By Lenny Rudow
How to Change a Boat Propeller
If you can change the tire on your car, you can change the prop on your boat. Here’s how.
Changing a boat propeller is a lot easier than most folks think. Why? It’s a simple matter of inexperience—most people just haven’t done it before. So here’s a step-by-step run-down on how to get that old prop off, and put a new one on.
Note: as you remove each part place it in a safe place, lined up with the other parts, in order or removal. That way, you’ll know the order each part goes back on.
Ready to get started? Read on, or watch our How to Change a Boat Propeller video.
Step 1: Block the prop, so it doesn’t spin as you apply pressure to the prop nut.
Step 2: Straighten and remove the cotter pin, using a pair of pliers. (Some props will have a circular tab, instead of a cotter pin).
Step 3: Remove the prop nut with a ratchet, or a prop-puller (a wrench designed just for prop nuts).
Step 4: Slide off all washers and spacers. Remember: keep these in order, and lined up so you know what goes back on when, and in which direction.
Step 5: Slide off the prop itself.
Step 6: Before you put on the new prop, clean the spline and give it a fresh coat of grease.
Putting on the new prop is simply a matter of following the above steps, in reverse. All finished? Good job. Now get yourself a tall frosty drink to celebrate—you’re ready to go boating again!
Need a new propeller for your boat? Visit the Propeller Finder in the Boats.com Gear & Parts Store.
- Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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