Getting The Shaft On Memorial Day!

So, it looks like there are all sorts of perfect classic boater weekends. Fellow Woody Boater Brian Swanson balances out my perfect weekend…. Here it is in his own words. Brian you are not alone..
Memorial Day Mishaps and Mayhem
by Brian Swanson

I’ve noticed that none of my boating stories include college girls throwing their clothes into the lake as we’re screaming across the water at high speed while I protest insincerely and admonish them to cease their unseemly and destructive behavior….

No…they include:

– Failed fuel pump.

– Smashed windshield

– Catastrophic engine failure.

– Shaft Log failure/leak

– Vent tube issues/gas fumes

– Cracked plank

– Pier damage

and now…my beautiful bronze four-blade propeller is in Davy Jones’ Locker at the bottom of Boone Lake in Tennessee in 117 ft. of water.

I’m still clueless how this happened. I didn’t hit anything: no bumps, no thumps, no teeth-gnashing sounds of twisting metal and shattering mahogany – nothing! One moment we’re screaming across the lake at high speed (again, no college girls), and the next my engine is whining in high-pitch protest as the shaft spins freely in the water.

The prop did not fall off…the shaft sheared and snapped just aft of where the propeller once rested. Note the pictures. The last few centimeters of the key notch are visible.

Certainly, I got the shaft! Now, I need a shaft. I’m hoping to find a after-Memorial-Day sale on propeller shafts! I’ve contacted my peeps at the Antique Boat Center.

My Wooden Boat adventures are suspended until further notice.

8 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    There should be a law that nothing breaks once your boat is in the water for the season. I have no problem if its broken in my garage on the trailer.

  2. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    You got the "Shaft" alright! It appears to be a clean shear, no previous cracks are visible. It makes you wonder if a large fish could have caused the shaft to shear off. Wow, not fun at all. I assume you got a tow back to your trailer.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    You want girls get plastic. Have an overwhelming, unable to resist need to spend money go woodyboating. Man I wish there was a cure. For what we spend on our habit we could keep a couple of hot babes well taken care of. What ARE we thinkin.

  4. Jim Godlewski
    Jim Godlewski says:

    Yep, plastic may be the way to go. Low maintenance and cheap. Unlike the real thing and our boats…
    Glad the prop missed your boat on departure.

  5. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    At the very least, we have to keep our sense of humor when things go horribly wrong.
    I've seen props fall off like that. Hard to say why. Maybe you could get the next shaft X-rayed for microscopic flaws. They do that for space shuttle parts LOL.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    It's all my fault. I am Brian's Father I had a 24ft Shepherd Runabout when Brian was growing up. Wild party's good looking gals moon light boat rides. 13 years of GREAT fun and also lost the complete prop and shaft and to this day I don't know HOW??? Must be a Shepherd thing!! He still has to work on the wild college girl thing. OR Maybe NOT!!! LOL.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Glenwood Marine in CA is the best deal on ss shafts, I just bought a custom length one for $175

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