Originally Posted by MattieK27
Guards will always reduce performance and shorten stern drive life, especially the hydrualic rams.
So should the government step in and mandate guards on props?
The point I was trying to make in my previous post was there are now an array of tools and propeller safety devices in addition to traditional propeller guards. There are also several types of boats and drives some of which modify propeller risks in certain situations (read water jets, pump jets, and inboard "ski" boats). Some of these tools/devices/approaches are more adaptable to certain situations/uses than others. Plus new devices continue to come on the scene.
Propeller Accident Risk Reduction Activities that can be undertaken by boaters tend to fall into one of five categories:
1. Propeller Injury Avoidance Devices (Conventional propeller guards are just one of many sub-categories of Propeller Injury Avoidance Devices).
2. Educational & Training (Such as taking a Boating Safety Course)
3. Behavioral Modifications (Eliminating your risky behaviors, for example: stop drinking and operating your boat, stay out of super wild boat party coves, operate the boat in a responsible manner, don't be jumping wakes on a PWC right behind a boat, stopping risky behaviors by others on your boat, etc.) Sometimes these types of behavioral changes are made as a result of heightened law enforcement presence (lots of smokeys on the water) or as a result of a recent high profile accident, like the one in the trial.
4. Alternative Propulsion Systems (move to a boat powered by water jets, pump jets, inboard drives, etc. as appropriate for the boating activities you participate in)
5. Warnings (decals, warnings in manuals, etc.) These are typically installed by the manufacturer. Boaters can make sure they are in place and make sure those coming on board are aware of them.
We are not saying everybody should do all of these, we are just saying people should evaluate their situation and take appropriate actions to protect themselves and those around them. We have been working on a tool to help boaters evaluate their situation, and identify which changes would best help them reduce their risk of propeller injuries based on their particular circumstances. We hope to complete it later this year..
Propeller Guard Information Center