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Some serious advice urgently required regarding prop/shaft replaced


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About two months ago we hit something under water when we left Marple on the Macclesfield canal heading South which bent one of the prop blades quite badly which caused a slight vibration when put in astern. As I was getting a 500 hour service on our Beta 43 at Higher Poynton I thought it could wait until then. I mentioned it to the guy (name excluded for reasons that will become obvious later) and when looked he said everything will have to be replaced - which was prop, shaft, seal, R&D coupling, the coupling between the gear box and the shaft and all four mounts plus the cost of getting the boat out of the water - all covered by insurance thank goodness. At the time I asked if it was possible to have Crowther prop fitted and emphasised I wanted to pay for the difference between the replacement Crowther prop and the now bent Vetus prop which was agreed - my main concern being that everything was done that needed to be done to get us back in the water and continuing our journey. A few days later the engineer phoned to say that he wasn't sure if a Crowther prop could be fitted to a Vetus shaft, I managed to get in touch with Crowther and after giving all my details regarding length, engine type and size agreed that there would be no problem. The work was carried out about two weeks later in Stone by another engineer who only fitted a new shaft, seal and what I took to be new Crowther prop. I managed to have a look at the prop prior to it being fitted and was surprised to note the marked tanning colour on the hub part and the grinder marks on the blades but was told that was quite normal. On leaving and continuing our journey South there was noticeable vibration when in ahead - but not astern - and only round about 10000 revs. By this time we were in Rugeley near Litchfield. I got in touch with the original engineer who said its probably the mounts and he would be down to change them in Rugeley. After they changed the mounts the engine vibration was worse which indicated to me that the engine needed required re-aligning but he insisted that the boat needed to be out the water so that the prop/shaft combination could be checked which meant he wanted us back up in - originally - Aquaduct marina - but was changed to Kings Lock at Middlewich. We have since received the invoice for the work carried out which does not tally with the actual work carried out. He also didn't replace the R&D coupling in Rugeley which I was very concerned about but he assured me there would be no problem. I also got back in touch with Crowther and asked if they had any distinguishing marks/stamping on there props which determined them as Crowther prop and was told of their six digit coding between two of the blades. I have felt all over and between the blades and no such stamping can be found. My concern now is that as soon as he is aware that we know it is not a Crowther prop he is going to walk away or fob us off. Do I get in touch with the insurance company; get an independent engineers report or what.

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About two months ago we hit something under water when we left Marple on the Macclesfield canal heading South which bent one of the prop blades quite badly which caused a slight vibration when put in astern. As I was getting a 500 hour service on our Beta 43 at Higher Poynton I thought it could wait until then. I mentioned it to the guy (name excluded for reasons that will become obvious later) and when looked he said everything will have to be replaced - which was prop, shaft, seal, R&D coupling, the coupling between the gear box and the shaft and all four mounts plus the cost of getting the boat out of the water - all covered by insurance thank goodness.

 

At the time I asked if it was possible to have Crowther prop fitted and emphasised I wanted to pay for the difference between the replacement Crowther prop and the now bent Vetus prop which was agreed - my main concern being that everything was done that needed to be done to get us back in the water and continuing our journey. A few days later the engineer phoned to say that he wasn't sure if a Crowther prop could be fitted to a Vetus shaft, I managed to get in touch with Crowther and after giving all my details regarding length, engine type and size agreed that there would be no problem. The work was carried out about two weeks later in Stone by another engineer who only fitted a new shaft, seal and what I took to be new Crowther prop.

 

I managed to have a look at the prop prior to it being fitted and was surprised to note the marked tanning colour on the hub part and the grinder marks on the blades but was told that was quite normal.

 

On leaving and continuing our journey South there was noticeable vibration when in ahead - but not astern - and only round about 10000 revs. By this time we were in Rugeley near Litchfield. I got in touch with the original engineer who said its probably the mounts and he would be down to change them in Rugeley. After they changed the mounts the engine vibration was worse which indicated to me that the engine needed required re-aligning but he insisted that the boat needed to be out the water so that the prop/shaft combination could be checked which meant he wanted us back up in - originally - Aquaduct marina - but was changed to Kings Lock at Middlewich.

 

We have since received the invoice for the work carried out which does not tally with the actual work carried out. He also didn't replace the R&D coupling in Rugeley which I was very concerned about but he assured me there would be no problem. I also got back in touch with Crowther and asked if they had any distinguishing marks/stamping on there props which determined them as Crowther prop and was told of their six digit coding between two of the blades. I have felt all over and between the blades and no such stamping can be found.

