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Team Racing
Team Racing

The ever-changing variety of hull designs, engine configurations, and general boat capabilities place new demands on propeller performance. Today with Mercury Marine and Mercury Racing offering over forty combined stainless steel propeller lines the options facing a propeller customer can be overwhelming. Consider these three key points to best select the propeller that will help you meet your performance goals:  

  1. Have a measurable performance goal, or rank the performance attributes that are most important for your specific boating needs. Top-end speed, hole shot, mid-range fuel economy, rough-water handing, certain lifting characteristics, and low-speed maneuverability are the most common performance criteria any boat owner could consider a priority. Dialing in boat performance can be tricky because everyone uses their boat differently. A water sports enthusiast, a competitive angler, and an offshore racer each have a very different perspective on ideal performance, and at the micro level are differences in how a walleye boat and a bass boat perform, or a high-performance catamaran versus a vee hull. In any situation running the ideal propeller, or the wrong propeller, can have a significant impact on performance and how much you enjoy the boat.

  2. Selecting an ideal propeller usually involves some testing and trial and error, but before that can happen you need to establish some very basic baseline data. Make sure your tachometer and speedometer are functioning properly and accurately. From there, a simple first exercise would be to run the boat at wide open under normal operating conditions and load. Record engine RPM and top speed. If RPM is below the recommended operating range or hitting the rev limiter, you can adjust pitch to improve performance. Measuring RPM and boat speed at your normal cruising speed is also important, and an instance where the Mercury Racing Prop Slip Calculator can be used to see how well the propeller is hooking up. 

  3. Familiarize yourself with the current propeller on the boat. Make note of the blade count, length of the barrel and whether or not the barrel is flared, the size of the blades, etc. Are the blades dull and worn or do they look brand new? Reference our 8-part Propeller School blog series to learn how the different parameters of your propeller are affecting performance.  

Once you have a clear performance goal, baseline data, and a very basic understanding of what type of propeller you currently have and how it is affecting performance, you can narrow down the various options available to help you reach your specific performance goals. for expert advice or any questions regarding performance propellers email Mercury Racing at [email protected].

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