Five Reasons You Might Need A New Prop
Is your boat slow to come onto a plane?
If your prop has too much pitch, the engine will have a lousy "hole shot" — the ability to get onto a plane quickly — and will lug.
Does your engine over-rev and the boat seem slow?
If your prop has too little pitch, the engine can rev past its redline, which is like driving your car on the interstate in second gear. Continuous running past an engine's wide-open-throttle rating will soon damage it.
Did you run over a log or hit a sandbar or a rock?
A bent or nicked blade will severely affect performance and could even damage the engine and transmission. Note that a bad prop doesn't always look bad. If you feel a new wobble or vibration after bumping the bottom, get it checked.
Do you want your boat to be faster?
As a rule, a stainless-steel prop of the same pitch and diameter will make your boat go faster — up to 2 to 3 knots, on some boats — than an aluminum prop. Stainless steel is stronger and can be made thinner, which allows more speed. Stainless steel also flexes less and keeps its shape at higher speeds.
Are you using too much fuel?
It could be your prop. A dinged and bent prop can rob you of 10 percent of your fuel efficiency. Prop shops can determine how far out of specification your prop might be, and repair it like new if that's needed.