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Article: Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum Boat Propellers

Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum Boat Propellers
Boat Accessories

Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum Boat Propellers

The ongoing debate between whether a stainless-steel propeller is better than an aluminum propeller, all comes down to determining what horsepower your boat’s engine is and where you want to be investing your money.

The general rule of thumb is that if the engine is 125HP or less, an aluminum propeller is the right fit for you, but once your engine reaches or exceeds 150HP, a stainless-steel prop is a much better choice – or really the only choice in some eyes.

125(-) HP engine = aluminum prop

150(+) HP engine = stainless-steel prop

Performance & Efficiency

This strict differential is because on a 125HP or less engine, the stainless-steel propeller is far too heavy and puts extra stress on the engine and prop itself: an aluminum prop is much easier to spin for a lower HP engine. However, for a 150+ HP engine that can operate with more aggression, an aluminum prop will bend/ flex in the water, changing the blades and lowering your boat’s ratio and speed. Additionally, the flexibility of these aluminum props has caused manufacturers to design the blades thicker, which only results in more drag, and in turn also lowers your top speed.

A stainless-steel prop will give a 150(+) HP better performance, especially in hole shot, with more cruising and top-end efficiency. Because of this increased performance, you’ll experience much more fuel efficiency, allowing you to get more boating in for less expense.

Durability & Longevity

Since stainless-steel can handle 5x more stress than aluminum can, it is able to resist prop damage easier and can be designed with much thinner blades than aluminum will. With resistance to bending, stainless steel props then maintain their designed blade pitch and shape at high speeds. Additionally, due to their greater durability, a stainless-steel prop cuts through weeds and debris much easier, taking some pressure off you when nearing abrasive environments. On the other hand, an aluminum prop inevitably erodes from damage it meets and does not nearly have the longevity that stainless-steel does. An aluminum propeller is, therefore, more likely to be damaged and then will need to be replaced.

At Martin Motor Sports, we offer and supply all 150+ HP engine boats with stainless-steel props at a $1500 value. Although the cost of a stainless-steel prop is greater than an aluminum one, you risk more frequent replacement and larger fuel expenses with aluminum. We want to ensure you are investing your money in something you can rely on. 

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