 

My concern now is that as soon as he is aware that we know it is not a Crowther prop he is going to walk away or fob us off. Do I get in touch with the insurance company; get an independent engineers report or what.

 

My apologies - I've taken the liberty of breaking your post into paragraphs. I was struggling with the 'wall of text'

 

Hopefully, this will help people to read it and advise you better

 

Richard

 

MORE: This is a Crowther prop, with preparation markings:

 

 

 

gallery_5247_508_147582.jpg

 

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=37189&p=673048

Edited by RLWP
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Richard, I'm curious what are "preparation markings" - is it the slightly serrated surface near the edges of the prop? Anti-singing or what?

 

I'm referring to the grinding/linishing marks where the rough finish of the casting has been removed. The OP refers to 'the marked tanning colour on the hub part and the grinder marks on the blades'. I'm wondering if this is what he saw

 

Richard

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The marks I referred to have been made by an angle grinder and are definitely not the marks of production finishing.

 

The shape of the blades are also noticeably different where as the ones in you photograph are what I would consider to be oval - the prop I have has a more teardrop shape. What size is the prop in you photograph? We have an 18/12 fitted at present. (I have tried to include/insert a photograph but am unsure if it will show).

 

 

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This is the photograph - I hope - of the fitted prop. It does look a lot better in the photograph but believe me - the finish isn't as good as it looks

 

http://s895.photobucket.com/user/goose4t/media/Crowther_zpsc347f40d.gif.html?filters[user]=137296974&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0


This may be better:

 

Crowther_zpsc347f40d.gif

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OK. I'd have no hesitation in saying that is a brand new prop.

 

It's just too neat and tidy to be a second hand one, even if reworked

 

I'm afraid I couldn't say if it is a Crowther or Vetus prop though

 

Richard

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My apologies - I've taken the liberty of breaking your post into paragraphs. I was struggling with the 'wall of text'

 

Hopefully, this will help people to read it and advise you better

I wish I had seen that before opening up a reply and re-spacing it to read it!

OK. I'd have no hesitation in saying that is a brand new prop.

It's just too neat and tidy to be a second hand one, even if reworked

I'm afraid I couldn't say if it is a Crowther or Vetus prop though

I would echo that.

 

We have a (26*32) crowther on our boat, and its a nicer quality of prop than most, however sadly I did not see it when it was new as I only really started boating about ten years ago by which time the boat was 12, and have not really looked at a new vetus to compair, so again have little more to offer.

 

I does however seem you and or you insurance company have spend a lot of time and money replacing a lot of things, for what I would consider a fairly rectifiable job.

 

 

Daniel

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I totally agree with the last comment - especially now that the slight vibration in astern is now a substantial vibration going ahead. All I wanted was the thing done properly so we can be on our way but we have now spent six weeks dragging our heels between Rugeley and Middlewich hoping for some rectification.

 

The other thing is that we have been led to believe that this is a Crowther prop - the engineer told me he had picked up the prop from Crowthers but needed to take it to his workshop to do something that would allow the prop to be fitted a Vetus shaft. It has only been in the last few weeks to question why he would need to - surely the prop is ready to fit the shaft with no alterations to it at all??

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Surely crowthers would have a record of the prop being supplied to the engineer/ yard if you explained that you weren't sure you had been supplied the right goods.

 

Having said that the nut looks similar to what crowthers supplied with my prop.....however I thought Vetus used a different arrangement to the usual nut and split pin as pictured?

 

Maybe they changed the shaft for a conventional one?

 

It does sound like something's not right....have you tried asking your insurance company for some help....they may have more clout than you alone.

 

Cheers

 

Gareth

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The other thing is that we have been led to believe that this is a Crowther prop - the engineer told me he had picked up the prop from Crowthers but needed to take it to his workshop to do something that would allow the prop to be fitted a Vetus shaft. It has only been in the last few weeks to question why he would need to - surely the prop is ready to fit the shaft with no alterations to it at all??

Surely crowthers would have a record of the prop being supplied to the engineer/ yard if you explained that you weren't sure you had been supplied the right goods.

I do have some recollection, although I don't know the details, that vetus use a slightly different securing system. However if Crowthers have said they can make a prop to suit a vetus shaft, that is what I would expect them to supply. I dont know if the tapers the same, but I dont like the idea of a 'canal engineer' or infact very many machine shops, re machining a prop tapor.

 

Certainly, phoning, and or emailing Crowthers with that photo and you concern sounds like a good suggestion to me along side any other action.

