Outboard Motors Safety: Propeller Guards
Published on July 22nd, 2013
By Whitney Peterson & Kellie Crete, Gowrie Group
Experienced boaters know that things happen fast. A typical recreational propeller can travel from head to toe on a person in the water in less than one tenth of a second. Propeller guards add an important margin of safety for boats operated around children, sailors, and swimmers.
In 2012, according to the US Coast Guard’s annual recreational boating accident statistics, there were 181 propeller accidents, 187 propeller injuries, and 19 propeller fatalities. In 2011, there were 35 propeller fatalities. Gowrie Group, as managers of The Burgee Insurance Program, recommends that propeller guards be considered for all outboard motors used around small boat sailors, children, and swimmers. In many cases this includes boats used for teaching junior sailing, running small boat regattas, and supporting recreational watersports (skiing, tubing, swimming, etc).
Propeller guards are typically constructed of polypropylene, and can be affixed to an outboard motor using bolts. Prop Guard, a popular manufacturer of propeller guards, includes the 9 bolts needed for the installation with the guard. Because the unit is made of polypropylene, there is no rust or corrosion and there are no moving parts, no hydraulics or electrics. – Read on