Comparison Test: Boat Props
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Each year, hundreds of boaters spend countless thousands of dollars on machine-shop equipment and bolt-on gadgets in their quest to increase outboard horsepower. Yet the easiest and least expensive way to improve performance is to change propellers. Regardless of your rig’s size, horsepower or application, the right prop can make the difference, whether you seek increased speed, better handling or more power.
Even if you’re happy with your boat’s performance, you and your family might participate in more than one watersport, and you may benefit from changing props. Fishing, cruising and waterskiing all place special demands and different loads on your engine. Choosing a prop with the correct pitch, diameter, rake, surface area and contour will keep your engine within factory-recommended wide-open throttle rpm ratings. Besides, having more than one prop on board is cheap insurance and good common sense.
Whether you’re interested in props with names like “chopper” or “cleaver,” or if you just want to know the differences between sizes, materials and trade names, your dealer’s an expert. But PM wanted to go beyond theory and show how different props can change boat performance, so we tested six props that incorporate a variety of materials and designs, from the most basic to the technologically advanced.
five times stronger, making them desirable
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.
Are You Under Or Over Revving The Engine
Your boat owners manual will include specs that tell you within which range your boat engine was designed to rev. Itll look something like this: 4200-5000rpm for sterndrive or 50005500rpm for an outboard.
Under revving or over-revving, your engine will damage it faster than you would like. If you find that your boat engine is either under revving or over-revving in contradiction to the specs, the simplest solution is to buy a propeller with the appropriate pitch for your specific boat, which leads us to the next point.
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Does Your Engine Over
If your prop has too little pitch, the engine can rev past its red line, which is like driving your car on the interstate in second gear. Continuous running over WOT will soon damage an engine. A prop shop can add more pitch or recommend a new prop. Notice that having either too little or too much pitch can cause engine damage. So why didnt your boat come with the right prop in the first place?
It’s possible it did, but the prop could have been changed later. Also, a boatbuilder doesn’t know how or where you will be using your boat, so he or she often uses a compromise prop. Running your boat at high-altitude lakes, for example, requires a different prop than one that will be used at sea level. A boat used to pull skiers or one that is loaded down with weekend gear will require a different prop than a boat used for zooming a couple of fishermen out to a fishing spot.
A damaged prop might not be this obvious.
Picking The Right Propeller
Choosing the best propeller for your pontoon boat is not an exact science. If you dont have the luxury of field-testing a variety of propellers, you will probably want to stick with the manufacturers original propeller style. Here is a list of the factors with which you can choose the best propeller for your pontoon-style boat that will help you do what you want to do with it.
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Pitch Vs 19 Pitch Prop
Again, we want to make sure that you are really understanding the foundational principles of propping your boat. The only way to determine the correct prop is through good ol trial and error.
Swapping and testing different props until you identify the sweet spot in relation to your RPM range and limiter setting.
Each engine has a specific top-end wide open throttle RPM range. Each engine manufactured in the last 20 years will also have the rev limiter .
If we put a small diameter prop on an engine with a low pitch. What will most likely happen is the power of the engine will overpower the ability of the propeller.
Choosing A Three Or Four Blade Propeller
One of the perplexing questions posed at the beginning of this article is choosing between a three- or four-blade prop. Either works well for outboard motors. You get all-around performance with an advantage on top speed with three-blade designs. Boats that are troublesome to get on plane, underpowered or used in watersports where top speed is not critical perform well with four-blade props.
Expect rpms to drop by 50 to 150rpm with identical pitch in four-blade props. Three-blade props are generally best for recreational boats with three-, four- and six-cylinder outboards. You get the better of both worlds with a good holeshot and top-end performance.
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What Does Prop Pitch Mean
Propeller pitch typically referred to as prop pitch, is essentially the distance a propeller would move in a single revolution through soft solid. Kind of like the distance a screw would move through wood in one rotation. So, in this case, a 21 pitch prop would move 21 inches forward in one revolution, and a 19 pitch prop would move 19 inches forward in one revolution.
So what does all this mean to your boat?
Think of your propeller as if it were the axle on your car. The lower the ratio, the more pulling power it has from a standstill. This is the same physics that is applied to a boat propeller. A boat with a lower pitch propeller could accelerate much faster from a standstill position than one with a higher pitch propeller. Unfortunately, this lower pitch would make your engine reach maximum rpm at much slower speeds, albeit faster acceleration.
On the other hand, a higher pitch propeller will give you better top speeds but much slower acceleration. It should also be noted that simply fitting a high pitch propeller to a boat with a lower horsepower engine doesnt mean that you will make your boat faster.
While the boat will achieve higher speeds, it will do so for a short while before getting bogged down. The propellers higher pitch and diameter will eventually overwork and wear down the internal engine parts that just arent built to withstand that kind of stress.
Did You Run Over A Log Hit A Sandbar Or A Rock
A bent blade or nick will severely affect performance and could even damage the engine and transmission. Even worse, a bad prop may look fine to the eye. Larry Carlson at Black Dog Props in Stevensville, Maryland, which uses computers to diagnose and repair props, says that 80% of the propellers on his shop floor look healthy. But those otherwise “healthy”-looking propellers typically have differences in pitch of 1/2inch to 3/4 inch.
