Your boat is your baby, and you take care of it as best you can. You make sure to get it all the regular maintenance it needs. You even take steps to make sure you store it where it'll be decently protected from the elements.
But there's one thing you might have forgotten about: the propeller. Propellers, like the windshield wipers on a car, need to be replaced every once in a while. Otherwise, they rust and break, keeping your boat from performing as well as it should.
So how do you pick a good replacement for your boat props?
This guide is everything you should be considering while picking out a new propeller for your boat.
You really only get two choices when it comes to material: aluminum and stainless steel.
The first major difference you're going to want to consider here is price. Aluminum propellers are usually going to cost significantly less than stainless steel.
On the other hand, stainless steel propellers are stronger. They're also more resistant to rust in some cases. If you like to use your boat in shallower waters, then stainless steel will protect your propellers from breaking on any debris or rocks in the water.
Because aluminum isn't as strong as stainless steel, aluminum propellers are going to be much thicker than stainless steel ones. This means that stainless steel propellers can help reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency when compared to most aluminum propellers. Therefore, if you're a bit of a speed fiend, then stainless steel might be your preferred option.
On the other hand, aluminum is typically easier and cheaper to fix if your propeller ever gets damaged. A stainless steel propeller is much more likely to be cheaper to replace than to repair when an accident occurs.
Aluminum also weighs much less than stainless steel. Therefore stainless steel should really only be considered for engines with more power to them.
Number of Blades
Most of the time you only get three choices to consider for the number of blades: three, four, or five.
Most boats will come with a standard aluminum propeller with three blades. To compare this to a stainless steel propeller, you'll get an average of two more miles per hour for top speed if you choose a thinner stainless steel propeller with three blades over aluminum.
No matter if you're going with three or four blades you'll have fewer options for the pitch if you go with aluminum instead of stainless steel.
You should see better acceleration for your boat the more blades you have on your propeller. This is why propellers with three blades are typically not considered for performance or speed sports. A three-blade propeller would be more suited for fishing than boat racing for example.
A propeller with five blades will give you the best performance at mid-speeds but won't increase your top speed by any noticeable margin. You can normally only get these in stainless steel.
Finally, for those who do enjoy seeing what their boats are really capable of, a stainless steel propeller with four blades is going to make the smoothest turns compared to any other propeller on the market.
Pitch, in this case, refers to the performance of the propeller. You really want to consider if you want to have a fixed pitch or a controllable pitch propeller.
Think about how you use your boat for a moment. Do you take it out to the same place every time? Or do you like to explore different bodies of water?
Each type of body of water is going to need its own propeller pitch. So if you like to boat in one specific river or lake, then by all means go ahead and get a fixed pitch propeller. Controllable pitch propellers, however, are extremely useful to those who like to bring their boats to many different places or that might need to carry different amounts of weight to them.
Another thing to consider is that the sturdiness of your propeller will also be affected by which type of pitch you choose. A fixed pitch isn't designed to move around at all, so it's going to be a lot sturdier than a controllable pitch propeller which is designed to move around to adjust the performance of your boat as needed.
Finally for fixed pitch propellers, if you're deciding to go up in the number of your propeller's blades, you should be careful to go down in pitch. Likewise, if you're going down in the number of blades, make sure you go up in pitch.
The size of your propeller absolutely matters. It must be the appropriate size for both your engine and your boat.
If your propeller is too small for your boat's size, then you'll never get the force necessary to make it up to top speeds. Even if it is big enough to make it to top speeds, a propeller that's too small isn't going to give you the fuel efficiency that your boat could have.
A propeller that's too large is going to be too heavy for your engine to handle. This could cause the propeller to blow out. You may not even be able to get the propeller turning if you have a lower-powered engine.
Propellers that are too large are also more likely to be damaged. This is why it's important to know exactly which size propeller to get for your boat.
Get Your Replacement Boat Props Today
If your boat's performance has been lacking lately, then it might be time for some new boat props. Whether your boat is big or small, you want only the best quality propellers for your vessel.
And the only place to get the best is at Deep Blue Yacht Supply. We have a wide selection of boat parts for every type of boat, including propellers! We sell only products that come from the highest quality manufacturers in the business.
So if you need new propellers for your boat, then go ahead and check out our propeller guide to find the right propeller for your boat today!