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  Broke off bottom of lower unit

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Author Topic:   Broke off bottom of lower unit
pequotman posted 08-26-2002 09:59 AM ET (US)   Profile for pequotman   Send Email to pequotman  
I totally trashed the bottom of my lower unit about a month ago. Hit a ROCK at low tide. Major bummer. Prop was aluminum, not stainless, so the unit (gears) survived intact but the little fin below the prop snapped off. I guess that's why that thing is there. It is now a stubby little fin that curves to the right and is quite jagged and sharp. I had a new prop put on and the engine is running better that it ever has. Go figure! Anyways the mechanic said the fix for the fin is to get a new extension welded on the broken stump. I really don't want to pay to get this fixed but I am uncomfortable with the jagged edge as I am afriad that the kids might cut themselves on it also if I broke it off without internal damage to the unit I feel like it is necessary equipment. Any thoughts?
keltonkrew posted 08-26-2002 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for keltonkrew  Send Email to keltonkrew     
you can buy a skeg gaurd that bolts on to the remaining part of the skeg.
pequotman posted 08-26-2002 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
thanks the proper term "skeg".
kingfish posted 08-26-2002 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
You can cut it off and/or grind it smooth so it isn't a hazard for the kids (or Dad), and probably get by OK. It does help a little with steering, and of course it won't be there to give whatever amount of protection it might if you whack another rock...If it were mine I'd either do as keltonkrew suggested or have some heli-arc work done to replicate the old skeg.

kingfish

WSTEFFENS posted 08-26-2002 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     
Pequot:
I did some heavy dreadging in the north channel of Lake Huron last year and trashed both lower units on my OMC 150's on the 25 Revenge I have.

My insurance paid for the rebuild of the cases and rework of the skegs. Total cost was $3000. The shop sent the cases out to a speciality shop that re-welded new skegs on the gear cases. I am told this is very common and when reassembled you couldn't tell the damage was ever done. By the way the drive shaft of the port engine was bent .31" out in TIR. Spare SS props are a waste of money. If you dammage a blade on one you probibly have done some other major work.

Best
WLS

pequotman posted 08-26-2002 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
yeah it is definitely a danger for Dad too. I think it is best to get the heli arc done so that the skeg is there for the next time my wife takes the helm. If it looks and performs as good as new then that sounds like the right thing to do.
where2 posted 08-26-2002 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Sometime before I bought my 15' Whaler, the previous owner had a mishap with something stronger than the aluminum skeg. In the OMC repair manual there's a note on when he had the replacement welded on. It's still attached and I've had the boat for 6 years now. :)
Arch Autenreith posted 08-26-2002 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I sheared 1/3 of my skeg off 5 years ago backing up in Georgian Bay. I cut and filed what was left. Looks funny out of the water but don't find any difference in performance. (It's 22 years old and not worth it in my opinion to fix it as I'm just waiting for it to grenade so I can buy a new motor.) It would protect while coming in contact with a flat surface, say a ramp, but it's unlikely it'll help in shallow waters.
jameso posted 08-26-2002 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Skeg on my 50 OMC broken for years, last two inches missing. No change in performance or steering that I can tell.
Jim Armstrong
Bigshot posted 08-27-2002 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Skeggard....$100 and takes 10 minutes to put on. It will outlast the rest of the lower unit.
pequotman posted 08-27-2002 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
where can I find a bolt on skeg guard? seems like the low cost alternative.
Bigshot posted 08-27-2002 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
anywhere! Cabellas, overtons, etc.
shoctor posted 08-28-2002 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for shoctor  Send Email to shoctor     
My dear old dad did the same with our mercruiser on the chris craft. Few coors light at the wheel I imagine helped his reasoning of trying to "make it through the cut" Anyways we had the same issue and we asked the local marina for a good welder or someone to repair it and all said and done less than 100 bucks and looks like new. Not sure cost of skeg guard but I am sure this will perform better than a bolt on and will help with resale I would ditch the bolt on idea. Also the guy who did work was familiar with marine environment and also straightened out the other metal boat tracks straight as an arrow. Good luck
pequotman posted 08-28-2002 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
found the skeggard at Cabels's under prop protection / accesories $99.99. looks pretty cool, Stainless Steel.
pequotman posted 08-28-2002 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
www.skeggard.com - installation instructions, pictures, model numbers
Bigshot posted 08-28-2002 03:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
You need to TIG weld a skeg on for a good and clean weld. If you MIG it will be weak and the heat can ruin seals if break is close to housing. The skeggard is permenant, especially if you fill it with epoxy before installing or JB weld. A repaired skeg looks factory but is just as weak as factory. The skeggards look trick and if you do hit again, she aint going anywhere.
johnnyb posted 08-28-2002 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnnyb  Send Email to johnnyb     
I badly damaged the skeg (and prop) on a 50 HP Johnson. A local weld shop shaped (TIG) a new one using stock material for about $150. The result was very pretty, it looked factory and held oil. Unfortunately, a few months later while running at speed, a gear in the lower end broke in half and blew the gearbox. The broken gear, however, may have been the result of vibration damage due to spinning a damaged, unbalanced prop and not the welding. I'll never know for sure.

