We are used to performance boat propellers today. However, the first generally known screw type propeller that was used on a boat dates back to 1826. It was made by a Czech-Austrian inventor Joseph Ressel. The boat propeller had multiple blades made out of bronze, that were fastened around a conical base and was installed on a small boat that was manually driven. He also is credited as being the first person to successfully use a screw propeller on a mechanically powered boat which was steam powered, in 1829. His ship called the “Civetta” achieved a top speed of about six knots.
In 1835 Francis Pettit Smith, an Englishman, accidentally discovered a better style of propeller. During the testing of a boat he was running in a canal, the blade snapped off, leaving behind a partial fragment shaped a lot like a modern boat propeller. The boat moved even faster with the damaged propeller! This is also probably the first time a boater was in need of a prop repair. Mr.
Smith helped organize the Propeller Steamship Company which in 1839 built the world’s first successful screw propeller steamship, SS Archimedes.
At about the same time Smith was testing his propellers, Frederic Sauvage, a French boat builder and John Ericsson, an American inventor and mechanical engineer had pending patients on propellers similar to Smith’s design so there is some question as to who really was the first to use a screw propeller on a ship. John Ericsson is known as the builder of the SS Monitor, the first iron clad warship in the United States navy. The Monitor and the Conferate States of America iron clad warship Virginia had their epic battle in 1862.
In 1845 there was a famous tug of war competition between the two English navy warships HMS Rattler a propeller driven steamship and HMS Alecto a paddle wheel steamer. The HMS Rattler won by pulling back HMS Alecto at a 2 1/2 knot speed. This established the propeller drive system as the best and most common system that is still being used to this day.
However, today we do recommend that you use a new high performance boat propeller – and what better place to buy one than here at Dan’s Discount Boat Propellers – we have boat props from the best boat propeller manufacturers including Solas props, Turning Point propellers, Quicksilver props, Powertech propeller, Turbo propellers and even Michigan Wheel propellers.