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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 directly links the horsepower to the water. So when buying a propeller for your boat, be sure to make all the necessary considerations.

Finding the Right Shape and Size

Propellers are made in different shapes and sizes. When it comes to sizes, measurements are taken in terms of diameter and pitch. First off, be sure that the propeller pitch fits the engine manufacturers recommended WOT (wide open throttle) range. 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. As the pitch of a propeller goes up, there is an accompanying in crease in weight or limit for the engine to raise its rpm’s. While an engine with a horsepower of 50 can turn a 15-pitch propeller, a 750 horsepower offshore race engine may only be capable of 30 + inches of pitch.

Considering 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. This usually works great for non-high performance applications. However, overall performance can be dramatically improved by fine tuning diameter. Reducing diameter will often lower rpm, and the same is true the other way around. Adjustments in diameter adjustments change the hulls’ running attitude too. Not that changing the diameter is always needed, considering the stock diameters may be matched to the propeller type.

Blade Count

Theoretically speaking, less blades mean higher speeds. The rationale behind this is based on the fact that with more blades, more metal is created in the water, hence more drag. But if a boat is running inefficiently, more blades can become an asset since the extra blade area can increase the boat’s ability to “hook up” and do 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. Talking to a specialist is the most effective way of maximizing your benefits from your boat set-up, propeller included. Most are happy to help by sharing their expertise. You may not even have to come and meet them personally. Simply take part in online forums and you’ll get a lot of insights.

Finally, the most crucial starting point is to be aware of your engine or engines capabilities. When you’ve got this out of the way, you can be sure that the engine package is protected from propping-related improve rpm. From here, you can decide if you want to take it to the next level of performance.

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