My New Boat
Well congratulations on the purchase of your new boat and/or first boat. You will spend many, many enjoyable hours of setting up the boat for fishing or water sports, showing it to your friends and basically spending most of your time with it like a spouse (just ask my wife – LOL, LOL)
So, before all of this happens, you need to select a boat best suited for how you want to enjoy your time on the water (Off Shore Fishing, Lake Fishing, Water Sports, etc). You then need to visit a dealer(s) for a demo/test ride. Before you demo ride/drive, ask salesman (or see for yourself) size of prop (Diameter & Pitch) on boat and then note the wide-open throttle RPMs with no trim on the outboard then trim just a little bit. During the test ride, the dealer may want to focus on the “Wide Open Throttle Speed”. My question is “Does a vehicle salesman try to sell you a new truck by focusing on the wide-open throttle speed of the truck”? - answer is no?
As an example, let’s say your outboard has a wide-open throttle range of 5000 to 6000 RPMs like most 4 strokes. The boat you test only achieves 5200 RPMs loaded (13% short of your 6000). Reduce pitch of the test prop (theoretically) by the same 13% to achieve RPMs closer to 6000. You also do not want to over trim the outboard just to gain RPMs as more of the prop comes out of the water, you gain RPMs but the speed my not increase exponentially. You need to have the correct style prop that allows the operator to achieve target RPMs without over trimming (See Blog 7 for propeller basic terminology). Listed below are a few basic tips and propeller style designs for specific boat/motor set ups (EG: You don’t want a Bass Boat Prop on your V-Bottom Offshore Boat or vice versa).
Bass Boat: Normally high a rake prop to generate lift of the hull to run on the back pad of the boat with a Jack Plate to elevate the outboard (See Powertech: VMX3-Blade, RKR3-Blade, RKR4-Blade and TRO4-Blade).
Offshore Boat: Single, twin, triple motor set ups need to have a propeller with at least 15 inches of diameter to correctly lift the hull of the boat, like a 747 aircraft has a wingspan same length as the fuselage to correctly lift the aircraft. And again, 3 or 4 blades are fine as long as you achieve target RPMs without over trimming the motor (See PowerTech: OFS3-Blade, OFS4-Blade).
Flats Boats: For fishing shallow/skinny water around the Gulf of Mexico for trout and Redfish, a propeller needed for getting in and out of areas where you may grind the bottom, 4 blades with cupping for grip (See Powertech: RXB4-Blade and OFX4-Blade).
Just a few things you may not have known as a new boat owner or as a 1st time boat owner – Please Note: An aluminum prop is great as a spare prop but as a primary prop, last thing I want is an inexpensive aluminum prop pushing my $100,000 - 9000lb new boat 50 miles off shore in 4 to 6 foot seas. The PropTologist