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Cleaning the props..

by mlines » 25 Nov 2014, 19:22

So the general winter maintenance is under way.

I have never liked leaving the props on the boat over the winter as they are quite valuable. Therefore we always take them off and give them a clean.
As you can see, they have picked up some general dirt and surface deposits over the year in the water.



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The first stage is to clean off the deposits. There are lots of expensive "boat" cleaners, but my preference is "Cillit Bang" at £1.49 from Tesco.

I simply sprayed it on, left it for a while and then washed it off. Cillit Bang does affect your skin so wear gloves at this stage as it hurts!



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Now in previous years I have polished them myself using items from online retailers such as Metal Polishing Supplies. This year I found a local Metal Polishing expert in the form of Bracknell Metal Polishing (actually located just outside Wokingham). They quote £30 per prop so I sent them off to them rather than mess around myself.

Here are the very pleasing results.

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Last edited by mlines on 26 Nov 2014, 07:57, edited 1 time in total.
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by shibbs » 25 Nov 2014, 20:48

WOW - What a finish!!!
I have just done mine myself, and am now disappointed with what i achieved. :cry:
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by Ianfs » 25 Nov 2014, 20:59

That is an amazing finish Martin.
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by ian h » 27 Nov 2014, 21:45

seriously impressed and not far from me either, prop is i have 4 props :D
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by argonaut » 27 Nov 2014, 22:19

I always remove my prop and polish using Autosol.
I don't get much cud as I trailer ... and like to get the shine on them.

However interesting comment from "Steel Developments", they advise you should not polish them, as each time you put the work in to get a shine you are removing material and affecting the strength of the prop.

Not sure how true this is .... but they are well know prop experts.
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by shibbs » 27 Nov 2014, 22:36

I also used Autosol, but it didn't get anywhere near as shiny so it's certainly not taken much material off.. :lol:
I can see their point over time though i suppose, especially if doing it with polishing machines.
I still like a shiny prop though!
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by mlines » 28 Nov 2014, 08:01

I agree that polishing removes metal but its not as if they are polished continually, we found that our last props just needed a wipe down with a cloth after polishing and lasted at least 2 seasons between polishes on this basis. I would guess that more metal is lost through cavitation and cathodic effects.

The stainless is quite hard, if you were getting aluminum ones polished then thats a different matter.
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by argonaut » 28 Nov 2014, 19:51

I thought that way ... but Steel Developments said otherwise.
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by NikTheGeek » 28 Nov 2014, 22:01

argonaut wrote:I thought that way ... but Steel Developments said otherwise.


It might be technically true, but how many people clean jewellery or brassware etc, if it was that abrasive no one would polish anything.

On the plus side, polishing does improve fuel economy or at least speed - I know that from my racing days. A highly polished prop has a tiny bit more top end than a dull one or a rough one.
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by betty boop » 01 Dec 2014, 08:35

how do you stop them from getting dull again? I used autosol, got it to an OK state(no where near as good as those examples) used it for 2 days in Brighton, when she came out the prop was nearly back to the original 'dirty' state. :evil:
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