A propeller is the most important part of the ship. The propeller is submerged under the water and has blades or wings like a fan, propelling the ship in the water. Since the propeller is under the surface of the water, it can happen that rocks and underwater reefs can damage the blades of the propeller. In order to avoid such damage, a propeller guard needs to be installed.
A propeller guard or a prop guard, as it is more commonly known, consists of a steel cage which surrounds the propeller. The prop guard freely allows the movement of the propeller and safeguards it against rough underwater parts.
It is made of steel which makes it water resistant and prevents rusting in the salty waters of the ocean. Apart from rocks and reefs, prop guards also offer protection to people who might come in contact with the propellers while doing snorkelling and underwater swimming. Prop guards also protect marine animals who could lose their lives by colliding against the fast moving propellers.
The price of an ideal prop guard is around US $ 200. There are different varieties of prop guards, which differ according to the size of the propeller and the choice of the propeller guard that a ship owner wants. They come in sizes that vary anywhere between 7 to 12 inches.
The two main types of propeller guards can be explained as follows:
Type I: This type of prop guard has a steel covering shaped like a mesh (net). This is the more preferred type of propeller guard as the mesh acts a cage and protects the propeller from all sorts of possible damage.
Type II: This type of prop guards has a steel covering that has large bands or gaps. This sort of propeller guard is preferred less than the previously mentioned variety as it does not offer a complete protection to the propeller.
A prop guard can be fitted very easily with the help of tools like a wench and a drill. Once fitted with a prop guard, a ship owner and the crew can rest assured that there will not be any extra costs incurred to continuously replace the propellers.