Factors that Affect the Selection of a Boat Prop
The choice of a prop affects what performance your boat shall achieve. You will thus need to look at the prop size, number of blades, material used to make it, its rpm at wide open throttle, and the functions of the boat.
A lot shall depend on the prop size. 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 size is dependent on the prop’s diameter and pitch. This is normally found on its hub. The first digit represents the diameter while the other one is the pitch. When the boat is powerful enough, a higher pitch will boost the speeds travelled. A larger diameter enables the boat to reach higher acceleration.
You will see a prop with between three to five blades. The more the number of blades, the better its performance. Racing boats rely on three bladed props for their top-end speed. Cupped blades are even more preferred. Cupping is the curve at the blade’s end. It shall minimise ventilation and aid the oat in making sharp turns. There is also the rake of the blade. The performance shall also be affected by the angle of the blade with the prop hub.
You will also have to look at what material was used to make the prop. Aluminum is the most common and most affordable option. 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. Stainless steel is, but it comes at a price. It is more durable and can withstand the effects of salt water. You can, however, be sure it will destroy the engine if you hit an obstacle. You need to think of carrying a composite and plastic prop for emergencies.
Every engine shall also have its unique settings when it comes to rpm at wide open throttle. It shall serve as a guide in your selection.
You need to also think of the job the boat was designed to do. 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. Others are designed for the high seas. You will find some for flat, heavy boats commonly used for transporting passengers and goods. There are some meant for high performance like racing.
These are the factors that shall help you pick the right boat prop.