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What to Consider When Buying a Boat Propeller

In most cases, boating aficionados fail to look into the importance of their boat propeller. The propeller is the direct connection between the horsepower and the water. Therefore, when shopping for a propeller for your boat, make sure you make all the necessary considerations.

Finding the Right Shape and Size

Propellers are made in different shapes and sizes. In terms of propeller sizes, diameter and pitch are the two key measurements involved. First of all, the propeller pitch should be a match to the WOT (wide open throttle) range recommended by the engine manufacturer. This means it should be possible for the throttle to be fully advanced when you turn the minimum rpm for which the engine was created. An increase in a propellers pitch leads to a bigger weight or limit for the engine to drive up to greater rpm’s. A 750-horsepower offshore race engine can turn more than 30 inches of pitch, but a 50-horsepower engine can only be successful turning 15.

Checking the Diameter

Diameter can also be a factor in terms of rpm capabilities and some other boat and hull personalities.
Another factor can impact impact rpm capabilities and certain other boat and hull personalities, is diameter. A good number of the diameter choices are predetermined by the manufacturer for the user. In majority of low-performance applications, this works rather well. However, overall performance can be dramatically improved by fine tuning diameter. Less diameter usually means higher rpm and vice-versa. Changes in diameter will adjust the running attitude of the hulls as well. Not that diameter adjustments are always necessary though, considering buyers can match stock diameters to propeller types.

How Many Blades

In theory, less blades create faster speeds. This is based on the premise that more blades create more metal in the water, thereby translating to more drag. But with a boat that is running inefficiently, a higher number of blades could mean that the boat has more”hook up” ability and may perform better thoughout the torque band. The specific boat application will help the determine how many blades will give the best results.

Choosing the right boat propeller can indeed be intimidating. Seeking the help of a trained professional is the best way to optimize your boat set-up. Most are happy to share their expert knowledge and experiences. You may not even have to come and meet them personally. Just participate in online forums and get tips from there.

Finally, the most crucial starting point is to be aware of your engine or engines capabilities. As soon as this is done, the engine package can be protected from damage due to improper rpm in connection with propping. From here, you can decide if you would like to upgrade its performance.

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