"Spurs" Line Cutter or similar - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-09-2014 Thread Starter
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"Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

I seem to be averaging twice a year for tangling with lobster pot lines.

This latest incident resulted in my boat being hauled for repairs.

Are line cutters effective?

The ads say they are, but I wasn't born yesterday.

Zen Again

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post #2 of 20 Old 06-09-2014
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

I've had a set of Spurs on my boat for about twenty five years now. I once found a few strands of polypro rope tangled in my running gear when I hauled the boat. I've never been stopped or even slowed by getting tangled up with pot lines or any other line. Maybe I'm just really good at avoiding pot lines?
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

That's a bummer! Out here it's "crab pots" in less than 75 feet of water. The good thing I guess is Puget Sound is so deep the crabbers have to stay close in to shore. But sometimes it can be like a mine field getting out. Never heard of a "cutter".

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-10-2014
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

I'm on my second boat with a cutter and can recommend them. My worst "catch" was a heavy fish pot where the cutter did the job but the line was wrapped and melted around the prop shaft, but the cutter kept things from getting worse.

They aren't expensive additions (as far as boat parts go) and I've seen enough lines get wrapped with damage to the boat to make this a worthwhile investment. Last year a Sunsail charter boat almost sunk after wrapping the dinghy line, it took 9 of us bailing and then a bit of diving and creative use of plastic garbage bags to stuff the long rip to keep her afloat. A line cutter would have kept the boat from getting damaged in this case.


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post #5 of 20 Old 06-10-2014
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I'm on my second boat with a cutter and can recommend them. My worst "catch" was a heavy fish pot where the cutter did the job but the line was wrapped and melted around the prop shaft, but the cutter kept things from getting worse.

They aren't expensive additions (as far as boat parts go) and I've seen enough lines get wrapped with damage to the boat to make this a worthwhile investment. Last year a Sunsail charter boat almost sunk after wrapping the dinghy line, it took 9 of us bailing and then a bit of diving and creative use of plastic garbage bags to stuff the long rip to keep her afloat. A line cutter would have kept the boat from getting damaged in this case.
I am sure they work sometimes but by no means always. I sucked in a crab pot line and the cutter did not cut it -- literally. Fortunately, it happened actually _in_ the marina so I could do a short haul and hack off the line.

Having said that, I would still put it on. As Zanshin is saying, compared to potential damage to the boat a cutter is still cheap. Actually, it costs less than hauling the boat only once!

Just be careful when cleaning your prop!
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

Note that "Spurs" is a brand name for a particular line cutter. There are many different brands of line cutters available. Some may not work as well as others. My experience is with the Spurs brand cutters.
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

The two types I've seen so far are:

"Spurs" which have a set of blades on the prop (spinning) and another set 1/8" upshaft (not spinning). When a line gets tangled, some sort of lever/wedge action moves the 'not spinning' set out to meet the other set. Once the line is cut, a spring separates them again. This looks wicked cool and also seems like it would need a professional install. I do not have a quote.

"Shaft Shark" seems to be a glorified radial saw blade a few mm larger than the hub of the prop. The smaller ones can be separated so they can be installed without pulling the prop. This is a $350 DIY job, but I wonder about the effectiveness. If the blade is moving with the prop and the line is moving with the prop, where's the cutting action? I can imagine the line just wrapping around the blade as the prop becomes a windlass. Then again, it's better than nothing.

My boat comes out today, I'll post pics of the damage.

Ken

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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

Ken, I looked at the Shaft Shark-style cutters. I think the theory is that at least one end of the line will be semi-fixed (e.g., attached to a crab pot or the float) while the other end is trapped in the prop. Eventually the spinning of the prop will cause the line to wrap around the shaft and get cut by the saw blade.

I saw videos somewhere of different styles being tested. I think the Spurs were the ones that looked most effective, but even the saw blade style cutters seemed to do OK for at least the kinds of issues I'd likely face.

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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

I have Spurs and love them. Never been stopped and never seen a piece of line left on the shaft when I dive on the boat.
I looked at Shaft Shark. I didn't like how far out the cutting disc extended in front of the prop blades.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-10-2014
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Re: "Spurs" Line Cutter or similar

We had spurs, and frankly they were worthless. Before Lousiana did a crap trap pickup we were averaging snagging a pot a week for a while, and I would have to dive on them to cut them free. The worst was when a pot wrapped the spurs and got wrapped around them pulling the crab trap into the hull. By the time it was all over and done with the pot had been spun around the shaft and torn up the glass, as well as bent the shaft, and destroyed the cutlass bearing.

I certainly wasn't impressed.

Greg
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