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To make a propeller testing session worthwhile, there are several important factors that must be considered. According to Dirk Bjornstad, the brand manager at Mercury Propellers, many people underestimate the number of variables and the level of stringency required when testing. Simply adjusting pitch alone won't suffice; blade count, cup, rake angle, and blade area are equally crucial. Additionally, a stepped-bottom design will necessitate different prop requirements than a standard one. By carefully examining these factors, you can make an informed decision.
When consulting with a customer, Brett Anderson, the president of BBlades Professional Propellers, emphasizes understanding their main goals and what they hope to achieve. Common objectives include getting on plane quickly, having great mid-range, and outpacing a friend's boat. However, even the most knowledgeable prop specialist cannot assist without accurate knowledge of your boat, such as the manufacturer's recommended maximum rpm for the engine.
As fuel prices rise in the spring, Bjornstad reported that he received calls from people seeking to save money. The most prevalent misconception was that increasing pitch could result in fuel savings. However, this has the opposite effect as it puts more strain on the motor, leading to increased fuel consumption. To save money, aim for the lower end of your motor's recommended rpm range. This will reduce gas consumption during high-speed runs as the engine will be turning at a lower rpm.