PropellerSafety.com

Archive for New Products

Fell Marine will be showing MOB+, their wireless kill switch at the Miami International Boat Show this week per their 8 February 2017 press release. They will be in the Fugawi Software booth and have two center console boats on the water in Mag Bay Yachts slips.

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB+ image from Fell Marine web site

MOB is a popular nautical abbreviation for Man OverBoard.

Fell Marine has partnered with Mag Bay Yachts of Adelanto to install MOB+ on all their future boats.

Fell Marine is a subsidiary of a Norwegian firm, Fell Group AS.

Fell Marine’s MOB+ literature repeatedly touts its electronics do not interfere with existing systems on your boat or other wireless systems.

They say their product brings style, design, and comfort to this market, and their system can be restarted by those remaining on board just 6 seconds after someone has been ejected. Read More→

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Back in November 2011 we covered Mercury Marine’s Moving Propeller Alert. It displays LED lights to swimmers behind the vessel when the engine is running. Those same LED lights blink in a rotational pattern when the engine is on and the propeller is rotating. The propeller safety device was originally limited to boats with Mercury’s SmartCraft CANBUS network.

Mercury Marine MP Alert oval bezel

Mercury Marine MP Alert oval bezel

Mercury Marine has since updated their Moving Propeller Alert (MP Alert). MP Alert is now available in a smaller size for mounting where space is limited and for use on non-SmartCraft boats and with non-Mercury outboard motors. The system can run up to four individual rotating lights that can be a mix of the larger and smaller ones if desired.

As to use on non-Mercury systems, as we understand it, a switch in the dash allow the operator to turn the system off and on when swimmers are in the water. The two page flyer does not specifically say the lights automatically rotate when the engine is running and shifted into gear on non-Mercury outboards. They may be asking the operator to switch it on at those times when swimmers are in the water.

The LED lights are automatically dimmed at night so they will not be confused with navigational lights.

Mercury issued a colorful 2 page pdf sheet describing the updated MP Alert propeller safety system.


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When an outboard motor strikes a submerged object at speed it may break off and flip into the boat. Outboards that flip into the boat usually do so with the engine still running and the propeller turning at thousands of RPM. Those on board can be critically injured or killed.

We have long been especially pointing out the need to prevent larger outboard motors, such as those on bass boats, from entering the boat.

The Leash is a new product designed specifically to prevent outboard motors from flipping into bass boats and usable in other applications as well.

All images below, except the hand sketch have their origins based on images on The Leash’s Facebook page.

Shortly after we posted this page, The Leash also launched a web page on TheLeash.net.

The Leash: promotional image

The Leash: promotional image

Read More→

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Volvo Penta FWD photo

Volvo Penta FWD photo

Volvo Penta unveiled their new FWD Forward drive at the Miami Boat Show on 11 February 2015. It is a companion to their successful IPS forward facing diesel twin prop through hull drive (similar to the Brunswick / Mercury Marine Zeus drive).

The new FWD drive bolts to the transom like a stern drive, but has twin forward facing propellers. Targeting towed sports, especially wake boarding and wake surfing, the drive features a wide range of trim that allows it to change the wake by changing the attitude of the boat. Currently that is done by large onboard water tanks pumping water in and out of an inboard powered boat to make the boat sit down in the water and make a larger wake.

Volvo Penta says the drive reduces noise and vibration, reduces onboard emission (exhaust pumped out through the propeller), and the forward facing props make the boat more suitable for swimming and fishing off the back of the boat. Read More→

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Mercury Marine Moving Propeller (MP) Alert

Mercury Marine Moving Propeller (MP) Alert

We covered Brunswick / Mercury Marine’s Moving Propeller Alert back in November 2011.

We followed that post up with a call for inventors and college project classes to consider trying design a free standing, energy harvesting, self powered version that did not require the use of the expensive underlying Smart Craft bus system.

Now, about two years later, Brunswick’s patent for the Moving Propeller Alert issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

U.S. Patent 8,803,711
System and Methods for Displaying Operational Characteristics of Marine Vessels.

Inventor: Steven J. Gonring.
Assignee: Brunswick Corporation.
Issued 12 August 2014.

