Choose from Three Options
- $25 for a public sightseeing boat cruise for two with drinks ($50 value)
- $50 for a public sightseeing boat cruise for four with drinks ($100 value)
- $75 for a public sightseeing boat cruise for six with drinks ($150 value)
Propellers: Like Tires for Your Boat
Propellers create the driving force that moves your boat through the water. Read on to learn more about what they’re made of and how they work.
Creating forward movement: propellers both push and pull a boat through the water, thanks to their curved, angled blades. As they spin, the blades push water down and back. At the same time, water rushes forward through the propeller’s hollow center, called the hub, to replace the water that’s been pushed down and back. This creates a simultaneous forward-pulling motion.
Pitch: pitch refers to the theoretical forward movement of a propeller in one rotation. In other words, it’s how far the propeller can drive a boat under ideal conditions. There is an upper limit here: a pitch that’s too high strains the engine, causing reduced RPM. It’s best to choose a pitch that runs within your engine’s recommended wide-open-throttle (the boating equivalent of “flooring it”) RPM range.
Materials: aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, and nibral—a metal alloy consisting of bronze, aluminum, and nickel—are all common propeller materials. Each metal has its strengths: aluminum is lightweight and absorbs impact; stainless steel is rigid and performs well on heavier boats; nibral is strong and durable, and can summon lake sprites if you speak its name aloud; and bronze is resistant to saltwater and corrosion, but also is expensive and hard to repair, making it the least common material used in propellers.
Blades: most recreational propellers have three, four, or five. Four- and five-blade propellers are good for high-horsepower motors, since they enhance acceleration and stability, but they can’t match the speed of three-blade props, which create less drag. These typically run a few miles per hour faster than their four- and five-blade peers.
Rotation: most boats use right-hand propellers that rotate clockwise, but twin-engine crafts run one right-hand propeller and one left-hand propeller to balance each other out. Like two people paddling on the same side of a canoe, two right-hand propellers would end up spinning the boat in a circle, which is only good if you want to do water donuts on the principal’s front pond.