The 10 Best Boat Propellers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in February of 2019. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to boat propellers. Having the right fit for your vessel is integral to ensuring you get the most out of your motor. Most times, the factory-installed model isn't ideal, and installing an after-market option can mean a noticeable increase in acceleration and top speed. Our guide will help you sift through the ocean of choices to find the perfect match. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 21, 2020:
Although all of the propellers in our previous list were high quality at the time of publication, we have added the latest model of the Motorguide Machete III as it is superior and more reasonably priced than its predecessor. This option is seven years newer, and its plastic construction is more than strong enough for a small electric trolling motor.
The Quicksilver Nemesis was added to the list to add a reasonably priced, high-torque option for boaters who want to tow anyone at speed, as acceleration is an important consideration, especially for waterskiing and parascending, when it can be unsafe to sacrifice a high top-speed for a quick start or holeshot.
May 10, 2019:
The key thing to choosing the right propeller for your powerboat is finding the sweet spot between your engine's wide-open throttle operating range (measured in rpm) and the pitch of a propeller. The pitch is how far (in inches) the propeller moves in one revolution.
If your boat's rpm gauge matches the WOT operating range at WOT and neutral trim, it means you are properly propped. If you are over-revving, it means you should move up in pitch and vice versa. In either case, your motor is not delivering its maximum horsepower and a propeller replacement is in order.
Most propellers are available in two-inch pitch increments, which is typically enough to find the sweet spot. For those who want to perfectly tune their rig's performance, the Mercury Marine Enertia Eco is available in one-inch pitch increments.
Diameter is also a spec to consider. Those on the lower end, such as the Mercury Marine Spitfire, are ideal for smaller boats or high-performance speed boats. The larger the diameter, the more thrust you will get, at the cost of more drag. Large diameter models, like the Solas Rubex L3, are excellent choices for larger boats with heavier loads.
Powertech OFS4 Smooth and efficient -- though expensive -- this propeller has a thru-hub exhaust system, which allows emissions to pass through a specially designed barrel instead of coming into contact with the blades. In larger boats, this can help increase top speed and avoid blade corrosion. ptpropeller.com