Right Hand Or Left Hand Rotation
A 4 blade propeller will usually have a smaller diameter for the same pitch size of the 3 blade equivalent. This is one reason they spin up quickly and yield good acceleration. The blades are often a bit smaller but offer more total blade area because of the additional blade, so they have more grip on the water. When switching from a 3 blade prop to a 4 blade, youll usually need to decrease the pitch by 1 or 2 inches to keep the engine RPM in the same range.
Understanding Your Rc Boat Kits Propellers
Most RC boat kits come with more than one propeller, with many offering up at least three or four of varying sizes. This is by design, and each propeller is typically made for its own unique purpose.
Some propellers, typically the smaller ones, are made for slow-speed cruising. The larger the propellers get, the more likely it is that they are meant for racing, specialty waters, and stunt steering.
Its important to remember that the inclusion of a propeller in your RC boat kit doesnt mean that the prop is good to use for long periods of time at maximum power. Testing each propeller out can help you determine how conservative you need to be with your RC time.
Choosing Prop Pitch For Your Application
Each engine manufacturer has preordained the WOT rpm of your engine and usually the pitch of the prop fitted to that engine will allow it to reach that rpm setting. If the engine cannot reach the intended WOT rpm, and if the engine is performing properly, it probably means that the prop has too great a pitch. A prop expert can suggest what pitch prop you should have based on the performance of your boat in relation to its factory-rated WOT rpm.
Changing the pitch of your prop will change the boat’s performance. Think of it in terms of a manual-shift car: the lower the gear, the easier it is to turn high rpms. Likewise with a prop, the lower the pitch, the easier it is to turn high rpms. In a car or truck if you are trying to go up a hill with a heavy load, the transmission must be downshifted into a lower gear making it easier for the engine to turn the rpms it needs to move the weight. The same is true in boats.
If you want a fast hole shot for water skiing or another purpose such as a bass tournament start, then you may want to lower the pitch of your prop. Also, if you plan on running your boat heavy because of the number of passengers or equipment aboard, you should consider lowering the pitch of your prop.
If you discover that you have purchased an under-powered boat, buying a prop with a lower pitch could be the least costly solution to your problem.
Cup size is important. It affects speed, fuel consumption, and WOT speed.
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Is Your Engine Over Or Under Revving
Selecting the correct prop should result in your engine running within the designed rpm range at Wide Open Throttle . Your owners manual should include this specusually 50005500rpm for an outboard or 4200-5000rpm for a sterndriveor your mechanic or dealer may know. Allowing your engine to under rev or over rev at WOT can result in engine damage. Over revving or under revving can be corrected by selecting a prop with a different pitch.
How To Select A Propeller For Your Boat
Selecting the right boat propeller is an important factor in maximizing your boat’s performance. Determining the correct size and style of boat prop will keep the engine operating within its recommended RPM range and allow it to apply its maximum horsepower to the water. One of our goals at Overton’s is to help make choosing a boat propeller an easy process. We have a huge selection of props and prop accessories at great prices! Optimize your performance with the right propeller using the information below or take advantage of our propeller selector tool for help in choosing your prop.
MATERIAL – We offer propellers made of composite, aluminum, and stainless steel. Composite props offer good performance, are durable, and inexpensive. They also offer some protection for your lower unit during a prop strike. Aluminum props are the most common and are suitable for the widest range of applications since there are so many models and styles available. Stainless steel props offer the highest performance and best durability.
Select the prop size that lets your engine operate at WOT in the correct RPM range.
NUMBER OF BLADES – When the number of blades are changed, diameter and pitch may require adjusting to keep the RPMs in the proper range. For most purposes, 3 and 4-blade boat propellers can be used interchangeably on outboards and sterndrives without much of a change in performance.
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How To Choose The Right Prop For Your Boat
The proper propeller size for your boat and engine combination is based in part on the wide open throttle operating range for your particular engine. You can find this in your operator’s manual, expressed in terms of a certain horsepower at a certain r.p.m.
The goal in propeller selection is to determine what style and size will maximize your boat’s performance, while allowing your engine to operate in the recommended r.p.m. range. The correct propeller will prevent the engine from over-revving, yet allow it to reach the minimum r.p.m. where the maximum horsepower is produced, with ideal engine loading.
