Three-Bladed Versus Four-Bladed Props

Three blades versus four? Stainless versus aluminum?

Just some of the questions to consider when choosing a new prop.

You may have noticed four-bladed props on boats at a marina or boat show and thought, “I wonder what that would do for my boat?” I often recommend a four-bladed prop to boat owners who enjoy tubing, water-skiing, and family outings. Four-bladed propellers have many benefits, including giving the boat more torque at the low end and in the mid-range, which is ideal for water-skiing and tubing. They also get the boat to plane quicker. That extra blade is pushing more water, making the boat get up and go. You may trade off a bit of efficiency due to increased drag, but you’ll also get better bite for low-speed maneuvering as well.

Stainless Steel Versus Aluminum

Customers always ask about the differences between stainless-steel and aluminum propellers. Aluminum is a softer metal, so aluminum props have less ability to endure the pressure and demands of higher-horsepower, higher-torque motors. They break more easily, but they’re relatively inexpensive and cost-effectively repairable. A stainless-steel prop lends itself to having a more customizable shape. If you look at the number of different stainless-steel props that are available, you’ll see that they come in many different shapes and sizes. So if your boat can’t turn up to its rated rpm, or you’re not happy with another aspect of its performance, look into a different prop.