You don't want to wait until you're out in the water to find out something is wrong with your boat propeller. After all, this is an integral part that helps propel the boat. If it's damaged or worn out, it can put you in a dangerous scenario.
If you're new to boating or unsure of what to look out for when it comes to replacing the propeller, you're in luck! This guide will go through the ten major signs that it's time to replace your boat propeller.
Let's get started.
1. Decreased Fuel Efficiency
One of the sure signs that your boat propeller needs replacing is to notice you need to fill up more frequently.
Your boat prop has a big influence on fuel efficiency, so if there's sustained damage, there's bound to be fuel waste. This will lead to spending more money than usual when you have to refill the tank.
It can also dampen any plans to stay out on the water for prolonged periods of time. So if you notice that your boat needs more fuel than usual, time to replace the propeller.
2. Too Much Pitch
As you research boat propeller sizes, you'll notice two numbers associated with each one: the diameter and pitch.
The prop pitch refers to the distance that your propeller moves through the water in a full revolution. If you find that your boat has too much of a pitch, it might be difficult to accelerate.
Essentially, you're working harder at lower speeds. This can create a lot of stress on the boat mechanics. You might be able to get it adjusted by a professional, but it could also mean it's time to replace it.
3. Not Enough Pitch
Similarly, you can also have a pitch that is too low. This occurs when the boat overextends itself when it's trying to catch up. If you feel like your pitch is too slow to pick up, even when you're revving it, then you might need a pitch adjustment.
The last thing you want to do is leave it in this condition for a while. It can create long-term damage that will end up costing you a lot of money.
4. Your Boat Seems Slower
There's nothing wrong with wanting a little bit more speed for your boat. There are times when your propeller is in good working condition, but you need to upgrade your gear. Your dream is to zoom across the water, not sputter along behind everybody else.
In that case, you need to find stainless steel boat propellers for sale. These will add about three knots. Sure, this isn't a sign of damage, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to take it up a notch.
5. Incorrect Diameter
For whatever reason, whether you bought a new boat or inherited one from a relative, the installed propeller might not be the right size.
You want to check the diameter; this is the blade's size when it's measured from tip to tip. If it doesn't seem to fit correctly, you likely need to find a new one.
Be sure that the equipment meets manufacturer specifications so you aren't spending more money on something that comes with its own problems. The pitch and diameter are the two things you need to understand when it comes to boat hardware.
6. Damaged in the Water
You spent good money to enjoy your boat, and oftentimes this means not being preoccupied with what might be lurking under the water. Unfortunately, there may be a time when you come in contact with something like a rock or sandbar.
This doesn't mean there's immediate damage, but be sure to check your propeller carefully. If it's bent, chipped, or dinged in any way, it isn't going to work the way it used to. In this case, it might be time for a replacement.
7. Blades Are Too Thin
There's nothing wrong with some durable thin blades. The problem arises when the blades are excessively thin. That's when you might be putting money into a lost cause.
Be sure to inspect your aluminum prop for excessive metal loss, extended cracks, or blades that are too thin. If you notice any of these, you likely need a replacement.
8. Compromise Propeller
This may sound similar to the incorrect diameter section, but it's a little bit different. Sometimes, boat builders install compromise propellers on the boats they made. These are standards props that fit a range of purposes.
They're flexible but not ideal as a powerful piece of gear. This means you might have the wrong propeller for what you'll be mainly using your boat for. Check if you have a compromise propeller and get it switched out for what you need.
9. Propeller Is Made of Aluminum
If you are using your boat a few times a year, an aluminum propeller is totally fine.
However, if you plan to use your boat often, you're going to want stainless steel propeller. Not only are they more durable, but they're less prone to damage.
10. There's Corrosion
As with any other piece of equipment that goes through wear and tear, you'll want to keep an eye out for any corrosion. This will not only make it more dangerous to take your boat out on the water, but it can become a hefty price tag if you let it get worse.
Do yourself (and your boat) the favor and get a corroded propeller replaced.
Is It Time to Replace Your Boat Propeller?
The reality is that without a boat propeller, you can't use your boat.
You already invested so much into your boat. Having routine inspections and keeping it in great shape will ensure that it lasts you for years to come. If you believe that it's time to replace the propeller but aren't sure, these signs are sure to help guide the way.
If for any reason you still don't know for sure, there are plenty of resources to check out. The important thing is making sure your boat is good to go and safe to use!
Is it time to replace your boat propeller? Take a look at our products and have your boat looking (and working) good as new.