Regular boat maintenance is an essential part of owning and operating a boat. Everyone understands the importance of changing the oil, cleaning the hull, and replacing worn belts, but there is one part of boat upkeep that people often overlook—replacing the propeller.
From improved performance to protecting the integrity of other components on a boat, boat owners replace their props for many reasons. Here are four that you should consider.
If you have ever hit anything submerged with your boat, you might want to make sure your propeller is undamaged as part of your regular boat maintenance routine. Debris, sandbars, and rocks can cause serious damage to your propeller, but even a small nick or slightly bent blade can cause havoc on your engine and transmission.
Even if your propeller looks fine, keep an eye on your boat’s performance following an underwater collision. A difference in pitch of even one-fourth of an inch can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.
A boat that has trouble getting onto plane could have a propeller with too much pitch. Not only is this annoying, it can also cause significant damage to your motor if left unaddressed.
In some cases, you may be able to have your prop’s pitch adjusted in the shop. Otherwise, you should replace it with a new one to save your engine from damage.
Part of the reason a dinged or gouged propeller is so bad for your engine is that the damage causes it to work too hard. With all that hard work, you could be looking at a lot of wasted money in fuel costs—sometimes as high as 10 percent. Propeller and boat maintenance can save you money on gas.
It’s no secret that part of the reason we get out on the water is to feel the freedom of the wind rushing past us. It feels good to go fast when conditions are right, so when your boat feels sluggish, that can be a big disappointment.
If your boat feels slower than it usually does, the problem could be a damaged propeller. But even if your propeller is not damaged, putting a new one on could help you gain a bit of speed, depending on the material you choose. For instance, a stainless-steel propeller could give your boat a boost of a couple knots or more.
Preventing damage from happening to your propeller can be just as important as fixing any problems that arise. If you are interested in learning more about how a Hydro-Shield hydrofoil can protect your prop, check out the benefits here.