By Lenny Rudow While high-horsepower models usually grab headlines in the world of outboard engines, it’s small outboards that make much of the boating world go around. Bigger isn’t always better, and when it comes to outboard engines, models of ...
Even a slightly dinged prop can change your performance and mileage
Driving a boat is similar to driving a car. You wouldn't want to drive a car with a damaged part, potentially putting you or your passengers at risk. But occasionally, damaged parts aren’t so obvious. And you may not realize they need to be repaired or replaced. The same is true in boating.
Your propeller is a critical component of your engine. Even slight damage may affect performance and fuel efficiency. What may appear to be “just a ding” on your boat's propeller could actually be the start of a larger problem.
One of the initial warning signs of a damaged propeller is when the prop's paint begins to wear. This may be an indicator that the part is experiencing abnormal wear and tear, and should be inspected more closely.
Additional warning signs include leading edge nicks, blade tips that are bent, missing material, or trailing edge cup damage. Any of these issues may affect your boat's overall performance and efficiency. Damage to the leading and/or trailing edge will increase the slip percent of the propeller, reducing the overall efficiency and performance capabilities of the propeller. This may all be followed by an unwanted vibration.
Inspect your propeller before every takeoff and make sure it is in good condition before use. This simple inspection will help you avoid costly repairs and poor boat performance. And it may just save you a few dollars at the pump, too.
Want to ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable time on the water? Take your boat to your nearest Mercury dealer to have your propeller checked out this boating season. They are the experts and will be able to advise you of the best prop for your boat application.
Check out the Mercury Prop Selector tool!