Using your existing propeller, determine your maximum obtainable r.p.m.. If during this test, you begin to exceed the maximum rated r.p.m. of the engine, reduce the throttle setting. If the engine over-revs beyond the maximum recommended r.p.m., you may need to increase the pitch of the propeller. Increasing the pitch increment by 2″ will result in approximately a 200-400 r.p.m. drop. Also, switching from an uncupped to a cupped propeller will reduce your r.p.m . The cupped propeller of the same pitch and diameter will typically reduce your r.p.m. by approximately 200. If you cannot reach maximum r.p.m., then pitch should be decreased. These recommendations apply to single engine installations only. For most twin engine installations it is necessary to increase pitch by 4″.
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Boat Prop Selector Guide
Whether you are buying a new propeller for your boat, simply in need of a replacement for a prop you lost/damaged, trying to address a performance issue or you simply want to gain better fuel economy, we can help you find the perfect propeller for all of your boating needs. Propeller Depot offers the best pricing in the marine industry on all inboard, outboard, ski/wake and stern drive propellers. Order your boat propeller today from Propeller Depot and save.
What Are Tooth Splines
A new propeller will only fit if the number of ´tooth splines´ on your propeller shaft is the same as the number of tooth splines on the inside of your propeller hub. When selecting your engine in our shop, it will automatically select the propellers with the right number of tooth splines. To verify if your new propeller will fit, you can check the number of tooth splines as mentioned on the product page.
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The Meaning Of The Numbers On A Prop
Typically, most propellers will have specific information engraved on them. This information usually consists of two to four sets of numbers and letters.
One being the propeller diameter, the second being the pitch length, third representing the rotational direction and fourth being the bore/shaft diameter.
An example of these numbers displayed resembles the following: 15.6 x 15 | RH | 1 ¼
To Pitch Up Or Pitch Down
This is an integral question that must be answered before you buy the new propeller. As explained, by increasing your prop pitch, you will be effectively decreasing the engines rpm and vice versa.
Since the general rule of thumb is that every two-inch increase in pitch decreases the engines rpm by about 400 revolutions, if you find that your boat is under revving, then you might want to consider getting a propeller with a lower pitch and vice versa. If your boats issue is that its over-revving, then getting the 21 pitch propeller might be the best solution.
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The beauty of all this is that your boat manual will have the desired specifications, but you could also ask your mechanic or even your dealer to advise which prop pitch would be the perfect solution for your specific boat. Just remember, one of the most important considerations here is your performance goal. What is it you want the boat to do exactly?
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Does My Boat Have The Wrong Size Prop
If the boat is over-propped the engine will not reach maximum rpm and the boat will underperform. Equally, if a boat is under-propped and the engine easily reaches or exceeds maximum rpm, the propeller needs more bite to get the boat to maximum performance level.
With outdrives, adjusting the pitch of the prop is often the only option, as the maximum diameter propeller is often already installed. Increasing the pitch will decrease the revs and vice-versa. If the engine revs seem OK with the current prop, but you want better acceleration, it is often possible to reduce the diameter and increase the pitch by roughly the same amount to give added acceleration without losing the top-end speed.
Brave New Blade Design
With modern propeller design and construction methods the three main criteria are no longer the only governing factors. Increasingly, shape is just as important.
If the diameter needs to be smaller to provide better acceleration then the blade area can be increased by adding more blades. For optimum performance, fuel economy, fast acceleration and smooth vibration-free running, it is the shape and cross section of the blades that make the crucial difference.
For the everyday boat owner blade shape is governed by the boats dimensions, its engine specifications and the owners choice of propeller manufacturer. High-tech computer-designed and machined propellers only become viable for yachts over 24m where the shape of the blades is tailored to the requirements of the vessel taking into account resistance as well as all the normal information required to build a propeller.
This Sunseeker propeller is a good example of what is required to propel a heavy high-performance craft. The total area is greatly increased by overlapping the leading and trailing edges of the blades. This avoids the problem of cavitation, but the blades are shaped to ensure water flows smoothly through the propeller
The shape of the older equipoise is reminiscent of the latest foil design although it has less blade area.
