Prop Talk: Choosing the Right Propeller

Wed, Feb 10, 2021 at 1:25AM

Prop Talk: Choosing the Right Propeller

One of the most asked questions we see on the Blazer Boat owner group and on any other boat forum is “Which prop is better?” Unfortunately, the answer is most often–it depends. What kind of propeller is best for your boat depends on 3 factors: The kind of boat you have; the kind of motor you have; and what you want to do with your boat.

Boat Type

When thinking about the right propeller for your boat, the boat type comes into play. A center console boat like our Blazer Bay models will take a different propeller than a Bass Boat will. Often the propeller that comes on the boat from the manufacturer is a mid-level performance propeller designed for regular usage of your boat type.

Another consideration of the boat type would be what type and size jack plate your boat has. A jack plate that sets the motor where it has good clearance will allow a greater range of propeller choices.

Motor Type

Outboard motors have the greatest range of propeller choices. Typically, a 3 or 4 blade propeller is desired for the best performance for the size of boat that uses an outboard motor.

Inboard motors are very similar to outboards. When choosing a propeller, you must pay attention to clearance from the bottom of the hull.  There should be, as a general rule, a clearance equal to 20% of the diameter of the propeller.

Boat Use

Probably the biggest factor in propeller choice is the usage of the boat.  Here are some examples:

  • Ski Propellers-generally, propellers with a lower pitch allow greater speed out of the hole to get the skier up out of the water as fast as possible. While a lower pitch propeller may limit your top end speed, it decreases the time it takes to plane out the boat.
  • Speed or Racing Propellers-when tuning your boat for speed, pitch comes into play. You want to find the highest pitch propeller that will allow your motor run as close to 5400 RPM wide open as possible.  It is there that you will reach your highest speed and best performance for your engine/boat combination.  Generally lower diameter propellers also run faster.
  • Towing or Slower Boat Propellers-there is an inverse relationship to the pitch on a propeller and its performance in towing. The lower the pitch, the more power the propeller puts out. The diameter on propellers for tow boats or slower boats tends to be larger that boats designed for speed. As with the skiing propeller example, you sacrifice speed for power.

The Team at Blazer Boats wishes you a fun and safe boating season! For us, boating is a lifestyle, not a hobby. Our boats are custom handcrafted in our factory in Pensacola, FL.  We are proud to call our Blazer Boats “Made in the USA.” Find your closest Blazer Boats dealer to discover more!

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