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SavvyBoater Blog

Official Blog of SavvyBoater - Propellers

How to Select the Right Propeller - Pitch & Diameter

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As a dedicated boater you obviously want your boat running at maximum efficiency. Whether that’s going as fast as possible, having the quickest hole shot or even just wanting your boat to run as smooth as silk, being able to get the most out of your boat is of the highest priority — and for that, you’ll need the correct pitch and diameter.

While boats have multiple parts that contribute to their effectiveness, none are more important than its propeller. A broken or ill-fitting boat propeller can turn even a high performance boat sluggish and inefficient. Make sure you know what your boat requires from the propeller before you select one.

Without the proper pitch your boat will not perform at its highest level. (The pitch is usually stamped on the hub of your prop, next to the diameter.) Every engine has a suggested RPM level that should be achieved at full throttle. If your engine isn’t hitting that recommended RPM level, then it’s most likely because of an incorrect pitch. The best way to figure out if you have the right pitch for your engine is by conducting a wide open throttle test.

First, find out your engines recommended RPM level (either from your manufacturer, dealer or on our Boat Propeller Advice and Tips page). Then go to an open body of water and in a safe and legal area go full throttle. If the RPMs are higher than what is recommended, then it’s time to try a boat propeller with a higher pitch. If you are not reaching the recommended RPM level, then a lower pitch is needed to achieve that level.

If you’re wondering about selecting the correct diameter, we can help with that too. Changes in diameter can affect the way a boat carries itself. Usually, the lower the pitch, the greater the diameter. A larger diameter is generally better for pushing heavy loads, maneuvering at low speeds, and getting excellent hole shot (thanks to expanded grip on the water). Smaller diameter propellers spin faster, making them a good choice for performance boats that need higher top-end speeds. 

You can check out all our different props available on our website, SavvyBoater.com. Happy Boating!

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