Stainless Steel props have a few advantages and disadvantages over aluminum props. They come with three, four or five blades. The advantages are their performance is generally a little better in quicker time to plane off the boat and all around power, top end speed and they bite the water better in moderate to sharp turns. The disadvantages are, they cost much more to buy and to repair. And you could end up bending your propeller shaft that the prop is attached to because stainless steel props do not bend or break like aluminum props, they are 5 to 7 times stronger. The hub in the prop is supposed to break away from the inner wall cavity in the prop and free spin the prop on the prop shaft and save you from bending the shaft, but this does not always work. We recommend that people who are buying and using their first boat to run aluminum props for a while until they are familiar with the waters they are running in, before they consider using a stainless steel prop.
Today the price of propeller repair is almost the cost of a new propeller and instead of waiting for the repair turnaround time, you can walk out with a new one same day or buy one from JT’s Discount Boat Propellers. For stainless steel prop repair, if you are local to Austin TX, you can drop off your prop with us at Nettle Props, or take it to one of our local area boat dealers that we service repairs for. If you are not local you can ship your damaged stainless steel prop to Nettle Props for quality prop repair services.
Stainless steel props are much stronger and durable than aluminum and will hold up longer. If you are looking for better performance than can be provided by your aluminum propeller, such as ultimate top speed or better accelerations, a stainless propeller would be highly recommended. JT’s Discount Props has many stainless steel propeller brands you can choose from.
Aluminum boat propellers are the most common prop used on boats because they are the least expensive and safest propeller to use. And they work just fine on most outboard engine boats. You can get a three or a four blade aluminum propeller. A three blade prop performs better for top end speed and a four blade works best for low end grip which is better for water sports such as tubing or skiing. If you hit a rock or stump or any underwater debris with an aluminum prop you will probably bend or chip or break off part or all of one or more blades thus sacrificing your propeller and not damaging your lower unit. If you do damage you aluminum prop you can get it repaired if there is no more than 20% of the blade missing.
However nowadays the price of repair is almost the cost of a new propeller and instead of waiting for the repair turnaround time, you can walk out with a new or used one same day or buy one from JT’s Discount Boat Propellers. If you are local to Austin TX, you can drop off your prop with us at Nettle Props, or take it to one of our local area boat dealers that we service repairs for. If you are not local you can ship your damaged prop to Nettle Props for quality prop repair services.
To sum it up, most pleasure boats are factory equipped with aluminum propellers. Aluminum propellers are relatively inexpensive and easy to repair.
Stainless steel is more expensive, but much stronger and durable than aluminum and will hold up longer. If you are looking for better performance than can be provided by your aluminum propeller, such as ultimate top speed or better accelerations, a stainless propeller would be recommended. JT’s Discount Props has many aluminum or stainless steel propeller brands you can choose from.
The first thing a propeller repair shop like Nettle Props does to your prop when they get it, is to sand blast off all the old paint and crusty buildup if aluminum so they can start to work on it. Once they have sand blasted the boat prop down to bare aluminum they read the part number and or the size stamped on the propeller so they know what the pitch size should be. Most stainless and nibral props do not need sandblasting. The propeller is then put on a pitchometer to determine how far off the damaged blades are from a new prop pitch wise. When the blades are hit, that will most times throw off the pitch angle of the prop.
The boat propeller is then taken over to a stand where the blades are set on top of a pitch block, which is a block of metal, that has the exact blade configuration the propeller should have stamped in the block. The tech performing the propeller repair then uses various types of hammers to actually bang the propeller up against the pitch block until it is back to its original blade shape. This is done to all the blades one at a time. In some cases the blades will need to be heated to high temperatures in order to bend it back to the desired shape, the heating is generally not done for aluminum prop repair.
The boat propeller is then put back into the pitchometer and measured for accuracy. If it is off a little the pitch block is used again and then re-measured until the blades have the right pitch based on propeller manufacturer specs.
When the propeller is back to its original shape and pitch corrected, the blade edges might be missing metal (aluminum, stainless or nibral) and in need of new metal to be welded on to the blades. As part of the propeller repair service, new metal is welded on to the blades and grinded down to the correct blade shape on a stand alone grinding machine.
The boat propeller is then tested for balance. Metal is ground off the back side of the heavier blade or blades until all blades are all uniform. The blade edges are then grinded to make a clean edge with no burring. After final quality control and finish touches the propeller repair is now completed and the boat propeller is then ready ready for use again.
We can help you no matter which direction you decide to go… at JT’s Discount Props we have a variety of new boat props and with our propeller repair shop at Nettle Props we are able to provide you with quality propeller repair services.
