Below Deck: Let's Take A Look At The TS Kennedy's Propeller


Take a look at this video clip!  Last week, Little Buc shared a video clip of the TS Kennedy’s rudder moving back and forth.  This week, a cadet captured a video of the propeller rotating under the ocean. 

Look closely!

Propellers are considered the most important piece of machinery on ships at sea.  The propeller is attached to a rotating hub at the end of the shaft that is driven by the TS Kennedy’s engine.

Here is a new video of the engine's shaft.  It is always exciting to watch it spin, isn't it?

Each time that the TS Kennedy is in dry-dock, her propeller is visually inspected for cracks or damage.  Measurements are made.  If needed, propeller blades are grinded, reshaped, and polished.  Routine underwater maintenance also takes place.  Here is a photo of Mrs. Franks (right) standing below the ship's propeller.  Beside her is the TS Kennedy's First Mate, Melissa Turner.  

propeller of ship in dry dock

The TS Kennedy carries a spare propeller blade.  I guess that you could say that it is similar to a car or truck carrying a spare tire.

spare ts kennedy propeller blade

After we shared photos of Titanic’s rudder last week, we received a few questions asking how Titanic’s’ propeller compared to the TS Kennedy’s propeller.  

Although there are no photographs of Titanic’s propellers, historians have relied on photos of her sister ship, Olympic, for information.  Both Titanic and Olympic had three propellers; a central propeller and two wing propellers.  We know that Titanic’s wing propellers were each 23 feet, 6 inches in diameter, each having three blades.  For years, historians thought that Titanic's central propeller had four blades, just like Olympic.  After further research, it is now believed that Titanic's central propeller had a diameter of 17 feet and just three blades.  

propeller diagram of titanic or olympic

In 2000, Titanic’s starboard propeller was photographed at the ship’s wreck-site. Because it was formed from manganese-bronze, it is expected to outlast the rest of the ship. 

titanic's propeller under the ocean

Would you like to make a propeller?  These activities require ADULT SUPERVISIONDO NOT try them on your own.  Safety isn't just the top priority aboard the TS Kennedy, we want it to be the top priority for all students participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program

If you make a propeller, we would love to have you share photos of your work.  Please email them to: