod is detected.
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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

1 way i avoid the traps when goin down east is to go over the 200 foot edge into deeper water and turn back to shore upon reaching destination,this is also much faster than coast hugging and i can run the autopilot all day,much more relaxing,try it!
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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Propeller cage

Thanks, I agree going offshore gets you away from most of the pots. That's how we go up to Roque.
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