The patent application was filed back on January 28, 2011. It is a continuation of an application filed 22 September 2010 (about 4 years ago) so it probably had some problems along the way.

The patent cites U.S. Patent 7,247,063 by Marc S.Lemchen that detects propeller rotation and/or CO2 presence and generated a warning signal with the intent to warn a swimmer in the proximity.

The basic premise of the invention is that a device a bit larger than a coaster that has a series of led lights in the form of a circle (a circular array of lights). The lights blink in a rotary sequence to suggest rotation when the propeller is rotating at low to moderate speeds. Read More→

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Hot Foot throttle from TH Marine

Hot Foot throttle from TH Marine

Many may not even be aware of foot throttles for boats, let alone their role as a propeller safety device.

Foot throttles are connected to the engine by a cable similar to the current hand throttle/shifters. It usually takes a longer cable to reach further forward to the foot throttle. Some DIY installers are leaving the old cable in place in case they ever want to change back.

When a boat operator is ejected by the boat striking a wave, wake, floating log, submerged object, etc., the unmanned boat will often begin to circle resulting in the operator and others in the water being struck repeatedly by the boat and/or propeller. Circling unmanned boats are often said to be in the “Circle of Death”. Bystanders, officials, and emergency responders often risk their own lives while trying to rescue those in the water as the boat continues to circle. Sometimes they, or the operator, are injured or killed while trying to re-board the spinning boat. Read More→

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We heard from our friends at Propeller Solutions in the UK last Friday (August 2, 2013). They are continuing to improve their vane / vein type guard called the Prop Deflector.

Propeller Solutions Facebook Page links to some of their recent test data and photos on Dropbox.

They also recently announced a new website specifically devoted to their Prop Deflector. The new website announces the Propeller Deflector being an Innovation Award finalist at 2013 SeaWork International, identifies their current models (which outboards they can fit – the list continues to grow), and shows off some nice photos of their propeller guard.

Propeller Solutions is trying to build a guard (deflector) that will deflect people from the propeller while providing minimal impact on top speed, handling, and other variables at speed. The new web site notes test results are showing only a 5 percent impact on top speed (even using the standard propeller) on a 30 knot RIB, and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is using them. Read More→

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Propeller Solutions Propeller Guard

Propeller Solutions Propeller Guard

Propeller Solutions in the UK launched a line of stainless steel propeller guards in September 2012 that can be nylon coated. They are available in red, black, and now in orange (arrival of the new orange units was announced 28 September 2012).

BoatsandOutboards.co.uk says these are the propeller guards used by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue on 25 and 40HP engines (this application has received a lot of press). Propeller Solutions says Yamaha UK tested them with a PowerTech propeller and found them to the most efficient propeller guards they had ever tested. Read More→

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A 21 May, 2012 Yamaha UK press release titled “Professional and Commercial Users Now Powered by Yamaha in the UK” includes Yamaha’s small outboards for swift water applications. Among the small outboard’s accessories are “a new design of propeller guard, shaped to give greatest strength, with minimum water-flow disturbance to the propeller giving maximum performance when required.”

“For shallow and unpredictable conditions, a Plastic Prop Guard or stainless steel Deflector Guard will assist in limiting the chance of foreign objects fouling the propeller. In addition, these guards aid control of water flow from the propeller and can increase thrust at low RPM.”

The accompanying Yamaha Pro UK literature (partially copied below) notes propeller guards are now available for all Yamaha outboard models. Read More→

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PowerTech!’s Safety Prop won the Propulsion Parts, Propellers BWI (Boat Writers) IBEX (International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference) Innovation Award on October 2, 2012.

PowerTech! Safety Prop

In an October 4, 2012 International Boating Industry piece covering the innovation awards, Steve Powers of PowerTech Propellers said the Safety Prop propeller has round-bladed edges that “tend to minimize the possibility of being cut during a slow-speed impact.” He also notes its unique blade shape improves stopping and reverse power.

Steve Powers says his IBEX 2012 booth traffic picked up after the announcement of the PowerTech! Safety Prop winning the Innovation Award. He reports members of the U.S. Coast Guard, members of the National Safe Boating Council, and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) came by wanting to learn more about the propeller. Read More→

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