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Troubleshooting:

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Feathering Propellers
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General Questions Back to Top
 
  1. Have you got a question you cannot find the answer to here??
  2. My propeller has just been installed or serviced and it vibrates badly
  3. My Zinc Anodes erode to nothing quickly.
  4. I need more locking wire, what type is it and where can I get it?
  5. Should I antifoul my propeller and if so what with?

1) Have you got a question you cannot find the answer to here??

Please go to the "contact" menu and then to "contact Seahawk" let us know your question and we will do the best to answer it for you.
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2) My propeller has just been installed or serviced and it vibrates badly

This may be a case of the key not being correctly fitted to the key way and binding when the propeller was installed. The stainless steel key that Seahawk supplies with the Autostream and Slipstream propellers is simple key stock, it must be filed to fit the shaft and propeller keyway properly on installation. The best way to do this, is to fit the propeller hub without the key, mark the shaft and remove the hub, then refit with the key and check the hub comes back up to or over the mark on the shaft. This is covered in the Autostream and Slipstream instructions.
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3) My Zinc Anodes erode to nothing quickly.

This is not a problem with the propeller of zinc anode. The zinc eroding away is an indication that it is protecting your valuable propeller and shaft. If the life is short, say less than 6 months there is a problem that needs to be identified. It could be electrical leakage from your boat, from a neighbouring boat or the marina itself. Other water conditions can also have an impact. Generally we expect between 6-18 months from a zinc anode. DO NOT LEAVE THE ZINC ANODE OFF OR DEPLETED, this is likely to lead to pitting and crevice corrosion of the stainless steel in a relatively short period of time.
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4) I need more locking wire, what type is it and where can I get it?

The locking wire we use to secure the shaft nuts on Seahawk’s Saildrive model propellers and the main body screws on the Autostream feathering propellers is annealed, 316 stainless steel, 1.3mm or 0.050” thick. The wire needs to be annealed so it will twist without breaking. It must be 316 or higher grade stainless steel to be suitable for permanent immersion in salt water. Usually this wire is not available in small quantities and it would be easiest to purchase from wherever you originally purchased your propeller. Alternatively many larger prop shops & marine service centres also carry suitable locking wire for their own workshop use.
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5) Should I antifoul my propeller and if so what with?

Unfortunately modern environmentally friendly antifoul paints wont last long on any propeller. If the boat is moored in an area where heavy fouling occurs we suggest mechanically abrading the surface of the blades and applying a suitable primer, followed by several coats of a good quality antifoul paint. When applying the paint do not allow a heavy uneven build up of paint to occur on the propeller blades. Try to keep the total paint thickness reasonably uniform over the blade surface. Do not apply anti-foul to the gears, as this will hinder the operation of your propeller. We are constantly monitoring developments in antifoul products, and if any significant advances in overcoming the problem of fouling develop we will post them on our website. We have been hearing nothing but good news about the new generation of silicon based anti-foul paints such as 'Pellerclean' and Prop-Speed 780. These silicon based anti-fouls are usually applied over an epoxy primer and remain soft to the touch. It seems the idea is that nothing can get a grip in this anti-foul and simply falls off when the prop is spun up.
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Feathering Propellers Back to Top
 
  1. My Autostream propeller has just been installed or serviced and it vibrates badly
  2. My Autostream propeller has just been installed or serviced and my engine is badly overloaded
  3. My Autostream propeller has just been installed or serviced and my engine revs up but the propeller does not seem to drive to drive the boat - it has no pitch. .
  4. When I grease my Autostream propeller the grease oozes back out the grease nipple/zerk fitting.
  5. I have just had my new Autostream propeller fitted and it does everything, but does not seem to do it well.
  6. How often should I grease the propeller and what grease should I use?
  7. The propeller looks complex with bearings and seals, am I going to be constantly replacing these parts?
  8. I need new O-ring seals for my Autostream Stainless Steel Propeller?
  9. My new saildrive propeller does not fit on the spline.

1) My Autostream propeller has just been installed or serviced and it vibrates badly

One of the more common installation errors is having one or more blades out 1 tooth or more on the main gear compared to the others. The easiest way to check this is to rotate the blades until they are 90 degrees from the feathered position, where they should all line up with the join in the body of the propeller. Looking from the side, any mismatch will become apparent with the blades in this position. If there is an alignment issue the blade assembly needs to be released from the drive gear and the blades realigned into the correct position. We suggest you refer to the installation instructions for this at www.seahawk.com.au/content/models.php?menu=service
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2) My Autostream propeller has just been installed or serviced and my engine is badly overloaded

Assuming the propeller was set up originally at the factory, or was operating OK before, this is usually a symptom of the blades all being one or more teeth out of alignment during installation of the blade assembly onto the drive gear, the blades will visibly have a lot of pitch (angle when in the driving position). To check this on a shaft drive propeller, move the propeller blades into the feathered position, parallel with the shaft and check that the ‘L’ (left) or “R” (right) index marks on the front of the propeller body line up with the line on the drive gear. This and the Saildrive model alignment is covered in the instructions that can be found at www.seahawk.com.au/content/models.php?menu=service
Back to Feathering Propellers

3) My Autostream propeller has just been installed or serviced and my engine revs up but the propeller does not seem to drive to drive the boat - it has no pitch. .