I had never heard of Skeggard before today, but would go that route if it happened again.
Good luck.

flaglerdave posted 08-29-2002 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for flaglerdave  Send Email to flaglerdave     
SKEG Guard is the ticket ! I had a stupid lauching mishap two weeks ago right before a vacation to Marco Island, FL. I was bummed to say the least ! I got part the night before trip. I straightened the remained and installed part. Worked great !!!!
JohnAz posted 08-30-2002 01:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
Johnnyb,,,the welder may have done the damage you have to remove all the gears and gaskets to weld the lower unit properly
Bigshot posted 08-30-2002 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Not if you use a TIG.
JohnAz posted 08-30-2002 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnAz  Send Email to JohnAz     
The aluminum ,which disipates heat very rapidly, will cause the case to distort, the steel parts dont expand at the same rate,,and the rubber o rings dont like that much heat
Bigshot posted 08-30-2002 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I was informed that a TIG only heats up the weld and therefore it kind of fuses the 2 pieces together but does not effect the rest of the area as much as a MIG. I do not weld but I was told with a TIG you do not have to disassemble a lower but it is also much more money to fix etc. This is why I just buy Skeggards:)

I actually put my skeggard to the test on my old 15'. I had one on there because the skeg was worn, not broken. I hit a submerged bridge post at about 25mph. It kicked up the 70hp and I hit so hard it dented the back of the skeggard and blew out one of the bolts that hold it on. The prop was not even scratched and I just squeezed the gard with a vice and put a new bolt in it....good as new. If that would have been a factory skeg, the skeg would have sheared and the prop would have hit as well causing some serious damage. Again, they are worth the money even if your skeg is still good.

Taylor posted 09-03-2002 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
I share your pain, now.

Ironically, after reading this on Friday, I ran my skeg into a rock while backing out of a beach on Saturday. I'd like to say it was because I had three adults standing behind the RPS, the boat was sitting deeper and I could not see how far I could trim up safely. I'd like to say that, but basically it was just poor seamanship on my part. I lost the last two inches of skeg and I could easily file it back to a point and paint it and nobody be me (and now you) would ever be the wiser.

Should I do the filing and painting and keep things looking cool, or should I install a skeguard, prophylactically? I'm leaning toward filing.

Sammy posted 09-03-2002 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sammy  Send Email to Sammy     
I bumped granite (shouldn't have happened) and snapped a skeg off an Alpha 1 while pulling into Passage Island NW of Isle Royale last year.

Bought a replacement skeg ($17.00), a local shop ground and rewelded ($75.00), used self etching primer ($4.00) and Merc black gloss ($8.00) - it looks factory.

andygere posted 09-04-2002 01:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I did the straighten and file method on the skeg of my old 85 hp Johnson, and it looks so good I had actually forgotten that I made the repair. I have noticed no adverse affects from this repair. To straighten, I heated carefully with a map gas torch, using soaking wet towels wrapped around the gear case to prevent overheating. Then I carfully bent the remaining skeg back into place. Heat, bend a little, repeat. I was going to get in welded, but the only shop that would do it was an hour away and wanted me to wait 3 or 4 weeks in the middle of the summer. I considered a skeg guard, but didn't want all the extra drag. Those things look kind of bulky to me.
Bigshot posted 09-04-2002 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Problem with filing is will your prop blade go below the skeg? If so, not a good idea because next time you hit ANYTHING the prop will hit and do damage. Skeggards amy look bulky but I think they are "drop dead sexy baby!" I also think that on a 15' whaler with a 70 Johnson running 48.3 on the GPS, the skeggard had little drag compared to stock. Do what you guys like, I think a stock skeg looks the best(that is why i paint mine constantly), but the next time you back out and hit it will be another $100...and so on......and so on.....

2 bolts and forget it.

pequotman posted 09-04-2002 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
Just opened the box from Cabela's. Inside is one shiny new Skeggard. I hope to install it this weekend!
Bigshot posted 09-05-2002 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
decent hunk of polished stainless huh?

Takes 5 minutes to install. Boat on land of course. If you can beach it somewhere(obviously you can:) Bring a cordless drill and do it in the water.

pequotman posted 09-06-2002 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
If it was beach I wouldn't have this new shiny skeg!!!

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