The kind of propeller you choose matters in the boat’s performance. When choosing a boat propeller, there are some things you have to consider. You must keep in mind the size, number of blades, the material it is made out of, its RPM at the wide open throttle, and the use of the boat.
Of all these, you need to be most keen on the prop size. Choosing the wrong size leads to damage to the boat and its engine. You thus have to consider the boat prop’s diameter and pitch when measuring its size. With a powerful enough engine, a higher pitch would gain the boat more speed. Larger diameters in the other hand give the boat faster acceleration.
When it comes to blades, you shall find three to five ones. The more the number of blades, the more performance it can deliver. The lesser the number of blades, the more top speed it can reach. This explains why most racing boats have three bladed props. They will also stick to cupped blades. Cupping is the curve at the end of the blade, which aids the boat in making sharp turns. There is also the rake of the blade to think of. The rake is the angle the blade makes with the prop hub. It is there to keep slipping away.
You need to find out what material was used to make the prop. Aluminum props are easily found and are cheaper. They are lightweight and tough. They, however, cannot survive in salty water for long. You would need to go for stainless steel there. You will have to spend more on those blades though. They will also damage the engine system in case they hit an obstacle, unlike the safer aluminum variety. You will also find composite and plastic props, which are ideal for emergencies.
Your boat also has a specific RPM at wide open throttle range rating it can work with. You shall find this info in the manuals.
You need to also factor in the use of the boat in your selection. You shall find a wide variety of props, each serving a specific purpose. You shall find some designed for pontoons, bass boats, and skiing boats, those for fishing, racing, or relaxation. There is also the thought of the kind of water the oat shall be traveling on. Props used on lakes, and on rivers, and even on slow moving waters are not the same. There are those which are ideal for high seas. They also design some for flat, heavy passenger boats. There are all manner of uses for these props, which must be factored in the purchase. It is also important that you buy an extra prop in case of an emergency.