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Hull Clean and Servicing a Darglow Feathering Propeller

Watch George – The Solent Boat Butler as he carries out a bottom clean of a Contessa 32 and servicing a Darglow feathering propeller.

Summary of George Servicing a Darglow FeatherStream Propeller

We clean the bottom of our Contessa 32 sailing boat the cheap way using a DIY Scrubbing Grid, with the weed, slime and other sea life removed and then servicing a  Darglow Feathering Propeller gets a clean and service.

I want to service the prop, the prop is very very dirty at the moment. I can only achieve about 2500 rpm on the engine with the engine absolutely flat out, and I should (I know from experience) be able to achieve 3,5000 rpm with the engine flat out so I know the prop is really quite dirty.

There is also an anode that I need to change on the prop, and I want to pump it full of fresh grease because it’s a Darglow feathering properties to keep that nice and lubricated.

Cleaning the propeller

Servicing the FeatherStream prop removing limescale

Here’s the prop had quite a selection of different sea creatures growing on it – but that is going to get a clean up, service a new anode on the back and it should be all good.

The bottom is clean the next job is before I get into servicing prop. As you can see there is all this kind of scale stuff and sea creatures which like to grow. This is basically calcium carbonate. You can scrape it off or you can use a wire wheel, but that tends to remove a bit of the prop as well.

I am going to use science – and that means I actually use acid so this is fairly unpleasant stuff I should be wearing a mask and some safety glasses.

All I do is I get my brush in there and paint on the acid, and you can see that fizzing away rapidly. It doesn’t damage the metal but I do this over and over again slowly all that calcium carbonate is dissolved and you can see already the stainless steel blade is appearing and I will keep going like this until it is all shiny and clean.

As you can see, all nice a clean now. I cleaned it up with the acid as I showed you and then gave it a little rub over with a Scotch Brite pad – so it all looks nice and clean.

This is a Mark 4 Darglow FeatherStream prop, and you have a little grub screw here – and it is essential that you put some grease in your prop at least once a year ideally. It does two things, it lubricates everything but it also dampens the motion. When you go from forward to reverse these blades spin round quite quickly and just having it packed full of grease just dampens that movement and just protects the internals of the prop, particularly the prop pitch stops.

Greasing the Prop

Greasing the prop with grease gun

So, all we need to do is get a little Allen key, pop it in and undo this little grub screw – and then we will pop in a little grease nipple. Do it up reasonably firm, and then get your grease gun (there are lots of different types of grease gun) I am just using my preferred one – mine is really old. Stick it on the end there and I normally I have the blades all the way round in one direction – start pumping a bit of grease in. And then I will move the blades a bit – and you can see water is dripping out of there as I pump it full of grease. Because all of the grease that was in there has worked its way out through the use of the prop.

So, I going to twist the blade around a bit more – and I keep doing this until I just start seeing grease coming out of the prop. Sometimes it comes out at the front, sometimes it comes out by the blade where they go into the hub. I am going to give it a little work like that – and then we will stick a bit more grease in. This hasn’t been done for two years on this prop, so it possibly needs a bit more grease than if it had been done six months ago.

But as you do it you feel the blades firming up as you are turning them ever so slightly, which is what you want. I am just starting to see a little bit of grease coming out of the gap there between the two halves of the hub. A couple more pumps and I think we will call that done.

So, with that done I can take the grease nipple out, pop the grub screw back in there, then the next really important thing to do is replace the anode which is right at the back here. It is held in place by two Allen key cap heads. We will back those out, get the new anode, put some threadlocker on the screws and then put them back in. It is really important that you use threadlocker on the screws, because it stops the whole thing vibrating lose in use – I have seen that happen – so a bit of threadlock, do it up tight – and that is your prop good for another year.

Replacing the Anode

FeatherStream 3 blade prop and anode

So, we will take this anode off. Sometimes there is enough space to turn the Allen key in front of the rudder – but I am starting to run out of space as they come out.

Here’s the old anode – as you can see there is quite a lot of material on this one, which is surprising. This boat also has a hull anode up there which is electrically bonded to the prop – so I suspect that has saved this anode from being worn away as much as it would otherwise be.

We are going to stick another new anode on there. But before I do that, the important thing is to clean up that back surface – because we want to get a good electrical bond between the new anode and that – and there is just a bit of limescale left there which I will scrape off.

Cleaning the anode removing limescale

After I give it a little wipe I take my little tube of threadlocker and I am just going to add a little blob to each one of the pins. Then I am going to position the anode back on the prop and tighten it back up with the Allen key. If you fast forward you can see me do this up.

New anode in place

And there we are done, the boat hull has been cleaned and the servicing a Darglow feathering propeller is complete – and she is no ready to go sailing without dragging around a carpet of weed.

Credit: George – The Solent Boat Butler


More info – https://www.youtube.com/@RefitandSail



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