There are some good posts on repacing your prop in the water (without
the special Amel in-water replacement gadget (which I know own).
Helpful advice was posted by John and Amy on a June 1, 2005 Posting.
Below is their advice and my ultimate response back with some further
"It is a doddle. I assume you have a spare prop which comes with the
boss which fits onto the drive shaft. Look at the boss and you will
see that has a hole through which there is a stainless pin which will
take the drive from the shaft. Your old prop has gone missing and so
on the drive shaft there is the old boss and pin or perhaps the old
pin has dropped out and the boss has also vanished.
You do not need to haul out or have the special kit if you can get a
scuba diver to remove the old boss and pin and fit the the new boss
and pin and then fit the prop and screw in the nylon screws. (If you
are unlucky the diver may need to use a similar size pin to drive out
the old one). At a pinch it could be done with a snorkel, I suspect.
Bingo! all is well. Just make sure that you always have a couple of
spare props for the next time. When you pay for them you will become
more careful about stray lines etc..
You do not say your hull no, Mine is 319 and I lost three in the first
couple of years but I have got better!"
My additions after sucessfully replacing it while floating in the water
wearing a life preserver and doing most of it by feel:
"Thanks everyone, for your advice and ideas on bow-thruster
replacement without short hauling the boat--I did replace it in the
Everyone's advice was valid, but I thought I would share my
experience and ideas.
I was able to drive the old pin out, using a correctly sized
Craftsman punch with small taps from a hammer and grabing the end
with a Vice-Grip and twist/pulling it out the other end. Believe it
or not, I was able to do this hanging off my dingy with my son
holding the dingy into the boat. However, a better way, and one I
had to resort to to attach the prop--was simply floating next to the
bowthruster while wearing a PFD and reaching down with both hands to
work on it. I started out with a snorkle and mask but found (perhaps
due to the opacity of Chesapeake Bay water) that floating with the
head above water was easier.
First I hauled the thruster up about 2" to make it more accessable
under water--you only need access to the hub and this helps a little.
Next, I lightly sanded the inside edge of the prop that pushes onto
the collar and lubed the inside of this area of the prop with
Lanocoat. This helped it slide on easier and allowed me to rotate
it on the hub to line-up the six holes. I tied a keeper line around
one blade of the prop. Because it tapers out larger, this secures
the pricey little guy! I also had used a small nylon string to do
the same thing with the white collar by going through one of the
threaded holes. Working with both hands, I think that the best way
to push the prop on is to grab around the thruster with the fingers
of both hands and push the prop on simultaneously with both thumbs.
Lining up the six holes in the prop with the white collar was the
toughest task for me. I found that I had to back the prop off the
hub about half way and line up the holes with the punch and then ush
it on completly. Otherwise the prop and drive rotate together and I
could not line up the holes. Because the punch was smaller than the
holes I had to work it around in a circular motion to line up one of
the holes correctly. A better guide, like a plastic pen body might
be better. Lining up the holes was by far the most difficult task--
if you are in clear water, a snorkle and mask might let you do it
visually, but not in the Chesapeake! I had my son stand above me on
the deck and lower parts down with a bucket (including the nylon
screws--one at a time.
It wasn't too bad, but I will be buying the special tool. It sounds
like it is very useful if there are any complications, and of-course
could allow you to replace a seal or chack/change the 90wt oil.
Joel told me by phone that he has the process down to about 30
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "dan_bergin" <captdan@...>
removing the 6 nylon screws was not enough to get the old prop off.It
took lots of force and prying with a screw driver. No damage to the