Boat prop repair is common and propeller repair shops can be found locally or you can ship your damaged prop to Nettle Props in Austin Texas for quality prop repair service. They accept damaged propellers from boat dealers, boating supply shops and boat repair shops year long and have a great following in the boating community.
If you have damaged your propeller by hitting some kind of submerged object you should not run your boat much at with that propeller because a damaged boat prop is not balanced and true any more and can cause undue wear on drive systems seals and bearings.
When you hit something in the water and damage your prop, try and take it easy back to the dock, and then remove the prop to make sure it did not bend the prop shaft before deciding what to do with the damaged prop.
A missing blade on a boat prop or a bent propeller throws off the balance of the prop. Because of the balance being off, the high RPM’s of the engine will bend the prop shaft and potentially allow it to leak water into the gear case and damaging it.
You can get it repaired if its not in too bad of shape at a cost of a little less than a new prop in most cases, and avoid costly boat engine repair.
Can a boat prop repair service fix a bent prop or should you buy a prop?
A boat propeller that has been bent or pitted can be repaired. The amount of damage will determine if the prop can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. We can help you no matter which direction you decide to go… at JT’s Discount Props we have a variety of new props and with our sister company Nettle Props we are able to provide you with quality propeller repair services.
Turning Point’s MasterGuard boat propeller hub system is engineered to withstand typical wear and tear over time without risk of spinning or failure under normal operational use. Turning Point’s unique patented one piece hub with glass filled nylon over durable marine bronze splines eliminates failures commonly seen in multi-part “sleeve and spline” designs, and pressed-in rubber boat propeller hub systems.
Exclusive Lifetime Warranty Boat Propeller Hub System
Turning Point is the only company to offer MasterGuard® Installation kits and prop housings for 6-300+hp engines with a Lifetime Warranty Hub. Boaters save up to 38% when buying a replacement propeller housing. MasterGuard boat propeller hub system is Re-useable most of the time after a prop strike, and if not, they are Warrantied even if the prop is Destroyed. These boat propeller hubs offer enhanced lower unit protection.
The center hubs used on outboard motors and sterndrive boat propellers are separate from the boat propeller itself. There are two types of hub systems used. The oldest type has been around for over sixty years and is made of rubber that surrounds a metal spindle that goes on the propeller shaft. The rubber hub is larger in diameter than the hub cavity of the boat prop and is compressed under intense pressure then put into the propeller. Once installed the rubber tries to expand thus creating an extremely tight fit that will not move under normal boat operation. The rubber is suppose to break away from the inner wall of the prop hub and spin inside the hub if a sudden propeller hard impact with an underwater object occurs. This hub system is installed at the factory and is not meant to let the boat owner take it out or put it in themselves. Only a propeller repair shop should do that.
The second type of break away hub system is called the hub kit system. This system has been around for about twenty years now. Boat props that use this system are empty in the hub area of the prop and the proper hub kit designed for your drive system must be put in. These hub kits can be easily installed and removed by the boat owner without having to use any special tools.There is a hard composite drive sleeve that slides into the boat prop hub then a metal prop shaft spindle that is included in the hub kit slides into the drive sleeve. Attaching hardware pieces that come in the kit like spacers and nuts are used once the boat prop in on the prop shaft to secure the prop on to the shaft. The composite drive sleeve is designed to break away from the inside of the prop hub if an impact happens like the rubber hub system is designed to do.
The question is do these systems work and save you from damaging your drive system if you hit something underwater with your prop? The answer is not always. Only about half the time. Why? Because if you hit something real hard and real fast there is no time for these systems to break away and spin inside the boat propeller. The full impact pressure is taken and the most common damage received is a bent propeller shaft. Not much of a chance of that occurring if you are using aluminum boat props because you will most likely have the aluminum blades get destroyed before any other damage happens. Cast aluminum is a brittle metal and will give way easily when hit hard. Stainless steel propellers are a different story. They are about five to seven times stronger than an aluminum prop is so they have very little give to them. You have to be more careful using stainless steel boat propellers in shallow waters.
OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer that means the manufacturer of the the OEM boat props that usually come on your boat and the marine drive system on your boat. If you want a different boat prop or spare boat propeller you have a choice of either purchasing an OEM propeller or a prop made by an independent company that makes props to fit your drive unit. These aftermarket manufacturers have been around almost as long as the original equipment manufacturers have. There is a huge market for boat props because they are easily damaged and need to be repaired or replaced by most boaters at some point in time.
