Know When to Repair Boat Propellers

Before deciding whether or not you need to repair any broken propeller for your boat, it is important to first establish if replacing would be a better option as opposed to doing propeller maintenance work. You can figure this out simply by asking yourself if the propeller kept your motor in the correct rpm range. Did the boat using the propeller accelerate well? Did you notice vibrations from the propellor when taking out the boat? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a replacement might be better than trying to repair the propeller.

If, however, you have not experienced such issues, then you need to inspect your propellers to see where any underlying issues are. Once you can locate the issue, you can then move forward with solving the problem. For aluminum propellers, you should analyze for excessive metal losses that exceed more than 10% of the blade area, as well as for any thin blades or cavitation burns. Should you see any such red flags, you may want to consider acquiring an inner hub to provide a protective layer around the propeller.

In the case of bronze propellers, you need to look extensively at the blade thickness. Warped blades can be salvageable but it’s when you straighten them out that you must inspect them deeply. Once you straighten the blades, you will need to regrind them to smooth the surface and remove the dents and nicks. Every time that you straighten the blades, critical metal thickness is lost. A good number to note for bronze propellers is that 20% reduction in thickness can diminish the strength by up to 50%.

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