 

 

Daniel

 

Edited to add, I have just found this, which look like what I have seen as a 'vetus shaft' before now.

http://www.vetus-shop.com/vetus-prop-nut-kit-with-zinc-anode-for-35mm-p-3007.html

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I think there's a good chance it's one of theirs, and they do supply that style of cast bronze castellated nut which is otherwise not common.

Vetus use a conical nut with two flats, and a tab washer instead of split pin.

 

I totally agree with the last comment - especially now that the slight vibration in astern is now a substantial vibration going ahead. All I wanted was the thing done properly so we can be on our way but we have now spent six weeks dragging our heels between Rugeley and Middlewich hoping for some rectification.

 

The other thing is that we have been led to believe that this is a Crowther prop - the engineer told me he had picked up the prop from Crowthers but needed to take it to his workshop to do something that would allow the prop to be fitted a Vetus shaft. It has only been in the last few weeks to question why he would need to - surely the prop is ready to fit the shaft with no alterations to it at all??

 

Vetus shafts often have a 1:10 taper whereas Crowthers would supply 1:12 unless otherwise specified. I thought that bit had been gone through, or was that another boat?

 

Just a WAG, maybe the 'engineer' realised the taper was wrong and modified it but did it badly, so the prop is out of true and causing the vibration?

 

Tim

 

Edit - just reading through it all again, and looking at that picture, maybe the reverse error could have happened - the prop was bored for a Vetus shaft but the replacement shaft was not a Vetus item, and has/had a 1:12 taper?

I seem to recall that Vetus shafts have a thread right to the end, which the one in the pic doesn't have. Mind you, it has hammer marks on the end so the thread might have been turned off to remove a damaged portion. All guesswork really, though.

Edited by Timleech
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It would be interesting to measure the track of the prop. That is to say, measuring the distance from a fixed point (say the back or front of the weed hatch aperture) to the tip of the blade when its vertical. That distance should be the same for all 3 blades. If the prop is not sitting straight on the shaft due to a botch up job matching a shaft and prop with different tapers, it would show up as variations in this measurement. And that would certainly be a source of vibration.

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Just to throw a spanner in the works, my Vetus prop is fitted to the Vetus propshaft with a traditional nut and split pin. Sorry sad.png

 

I have heard of a prop that vibrated because the key was high in the keway and the prop was not seating correctly on the taper.

Edited by Guest
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Just to throw a spanner in the works, my Vetus prop is fitted to the Vetus propshaft with a traditional nut and split pin. Sorry sad.png

 

I have heard of a prop that vibrated because the key was high in the keway and the prop was not seating correctly on the taper.

 

Not uncommon, could be something as simple as that here.

 

Tim

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You say the work was done in Stone? I had substantial work done to my boat at Canal Cruising, most of which involved in house engineering of parts, all of which was done to a superb standard. It has certainly survived the abuse that I have inflicted the last three years.

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One other thought – has the distance between the stern post and the prop boss changed? When we had our prop swapped for a Crowther, the fitters took it on themselves to move the prop forward too much for our Tyler shell (by adjusting the position of the shaft in the flexible coupling), and the result was vibration in ahead until I moved it back about an inch.

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I can't add anything on what the problem might be, but whatever it is, your contract is with the insurance company, not the fitter. As a result you need to start by getting in touch with them and tell them about the problems you are having. They should then sort it out. They have much more leverage with the fitter and any business he works for.

 

I would expect they will want to start by having the work done looked at independently.

 

 

N

Edited by BEngo
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Just to clarify the situation. The use of the words 'Kings Lock Middlewich' can be somewhat misleading. There are two businesses at Kings Lock. The business dealing with the propeller is owned by Mr. Sivwright. Not by Steve Wedgewood owner of the Kings Lock Chandlery, the canalside based business that sells diesel and can also conduct out of water repairs.

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Just to clarify the situation. The use of the words 'Kings Lock Middlewich' can be somewhat misleading. There are two businesses at Kings Lock. The business dealing with the propeller is owned by Mr. Sivwright. Not by Steve Wedgewood owner of the Kings Lock Chandlery, the canalside based business that sells diesel and can also conduct out of water repairs.

 

Where do you carry out the "out of water repairs"?

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Hi Chick

 

Out of the water wink.png

 

To be serious, boats are craned out on to hard standing, dragged out on 'trolleys' taken into 'dry docks' you float the boat in and then remove the water.

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What sort of vibration do you have? I recently swapped my propshaft and stern tube, after which there was a whole new range of vibration. It was due to there being no thrust bearing in the drive train. This meant that the prop was winding into the engine and when the engine mounts had had enough they would push backwards.This would cause a horrible shuddering effect. Proprietary thrust bearing systems (remote drive) were quoting around £800!!!. I made one for £40.

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