Choosing the Right Boat Propeller
You need to pick the right boat prop if you expect your boat to perform at its best. You shall, therefore, have to think of the prop size, number of blades, material used to make it, its rpm at wide open throttle, and the functions of the boat.
The prop size is a critical consideration. By choosing the wrong size, you shall inflict damage on the boat and the engine. It shall also mess up its ventilation and cavitation. The prop’s diameter and pitch determine the size. You will see it on the hub. The first digit you see it the diameter followed by the pitch. Should the boat be powerful enough, the higher pitch would boost its speeds considerably. A larger diameter enables the boat to reach higher acceleration.
A prop can come with three to five blades. As the blades increase, so does its performance. For higher top end speed, racing boats will need three bladed props. Cupped blades improve on such performance. Cupping refers to the curve at the end of the blade. This is what will keep ventilation at bay and help make the boat turn sharply. The rake of the blade is also an important consideration. The angle of the blade with the propeller hub influences what performance is achieved
The material for making the prop of the boat shall also matter. Aluminum is what is commonly sourced and remains affordable. It is the lighter choice that shall also keep the boat safe when you hit obstacles. It is however not resistant to rust and salt water. You would need stainless steel for that, but be prepared to pay its higher price. It shall last much longer and not be affected by salt water. You can, however, be sure it will destroy the engine if you hit an obstacle. Do not forget about a composite and plastic prop for emergencies.
When it comes to the rpm at the wide open throttle, each engine has specifications unique to it. This should guide you as you make your choices.
You also need to think of your purpose for getting the boat. There are props designed for different types of boats, such as pontoons, bass boats, as well as those meant for skiing, fishing, racing or leisure. The kind of water the boat shall travel on matters too. There are always those meant for the lakes, rivers, and other slow waters. There are also designs for the high seas. There are also the flat heavy boats used for transporting passengers and goods. You will also see those meant for high performance such as for racing.
When you are aware of all these factors, it becomes easier for you to choose the right boat prop.