How to pick a boat propeller

Any boat owner knows the importance of the durability, functionality and precision of the propeller. When selecting which propeller to install on your vessel, whether it is a speedboat or a cruiser, it is important to weigh your options.

While the propeller might seem like a straightforward purchase, it is critical to the propulsion of your boat, and there are few things you should know about this piece of equipment:

- Construction – Propellers generally come in three, four or five bladed units. The unit itself will either be listed as having forged or welded blades. A forged blade is highly reliable and has greater strength for moving the ship, but they also tend to be more expensive. The welded blade is, as it sounds, welded together and to the hub, making it less structurally sound than the forged blade. It tends to be less expensive, but is still a durable option.

Material - Propellers are designed to move an entire vessel, which means that the material they are made out of have to strong and durable. The two primary materials that you will find are aluminum and stainless steel because both are high performance, tend to be corrosion resistant and last a long time. These factors are important as propellers need to stand up to the abrasiveness of seawater and the wear and tear that occurs over years of use. Unlike many of the other aspects of propellers, the material is largely up to user preference.

- Sizing - This part of propeller selection is perhaps the most important to pay attention to. Propellers are sized with two numbers that detail diameter and pitch. The first number listed is indicative of the diameter of the propeller. A large diameter should be selected if you are motoring a heavier boat or you maintain a large engine. The second number, the pitch, is used to describe the projected distance that each rotation of the blades will push the vessel forward. For example, if the pitch of a unit is 15 inches, it should propel your boat forward 15 inches. According to Savvy Boater, high pitch characteristics are lower top end speeds and less acceleration, whereas lower pitch models boast better top end speeds and better acceleration.

Turning Point Hustler offers a range of both aluminum and stainless steel options in a variety of sizes and constructions. Their products are also well tested and affordable.  If you are interested in purchasing a propeller contact ePal Inc. If you are still trying to determine the right unit for your vessel, our staff of knowledgeable customer service representatives are here to answer your questions about propellers and all other marine accessories.

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