The round blade turbine propeller is still used on heavy displacement craft including commercial vessels. It has a large blade area and thick sections to resist damage.
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Will A 5 Blade Prop Make My Boat Faster
A 3 blade propeller usually offers top speed performance while a 4 blade propeller provides maximum thrust and smooth cruising operation. Four blades have some features of their own, though. They often provide more lift at the stern which will help accelerate the hull, especially if it is stern heavy.
How Does Propeller Diameter Factor Into Your Ideal Size
The size of a propellers actual diameter will change the way your RC boat handles the water. Heres what you need to know about diameter sizing:
- The typical standard size for an RC boat propeller is between 65 to 80 mm for a gas-powered boat. If your RC boat is around the average size and weight, this diameter will work well for you.
- Heavier boats need larger propellers. Larger, heavier boats will need more prop to push them through the water. Its just physics! A larger propeller will give more force to push the boat.
- Remember to start small and test propellers out. If you arent sure how large a prop your RC boat can take, dont worry. Test out your boats motors for 20 to 30 seconds with a potential propeller, then wait 5 seconds. Gently touch it. If its too hot to touch, you need a smaller propeller because the motor cant handle it.
What Is Propeller Diameter And Why Does It Matter
Any time you want to buy a new propeller for your boat, you need to understand what the specs are and what all those terminologies mean. Propeller diameter and pitch are two of the most important specifications that directly translate into real-world performance.
Lets start by defining what they mean.
The diameter of a propeller is the distance across the full circle being made by the blade tips. Its primarily determined by the rpm at which the propeller would be turning as well as the amount of power being delivered to it. This diameter tends to increase on propellers typically used on slower boats while increasing propellers used for faster boats.
Choosing The Right Pitch
If you are currently satisfied with the performance of your engine, we recommend to choose the same pitch. However, if you wish to change the performance you can consider a different pitch. For example if your engine currently makes too much or too few RPM , or if you want to use your boat for a specific purpose .
A good indicator for selecting the optimal pitch is the RPM your engine makes at ´wide open throttle´ . Each engine has a prescribed ´optimal´ RPM that it should be making at wide open throttle. This differs per engine but often it is between 4500 and 6000. You can check your manual, or check this RPM Range Chart for the most common engines.
If currently your RPM is too high, you may consider a larger pitch that will improve your top speed. If the RPM is too low, the engine is not reaching its full potential because of a too large pitch. In this case choosing a smaller pitch can result in better acceleration and higher top speed .
If youre changing pitch on a recreational boat, remember that each inch of pitch translates to a difference of approximately 200 to 300 rpm. Lowering the pitch will increase rpm and choosing a larger pitch will reduce the rpm. For example, going from a 23 pitch to a 21 pitch will increase engine rpm by about 400 to 600. For smaller horsepower engines this difference is usually bigger: one pitch can already make such a difference.
NEW: for direct advice on the optimum pitch!
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How Do You Choose The Right Sized Propellers For Your Rc Boat
Its important to remember that there is not one perfect size for an RC boat propeller. What size works for your RC boat will depend on a variety of factors, including the following:
- Motor Strength
- Shaft Size
Most top RC boating experts calculate the best size for their RC propellers by finding the total pitch of their potential prop. This calculates how far the boat should go after one full turn of the propeller. The higher the total pitch, the faster the boat will go.
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Two Tools For Finding The Right Prop
For help finding the best all-around prop for your boat, start with the Mercury Prop Selector tool, a great resource that in just five steps will help you narrow down prop options for your boat and engine combination. Next, try a new propeller on your boat. More than 100 Mercury dealers in the United States are participating in the Propeller Demo Program that allows a boat owner to test-drive a stainless-steel Mercury propeller and compare, for example, the performance and handling of a three-blade and four-blade prop option. The demo program makes it possible to zero in on the best all-around propeller model and pitch size for your boat before you make that purchase.
Mercury transforms aluminum and stainless steel into the highest-quality, best-performing, most-durable marine propellers in the world. For best overall boat performance, there’s no substitute for a Mercury propeller.