There could be a number of reasons of as to why you need a new boat propeller, and the end of the winter months when boats beg to be taken out into the open waters, could very well be time that you start looking for boat props. In doing so, you would need to know what to look for, and there are a number of things you need to consider.
In looking for boat props, you need to look into factors such as the material that the propeller is made of, the number of blades, as well as its pitch. While these factors do affect the choice that you make, you also need to take into consideration factors such as your boat’s size and its engine’s optimal operating range.
Looking at the pitch of a prop is important. Boat props which have blades at flat angles generally make it easier to maneuver the boat while turning in comparison to props that have their blades at steeper angles. In order to know what pitch level to look for, you should ideally go through your engine’s manual and find its ‘wide open throttle range’ (WOT RPM). Once you have this information in hand, you would have to choose from the three basic criteria mentioned below.
The first factor to consider is that every inch of prop pitch reduces the prop’s WOT RPM by around 150 – 200 RPM. Thereby, every inch of prop pitch taken away adds around 150 – 200 RPM to the existing WOT RPM. A four blade prop turns at around 50 – 100 RPM lesser than a three blade prop, even when their pitches are the same.
The second factor that calls for your attention is the material that the boat propeller is made of. You would normally come across boat props made of aluminum, stainless steel, and composite. Composite boat props present an advantage when it comes to performance, they are fairly durable, and are also substantially cheap. A majority of the boat props, however, are made of aluminum, and they can be used in a number of applications owing to the wide range of styles and models they can be found in. Stainless steel boat props present the highest and best standards of functionality and durability, but are also the costliest option available.
The other factor that you need to look into is the number of blades that the propeller has. Boats usually used for recreational activities have props with three blades. A four of five bladed prop needs to be considered if looking for propellers for high horse powered engines. A four or five bladed propeller would keep the boat steady at lower speeds, give you increased acceleration, and also provide smother runs and better holding power while out in rough conditions.
With there being a number of options to choose from, make sure that you take your specific requirements into consideration before you buy a new boat propeller.