Boat Propeller Tuning - What You Need to Know
If you are looking to maximize the performance of your boat, then don't forget about the all important propeller(s). Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself when it comes to the propeller(s) on your prized investment.
Are the vibrations that I am feeling standard to the boating experience?
Am I noticing that my boat uses more gas than it should be?
Are the correct RPM's being produced by my engine(s)?
Does my boat have the proper size of propeller(s)?
You are certainly not alone in this if you do not have clear answers to these questions.
If you want to know if your boat's propeller(s) are the appropriate size and pitch, then it is best to run your boat at Wide Open Throttle (WOT) and then reference the engine/boat manufacturer's specifications to see if it falls in line with what you are seeing during this test.
If you notice that the RPM's lie outside of the stated specs, then you may want to check into a prop tuning service for this matter, and potentially even a pitch change on your prop(s).
Your boat will most likely consume larger amounts of fuel than necessary if the engine(s) are running at too low or too high RPM levels as well as the possibility of damaging your engine(s).
It is important to know that if you are feeling vibrations while operating your boat, that this is NOT a normal behavior and that propellers will lose pitch over an extended period of time.
In order to produce the amount of thrust your propeller(s) need to get your boat up on plane, there is an extraordinary amount of engine load required to do so. The stress that this brings will cause your prop(s) to bend or deflect and do not always return to their original shape. This is how the pitch will begin to reduce over time.
Similar to how the tires on your vehicle need to be balanced from time to time to reduce any vibrations that occur, the same goes with your prop(s).
In conclusion of this short article, if you want to keep your boat at max performance, then it is a wise idea to have your propellers properly tuned by a professional company with ample experience in this line of work. This is not something you want to bet on an inexperienced company to handle, or you may end up spending more money than you would if you were to just go buy a whole new prop.