Pros and Cons of OEM Boat Props vs. Aftermarket Boat Propellers
OEM boat props are usually more expensive than an aftermarket equivalent. In many applications they do not perform any better or much better than some of the aftermarket boat propeller brands. The quality of most of the aftermarket boat props has improved over the years and are generally now excellent quality propellers. There is very little difference in the looks of either types of boat propellers and you can get most of the same sizes of the OEM boat props in the aftermarket brands both in aluminum and stainless steel. There are propeller makers of both types based in the US and there are companies based overseas.
There will always be boaters who will run only OEM boat props because they believe they are much better and there are boaters who are put off on the high prices of a lot of the OEM products and have found that the aftermarket stuff works just fine most of the time.
Last week we posted a blog about McGard boat propeller locks that told you what a great way to protect your boat propellers from being stolen McGard locks are. This week we will feature their other marine locks offered by them. They have sterndrive locks, outboard motor locks and also boat trailer wheel locks.
McGard uses the same type of lock design for all their locks. The reason why they protect so well is they have a free spinning collar that surrounds the unique nut they use so you cannot get a hold on the nut with pliers or other gripping tools.
McGard offers sterndrive locks the you use in place of one of the standard nuts that secures the drive to the pivot housing. Sterndrives are not that hard to take off a boat if you know how to do it. It really does not take much more time to remove sterndrives than it does boat props.
Outboard motors of all sizes and horsepower can be secured to the boat transom with the McGard outboard motor locks. Again you use their lock system in place of one of the through the transom bolt nuts to keep your motor safe from theft.
Boat trailer wheels can be easily be stolen by thieves and are stolen more often than any other marine product. McGard wheel locks are put on in place of one of the lug nuts so you are protected from losing your trailer wheels.
As with all McGard marine locks make sure you do not lose the special socket from them that is used to remove their special nut. Keep the package the locks come in when you buy them and also the sales receipt for proof of purchase. I think there is a serial number stamped on the package the indicates what unique locking design your lock is. You can then contact Mcgard and get a replacement removal socket if you do lose the original one.
If you think about, it does not take much time to take off boat props from a marine engine propeller shaft. It could take less than a minute for propeller theft to occur. The bad guys know that and thousands of boat propellers have been stolen off boats over the years. Mostly Stainless Steel Propellers because they are worth considerably more money than Aluminum Propellers. If you keep your boat out of the water and on a trailer and park it somewhere like in a storage facility or your property outside, your boat prop could be an easy target for thieves. Even if you keep your boat in the water your boat propeller can still be taken off under the water without much trouble.
The good news is there is a simple solution to propeller theft that does not cost much and is easy to install. A company called McGard makes excellent prop locks that you put on after the propeller in place of the prop nut and is torqued down the same way as the nut. Instead of using a regular socket or pliers you use their special socket that has a unique pattern to it that goes into their matching nut pattern. Regular tools cannot be used to remove the special nut, pretty much only the McGard socket can do that. If you do install one of these locks do not ever lose that special socket You will be sorry you did. The locks are made of hardened stainless steel which makes them almost impossible to penetrate without damaging the boat propeller.
McGard also makes locks for sterndrives and outboard motors. We are going to start offering McGard products this year plus many more boating items. So please check out our website for new discounted products this season along with the huge selection of boat propellers we sell at super, discount prices.
Using their own version of the counter rotating dual prop system for boat propellers Suzuki started working on a new outboard motor project over three years ago. The Mercruiser and Volvo Penta stern drives have had their twin boat prop systems on the market for years and Yamaha also had their VMAX one hundred and fifty horsepower TRP outboard that used two props but they no longer make the TRP. The new three hundred and fifty horsepower four stroke engine is Suzuki’s most powerful engine they have ever made and it is loaded with innovative design features besides the two boat propeller propulsion system. This engine has a 4.4 liter V-6 powerhead with a highest outboard motor compression ratio of twelve to one for more powerful torque performance.
The gearcase was able to made slimmer for less drag and better flow of water to the boat props by moving the shifting mechanism to the top part of the case. This gearcase design is far different than any other gearcase design offered by other outboard motor manufacturers today.
The prop shaft turns both boat propellers in forward and reverse and uses a single pinion gear to turn the shaft. The DF350A weighs in at about seven hundred and twenty five pounds, just under ninety pounds more than the three hundred horsepower Suzuki.
The DF350A holeshot is extremely quick thanks to almost double the propeller blade surface area it has compared to single boat prop outboards.This Suzuki lifts the stern of larger heavier boats very well for faster planing. It also performs fantastic in turns with very little slippage and overall gas mileage is excellent also because of less slippage. Pricing on the DF350A is in the thirty thousand dollar price range.
Powertech Propellers which is one brand of boat props that we sell is working on producing counter rotating boat props for these engines and they should be available soon. For propellers on single boat prop engines please check out our discount propeller selection or call us at 1-800-573-5533