The most common boat propellers on outboard motor and sterndrive boats are made out of aluminum and stainless steel. And between the two most boat props out there are aluminum propellers. They are less expensive to buy and much less expensive to get repaired. Stainless steel boat propellers are more durable and generally are used for improving top end speed for faster boats. Why are they faster in most cases? They are designed and tested to increase speeds with blade designs and higher rake degrees which is the angle of the blades, that creates more bow lift. More bow lift means less drag thru the water and that means more speed.
Three and four bladed boat propellers are available in both metals and as stated in the previous blog three blade propellers are all purpose and faster props, four bladed props are generally for pulling tubers and skiers and for bigger heavier boats.
For most boaters aluminum propellers work just fine for them on boats that are not so fast and their boating style is more for just simply getting on and enjoying the water. But if you want to get the absolute top performance out of your boat and motor, stainless steel propellers are the way to go.
You must be warned that there is very little give in stainless steel props because they are about five to seven times harder than aluminum props. Which means it is much more possible to end up with a bent propeller shaft if you hit a hard under water object like a rock or stump at high speeds. That is an expensive repair. You don not have to be totally afraid of using a stainless steel prop, just be more carefull in shallow water with them.
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