Which material is best for a prop? A lot depends on where you do your boating. If your chances of hitting a submerged object are low, an aluminum prop is an all-around inexpensive choice. Aluminum props come standard from most boat and engine manufacturers, but they’re less rugged than stainless-steel props. The latter are less likely to be damaged but are more expensive to repair.
Read this article to learn more on how to choose the right propeller for your boat, including size, pitch, and problems to avoid.
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Affordura Boat Cover Support Poles 65in With 4 Straps And Water Bag Boat Cover Poles Adjustable With Base Boat Canvas Pole
- Warranty and package- 1 year warranty offered by Affordura boat cover supports. The package contains 1x 26.7-65in boat support pole, 4x straps, 1x plastic caps, 2x water bag, 1x storing bag for organization, out of the way when not in use.
- Patent design- Comes with the water bag to help stabilize the cover support system. Tips- Put the water bag filled with water up to 11lbs in the base, which helps keep the boat tarp poles stable and upright. The 4 straps are very long and provide ample length for adjustments, just secure it on the slits of the top disk to keep up right.
- Adjustable length- The pole is telescoping and the length can be adjusted from 26.7in to 65in to fit your boat perfectly, suitable for different sizes of boats. As for the boat poles for cover, it can be used as for the pontoon cover support poles, boat canvas pole and, boat cover rod.
- Winter partner- you will need boat cover pole support a lot to help with holding the cover up and give the cover enough slope so that water or snow wont pool on it in the winter. Please dont worry about any slippery, the stable base is made of rubber and grips the deck well, stand up well when pulling the cover over them.
How To Get Your Boat To Plane Off Quicker
Even thou we sell mainly boat propellers, we are avid boaters as well and here is some advice we picked up: If you want your boat to get up and plane off quicker because it is too slow to do that or you want quicker starts to pull water skiers and or tubes & towables, you can do three things to accomplish that without having to re-power your boat or buy another boat with more power.
You can use one, two or all three of these things on your boat. Start with the propeller first then maybe a hydroil and if it still is slow to plane, trim tabs. If your boat is 23 feet or longer you should have trim tabs on it any way no matter what so you have better control on how it rides on the water.
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Icover Boat Cover Support Pole Adjustable Support Pole System 6 Stage Extension From 12 To 54
- Adjustable Height – This boat cover support pole features 6 seperated poles for extension, Height adjustable from 12″ to 54″, which can fit your boat cover perfectly.
- Mushroom Top and Stable Base- This support pole is made up of mushroom cap and large 7″ stable base. The large round base provides more stability and durabily, helps to hold the boat cover or boat tarp in harsh weather.
- Great Feature – This supportpole can support any area under your boat cover,prevent deris and water build-up, helps maintain the lifetime of your boat.
- Material – This boat cover support pole is made from durable ABS material. However, If there is always strong wind or heavy rain in your area, we highly suggest you to choose our aluminum pole for stronger pretection.
- Reliable Warranty – At iCOVER, We offer 12 months warranty for any factory-quality related issues . Any request will be responsed within 24 hours, please contact us if you have any questions.
Boat Propeller Fit Guide
If you’re buying a new propeller for your boat, you may simply need a replacement for a prop you damaged, you may be trying to address a performance issue or you may simply want to gain better fuel economy. Whichever the case, we can help you find the right propeller for your needs.
Choosing the best propeller for your boat is a key factor in performance and choosing the wrong prop can lead to poor fuel efficiency and issues with engine performance including slower speed and increased wear and tear on your engine.
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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?
Rason Propeller Aluminum Outboard Cupped Propeller Pontoon Boat Prop 14×11 Replacement For Yamaha Engines 70758090f100115130hp K Series
- APPLICATION: The best buys after market prop. Recommended for PONTOON, Deep V, Walleye, Fiberglass boats. Fits YAMAHA 70/75/80/90/F100/115/130HP with 15 spline tooth shaft. Please check your engine shaft before purchasing and refer to product description area for Detailed Engine Application.
- INSTALLATION: Always shift engine into the neutral position and turn ignition off before servicing the propeller and it is important to refer to your Engines Owner Manual for important safety precautions. Install the new propeller with exist thrust washer, spacer, nut of engine lower unit shaft. Prop comes with new split pin. Please feel free to contact us for installation guideline.
- MATERIAL: Made of high-strength aluminum. Boasting hybrid casting of strontium, aluminium and titanium that are far stronger and durable than ever before.
- EXTREME ANTI-CORROSION: Props are robotic powder-coated using AkzoNobel patented anti-corrosive coating powder. More important that it is environmentally safe.
- EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE: Props are designed based on OEM blade geometry, with appropriate cupping and camber added. Excellent bow lift, acceleration and top speed as well reducing slip,increasing bite.
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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.
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.
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What Material Is Best
Most outboards and IOs are originally sold with aluminum props, which are inexpensive and repairable. Inboards use three- and four-bladed props of bronze, or a nickel-bronze-aluminum alloy. Replacement props for IO or outboard boats are available in aluminum or stainless steel. These materials compare as follows:
Aluminum is the most common, least expensive material. Suitable for most outboard and sterndrive applications.
Stainless steel offers a performance advantage over aluminum due to stiffer, thinner blades and more advanced designs. Best choice at speeds over 50mph, or if your boat is running over oyster beds or sandbars regularly. Stainless costs more but is five times more durable than aluminum. Stainless props can be repaired, at a higher cost, to like-new condition, while repaired aluminum will suffer from metal fatigue and a loss of strength.
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.
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