Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea! - SailNet Community
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Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

Doing a coastal passage and hit a fishermans pot. I was just brewing coffee below so didnt see it.
Motor sailing. Heard a bang, jumped on deck to see white foam float block disappearing behind. Engine still running so thought I didnt get a rope in the prop. But there a very minor vibration. So started testing it as a few different revs.
Sailing downwind but up current of more than 1 knot so its difficult to test much till the current changes.


Arrival time atm in port tomorrow morning with pretty light winds. 12 to 15 hours. (not much sleep tonight!)

So the shaft is spinning freely in both forward and reverse.
I cant see any rope trailing the boat.
So I hit the revs up high - difficult to feel if there is thrust. Then heard a flopping sound. Sounds like the end of the rope flicking the bottom of the hull.

Put it in astern and flicking sound still there. Seems to make the normal wash when putting engine into astern at 5 knots forward. hard to tell thrust.

I put the engine into astern and stopped the engine sot he shaft will not spin.

(I dont know if I am writing this for you or me!! Im plotting out what to do. You can help )


Considerations:

The engine didn't stop so that means its not jammed full of rope.
If the shaft is spinning freely it means the rope is not too long or the clump of it is small.
The vibration is quite small, I am just worried about having enough thrust to get into the marina.
During the lull in the current I'll furl the genoa and see if I can motor upwind.

If I can motor slowly with reasonable thrust I can sail to port and motor into the marina.

If I cant motor upwind I sail to the port entrance, anchor and call for a tow, (its an open seaway and I dont like going under the boat in those conditions)

If there is good thrust from the engine just minor vibration and the flapping of the rope end against the hull for how long would you use the engine? Withthe currents here and weather, to use the engine would be good.

OK so thats my thoughts.

Whats your advice?
Any glaring mistakes or things I havent mentioned, etc?


Thanks


Mark

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:27 PM.
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

Long boat pole, with a very sharp knife stoutly and very tightly 'lashed' with 'fine stuff' to the hook or butt-end of the pole?
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

Current is 3knots against me and I am doing 5 so not going anywhere fast lol

To use a pole and knife I would have to be over the side.
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

I had this happen to me on my Fantasia 35 4 or 5 years ago, that boat was a bit heavier than yours, so I guess same should apply. It wasnt a rope, it was an overheating issue that pegged the thermostsat after about 60 seconds run time.

What I did was called ahead and let them know I was coming in with engine problems. They couldn't offer me a runway or gas dock to land on because they were full, but did send out staff to take my lines and fend off (their entire staff).

Wind was about 15-20ish, coming from behind, but the current was from in front.

I furled down to about 1/3 genoa no main when I got close enough.

Prior to entering the piers I tested engine for 20 seconds or so. Just long enough to give a bump ahead and astern. Thrust was present so I shut down and proceeded.

Once through the piers made an S turn to scrub speed. Came into the slip pretty slow (less than a knot likely. When my bow was equalish with the end of the pier fired the engine and put her in reverse to stop the boat while the staff grabbed my lines (I was single handed). Worked fine. Not even a bump.

Not sure if that story is useful to your situation, but might work.

I don't think I would run the engine any longer than necessary.
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

Are you single handed? What is the water temp? What are the sea conditions?

If it were me, and I had someone else on board as a spotter, and the water conditions were ok I would put on my snorkeling gear and investigate.

If I deemed the conditions unsafe I would continue sailing without the engine, and then slowly motor into port once I could no longer sail. It sounds to me like the rope broke, and you just have remnants wrapped around your shaft. If the shaft turns freely as you say you should be ok, but I would avoid high rpms until you get a chance to investigate further. If you have a folding or feathering prop the remnant of rope may interfere with the movement of the blades, so you definitely would want to test your reverse thrust in open water before you approach a dock!

Do you have a rope cutter on your prop shaft? My new boat has one, and I wonder how effective they are.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

No rope cutter.

Fixed 3 blade prop

Cant go over the side here.

Single handing
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

If phone is waterproof take pic from stern ladder
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

The same happened to me on Beneteau 361 years ago. I motored about 5nm to port and the rope destroyed the outer edge of rubber cutlass bearing.
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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skalashn View Post
The same happened to me on Beneteau 361 years ago. I motored about 5nm to port and the rope destroyed the outer edge of rubber cutlass bearing.

Good point




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Re: Yikes. Help. Rope in Prop and Im at sea!

You owe a fisherman thirty quid for a new trap.
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