Maintaining the Propellers of Yachts

Maintaining the Propellers of Yachts

The propellers of yachts remain hidden and one rarely gets to see it. Yacht owners may also be ignorant of the fact that the propellers are an important part of these vessels. Even when the conditions are excellent for sailing, the yacht propellers go through a lot. They often have to face the floating debris, rocks, and mud. 

As a result, the blades may develop scratches over a period of time. They may even bend, chip, or crack after taking some severe beating. Such damages can have a negative impact on the performance of yachts. This is why a yacht needs regular maintenance and ongoing repairs.

The functioning of a yacht propeller

The speed and efficiency of a yacht are greatly determined by its propeller. It is, therefore, important to take the design of the propeller seriously. As a yacht propeller rotates, its blades function just like the hands of a swimmer. They push down the water and then thrust it backwards. 

Then the water rushes in to fill the vacant space behind the blade. This creates a difference in pressure between the two sides of the propeller’s blades. A positive pressure produces the pushing effect on the underside. The pulling effect is produced as a result of the negative pressure on the top side.

According to Newton’s law, there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. So, when the propeller pushes back the water, the yacht is propelled forward. Propellers used in different types of yachts differ from each other in several aspects. One of them is the kind of propulsion that they produce. 

This is taken into consideration to identify the efficiency of a yacht in fulfilling a particular purpose. The gearbox ratio, waterline length, engine power, crushing rate and many other aspects are also considered. Every custom-made propeller is created for luxury yachts by specialists after carefully studying and designing it.

Maintenance, repairs, and replacement

Regular inspection and maintenance go a long way in keeping up the efficiency and performance of yachts. The maintenance and repairs must not only be carried out on the propellers but also to their adjoining parts. If a propeller is not in a good condition, it may greatly impact the yacht’s functioning. 

Even small damage on one of the propeller blades can bring down the efficiency of a yacht by 10%. The balance of a propeller will be affected if it is damaged. When it is out of balance, a propeller can develop severe vibrations and issues with shaft alignment. 

Besides, it can also cause premature wear on transmission bearings, strut bearings, or v-drive. If the propeller’s use is still continued, it would damage the gear case and the motor’s powerhead.  

Replacing the propeller

The yacht owners can get the most from the propellers and save money with proper care and maintenance. A professional can repair the damages caused to a propeller owing to daily wear and tear. The need for a replacement won’t arise in most cases if this is done. However, replacement would be needed in certain situations. The best example here would be a situation where more than one-third of the blade is missing.