Blog 5a – Fourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – a bad Golf Shot or not?
In this two-part issue of our Blog 5a & 5b: We are going to focus on the idea of 4 blade propellers that can be often incorrectly used interchangeably. If not done properly with the correct style/pitch/diameter, a 4-blade propeller can be a blessing or curse.
Over the past many years, boaters have debated the question of 4-blade propellers versus 3-blade propellers. The uninformed argument is that 4-blades are slow, and 3-blades are fast, end of discussion. Today, new trends in the marine marketplace and high marine fuel prices have brought new concerns to the boating world. Speed can be a much smaller part of the equation; while practical, real world performance becomes the boat owners primary concern.
What type of boat/motor set up can benefit from the correct style/pitch 4-blade stainless propeller – the answer is ALL – from 9.9 to 350hp outboards & I/Os; however, a 4-blade is not always needed or required so let’s visit some set ups that can/have benefitted from 4-blades.
- I/Os Boats (Merc & Volvo) – the correct style/pitch 4-blade (such as the MQS4-Blade Ski Max Prop) is a fine example – It is designed to lift the heavy stern on the IOs while decreasing prop slip & can improve fuel efficiency – Slower plaining speeds when pulling kids on tubes & great for wake boarding & water skiing for us older folks😊
- Flats Boats – Fishing skinny water, flats of Florida, Texas, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Region for example. If you are hunting in the Everglades, speed is not a concern, so a 4-wheel drive truck is what you need for better grip & traction, to get in & out of areas a 2-wheel can’t go - the same basic principle applies to a propeller & fishing skinny water. The correct style/pitch 4-blade with a lot of tip cup will be great in skinny water for chasing tailing fish in grass flats & sand holes.
- V-Bottom Offshore - the correct style/pitch 4-blade (such as the OFS4-Blade Offshore Propeller) is great on a 25-footer with a 250 outboard – It is designed to lift the stern, while decreasing prop slip & can improve fuel efficiency. Most of the time, when you decrease 3-blade prop slip by at least 10%, you can improve top end speed
These are just a few of the many examples we have over the past 16yrs – stay tuned for the 2nd part of this blog 5b – Have a great time on the water. The PropTologist