Assuming the propeller was set up originally at the factory, or was operating OK before, this is usually a symptom of the blades all being one or more teeth out of alignment during installation of the blade assembly onto the drive gear, There will be visibly none, or very little pitch on the blades. To check this on a shaft drive propeller, move the propeller blades into the feathered position, parallel with the shaft and check that the ‘L’ (left) or “R” (right) index marks on the front of the propeller body line up with the line on the drive gear. This and the Saildrive model alignment is covered in the instructions that can be found at www.seahawk.com.au/content/models.php?menu=service
Back to Feathering Propellers

4) When I grease my Autostream propeller the grease oozes back out the grease nipple/zerk fitting.

This is normal. The grease nipple/zerk fitting is not fitted with a ball and spring as this is not ideally suited to the marine environment. If the grease oozes out fast and for quite some time it is likely that there is still a lot of air inside the propeller and should have more pumped in. Working the propeller back and forth will help to expel the air.
Back to Feathering Propellers

5) I have just had my new Autostream propeller fitted and it does everything, but does not seem to do it well.

Assuming the propeller has been sized correctly, this happens from time to time when the propeller is installed with the blade leading edges facing backwards. There is a leading and a trailing edge to the blade. The flatter edge (leading) must be ahead when assembling the prop. This problem usually occurs with installers who are familiar with the Max Prop, as their blades look different from ours.
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6) How often should I grease the propeller and what grease should I use?

Grease the prop fully about once a year. The grease is mostly used to prevent stagnant water forming, which promotes corrosion, and helps to keep marine growth out. The lubrication requirements are minimal. Any light Multi-purpose, Lithium based grease, particularly if labelled as suitable for marine use, is suitable for use in your AUTOSTREAM Propeller. The most ideal is the white 'Food Grade' lithium based grease. Extreme pressure grease can be used but is not required. A few alternatives are Valvoline Val Plex M grease, Mobil Mobilgrease XHP, Castrol LMX, Spheerol AP or LMM, Total Lubmarine EPEXZ.
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7) The propeller looks complex with bearings and seals, am I going to be constantly replacing these parts?

No. The seals will not need replacing unless damaged by fishing line or similar, and the extra large bearings ensure minimal wear. It is difficult to predict the service life before reconditioning will be required due to the multitude of applications, but based on 20 years experience manufacturing feathering propellers we believe most will get more than 5000 hours before requiring refurbishment. In 7 years we have not sold any parts due to 'wear and tear'; to suit the current range. When fitting the Autostream propeller, it does not need to be fully disassembled like other brands. The two main sections of the propeller are seperated and the drive gear is fitted to the shaft. Then the blade assemly is refitted and the job's done.
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8) I need new O-ring seals for my Autostream Stainless Steel Propeller?

New O-Rings can be purchased in sets, from any of the larger Seahawk Propeller Dealers/Distributors. Alternatively, as they are standard rubber engineering O-rings, they can be sourced from any good engineering shop. The 3 O-rings for the blades and the 1 for the front hub/shaft (shaft drive models) are all 1-5/8" x 1-7/8" x 1/8" (BS7223). The front hub O-ring on the saildrive are 3-1/4" x 3-3/8" x 1/16" (BS7042)(saildrive models).
Back to Feathering Propellers

9) My new saildrive propeller does not fit on the spline.

By design, we make the splines exact to the standard, while all other manufacturers allow quite some looseness on their splines, many are actually cast splines. If you compare almost any other saildrive prop to ours, they will feel loose on the splines and can be 'noticeably wobbled' before the nut is fitted. We believe this is part of the mechanism that allows a saildrive prop to work on the nut and come loose more often than they should. By making the prop a lot snugger on the shaft, it prevents the prop from wobbling and working on the nut. Of course the downside is, the prop can be tight on the shaft if the splines are not 100% clean, or if there are any burrs. If you simply slide the old prop off and try and slide the new one on, there is a good chance that there is sufficient old grease and dirt etc in the splines to allow it to start sliding on then jam up. Takes 10 minutes to really clean out the shaft splines and make sure there are no burrs etc then the prop will slide on. But keep in mind it is designed to be snug.
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Folding Propellers Back to Top
 
  1. I have a strange noise or vibration during hard turns
  2. I have just installed / serviced my folding propeller and it vibrates badly
  3. My new saildrive propeller does not seem to fit the shaft.

1) I have a strange noise or vibration during hard turns

This is usually caused by the fast water flow caused on the outer side of the turn, pushing on the propeller blades and trying to close up one side of the propeller. Generally a little additional throttle, or throttling off, will stop the noise.
Back to Folding Propellers

2) I have just installed / serviced my folding propeller and it vibrates badly

It is so obvious it is easy to miss. Check that the blades all open and close together. If one blade is fitted one tooth out from the rest the resulting imbalance is quite severe. Check that the blades fully open and close completely and evenly. If one is out, simply remove the screws and pins for that one blade and reinstal correctly.
Back to Folding Propellers

3) My new saildrive propeller does not seem to fit the shaft.

By design, we make the splines exact to the standard, while all other manufacturers allow quite some looseness on their splines, many are actually cast splines. If you compare almost any other saildrive prop to ours, they will feel loose on the splines and can be 'noticeably wobbled' before the nut is fitted. We believe this is part of the mechanism that allows a saildrive prop to work on the nut and come loose more often than they should. By making the prop a lot snugger on the shaft, it prevents the prop from wobbling and working on the nut. Of course the downside is, the prop can be tight on the shaft if the splines are not 100% clean, or if there are any burrs. If you simply slide the old prop off and try and slide the new one on, there is a good chance that there is sufficient old grease and dirt etc in the splines to allow it to start sliding on then jam up. Takes 10 minutes to really clean out the shaft splines and make sure there are no burrs etc then the prop will slide on. But keep in mind it is designed to be snug.
Back to Folding Propellers