Rope cutters...do they work? - SailNet Community
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Rope cutters...do they work?

My boat currently has a 3 blade fixed prop, and a serrated tooth collar which I assume is a rope cutter. I am about to install a new Flexofold prop, and I am wondering if I should keep the cutter or just get rid of it.

How many of you use them? Do they actually work? It seems to me that if a rope gets caught in the blades of the prop the cutter on the shaft isn't necessarily going to do much other than making clearing the fouled prop harder.

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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

I've got one like you describe. I've also had the scissors style cutters where there's a fixed blade and rotating blade (spurs) on previous boats. The scissors style definitely works. The rotating blade without the fixed blade, not as well IMHO. With the spurs, I can remember hearing a distinct noise when it cuts the rope, I'm not sure I ever escaped a tangle with just the round blade.

I carry one of those "hook knifes" that attaches to a long pole. It's got me out of a lot of a couple of jams in Maine.
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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

They are not foolproof, but itís better to have one than not.

Personal preferences for which style/band are as varied as anchor preferences. Iíve had a Spurs cutter installed for years. The only time it was called into action was about 50 miles off Boston, where we picked up a drifting lobster pot line. I didnít see it.

I heard the noise and went immediately to neutral. Then back into gear, hoping the cutter would do itís job, but all I heard was the slapping of the line/buoy on the hull, which was circling around the shaft and bogging down the engine. Back to neutral. Then I tried reverse and I immediately heard a big clunk, which immediately stopped the slapping noise and the mess floated out from under the hull.

Water temps were probably 50f, so I was pretty grateful it did itís job.
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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

We have Spurs and I wouldn't sail without them ever again. I know they are the most expensive, but wrapping a line in the prop can cause everything from a bent shaft, destroying a tranny or engine to losing the boat, so why not have the best, especially if you live where the trap fishermen think they own the bays, harbours, marked navigational channels and every other place you might wish to traverse?

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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

Never had one but cleared a lot of boats with one Maybe OK with rope but fishing nets choke the lot pretty quick . Prefer a serrated knife and a mask myself
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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

Having a rope cutting installed certainly wouldn't make taking up a fishing net any worse.


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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

After years of sailing in the NE I finally wrapped a lobster pot on the prop last year. Turns out the part of the line that is suppose to break away didn't and I took that pot on a day trip.

The thing with cutters is; you don't even know if they work. You only ever really know when they don't
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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

Agee with Don. Have Spurs on current boat and have had them in the past. Was under power at night near matinious rock. Looking aft watching the wake saw a trap bouy flip up just aft of the sugar scoop with a cut rope. Wouldnít have known if not looking back.
Would suggest also having that double bladed hooked knife on an expanding pole. Damn thing really works!! Blocking its name. Got it on Internet from some small time vendor.
Any help with it name? Poly stretches and melts. Can really damage a maxprop. Better off to leave boat in neutral. Launch the dinghy and cut it away. Doing the forward/reverse thing may end up with a haul and fixing or replacing the prop. Expensive.

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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

Many times Iíve heard something below that I never identified. Submerged stuff is a fact of life when you put 4 figure miles on each year. Iíll bet some were a chopped line I never knew or saw. Iíve also identified a good whack on a prop blade that needed to be rebuilt and, on a separate occasion, a hit on the leading edge of the rudder than needed to be repaired.

Stuff lurks beneath the surface. Be prepared.


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Re: Rope cutters...do they work?

An interesting read:

https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/gear...ter-test-30012
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