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Old 05-16-2004, 07:41 AM
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Default Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

If the pitch and diameter are the same, are there any advantages of a Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum. By the way, letís take out impact resistance of the SS as I rarely hit anything.

I can buy a stainless steel cupped Michigan propeller or another Black Max Mercury prop.
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Old 05-16-2004, 07:56 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

Actually you probably won't find that the same pitch and diameter would be the best set up. If you are operating at the correct WOT RPMs now, you will need one size smaller pitch when going to stainless. For example if you are running a 19P in aluminum, go to a 17P in stainless. Aluminum props flex quite a bit, most find that 2" less pitch with stainless keeps the RPMs the same.
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:07 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

Stainless= thinner blades due to stronger material, I believe you will need to increase pitch, don't quote me.
Aluminum= thicker blades due to weaker material, more resistance, less pitch to achieve WOT RPM's.
Stainless= looks a lot cooler, polishes up real nice and shiney.
Aluminum= no matter what you do to it, it's still aluminum.
Stainless= more theft prone, better resale value at pawn shop.
Aluminum= who the hell would steal an aluminum prop??????
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:27 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

Go down a pitch when going to stainless, and make sure you work with a dealer that will let you find the optimum pitch. Some wont let you test run a prop.

The stainless makes a big difference getting on plane.
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Old 05-16-2004, 10:45 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

What Sea_Dad said........
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Old 05-16-2004, 11:20 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

What Sleeper said.
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Old 05-16-2004, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

What Sandpiper said . . . .
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Old 05-16-2004, 03:47 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

What Bailey Boat said, I heard everything else being equal, a SS will spin faster. Don't know 1st hand though. Now that you have no answer call a good prop shop.
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Old 05-16-2004, 04:25 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

Man we used to beat the hell out of my dad's aluminium prop. Had chips and dings in it constantly. My engines had alot of corrosion due to electrical current (electrolysis). The mechanic said that it happens alot with SS props and aluminum outdrives/lower units. I still prefer SS props for their durability.
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Old 05-16-2004, 04:59 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

A thought to consider...if you hit something hard(rock), the impact will manifest itself ay the weakest link in the chain. An aluminum prop is usually the weakest link....when using stainless, the prop is much harder and often transfers the weakest link to the gears in your lower unit....
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

I very rarely hit stuff.

So if I have a 13X19P aluminum prop and switch to a
13X19P SS prop, what can I expect?
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Old 05-16-2004, 06:14 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

you can expect it to not hit WOT at the recommended rpm. Have you not been paying attention again?
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Old 05-16-2004, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

I went to stainless on my Suzuki, I found that the same pitch was too much due to the cup on a stainless prop. I also noted that the prop was a lot heavier, so it spun up slower and was not as quick on the holeshot. Heed the advice on the trial props is my advise as well. I sold mine and went back to aluminum.
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Old 05-16-2004, 11:57 PM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

Boatguy -

You will get better performance out of the SS props, as others have already stated. Another thing to consider is the wear factor. Just a little bit of sand, or even the silt in the water will erode the softer AL prop over time, altering it's original size and shape, even if you are careul not to hit anything large. This will, of course, change the performance charactersitics of your boat.

The SS props will last for a very long time with no appreciable wear. I have a pair on my boat that have been running since 1995 and they still look and perform the same way as the day I got 'em.
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:11 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

haifisch hit it right... No such thing as cupping on an aluminum wheel. Not strong enough, and aluminum flexes. All props would be stainless if they cost the same.
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:41 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

SS usually provides more cup, allowing you to trim out more and provide more efficiency. Since the blades are thinner, have less drag. There will be a perfomance increase given you choose the correct prop. SS is not subject to wear as aluminum.

I don't know how anyone can see the difference in one prop spinning up faster than the other. What I bet he did see was more slipage on the aluminum, therefore giving the illusion on spinning up quicker. A SS if fitted correctlry will out hole shot an aluminum. Due to the nature of thinner blades which offers less resistance the SS will spin up faster.
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Old 05-17-2004, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

You will probabley do more damage than the actual impact running a chipped or dinged aluminum prop on the lower unit from vibration. Most aluminum props that have been on the boat more than a year will no longer measure the same pitch or diam. This is why most people think their engine is lossing power or just not performing the same as new. Buy a stainless and not just any one from Boaters World or Overtans
Call the boat mfg. and the engine mfg.. All SS props are not created equal. There are so many styles, diam. and #blades to choose from do the research. Most companies have trail periods. Most companies want specific data when you talk to them like:
Hull Type
Motor hp
Current set - up
Speed
RPM

Remember just because somone at the marina has the same size boat and approx. same hp. , his set up will not work for your boat. Prop design & tuning is an art.
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Old 05-17-2004, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

One other note, Did you ever notice on Yamahas web site, their performance data is mostly using a SS wheel... They perform better across the board. I saw a pretty dramatic improvement when I switched out the aluminum prop that came with my rig to SS... Picked up 2 knots at all RPM's, thats big when the boat will only do 35 knots!
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Old 05-17-2004, 09:58 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

afishinado,
Where in S. Jersey are you from?
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:56 AM
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Default RE: Stainless Steel Prop vs. Aluminum

If you have a 13'X19" Black Max prop, and switch to an uncupped 13" X 19" SS prop, like the Mercury Vengeance, your max rpm will increase slightly, and you'll need to go to a 13" X 20" in that prop to have comparable max rpm.

However, if you switch to a 19" cupped SS prop, your max rpm will decrease significantly, because that cupped 19" prop will actually be performing like a 21" Black Max as far as engine loading goes.

To get comparable engine loading, and maintain close to your current max rpm, you'll need to step down to a 17" cupped SS prop... as many other respondents in this thread have said.

The question is, what is your max rpm currently with the 19" Black Max with typical fuel, people, and cargo load. What is your engine's max operating range?

If it's 5,000-5,500 rpm, and you are currently seeing 5300 rpm max, you'd want a 18" uncupped or a 16" cupped prop. If it's only 5100 rpm, you'd want a 17" uncupped or 15" cupped prop.

If it's 5,000-5,500 rpm and you are currently seeing 5700 max rpm, you'd want a 20" uncupped or an 18" cupped prop. If it's way up to 5900 rpm, you'd want a 21" uncupped or a 19" cupped prop.

These are only starting points, and you'd want to try one and go from there.

In answer to what a properly pitched stainless will get you: a coupla more mph at any given rpm, a little better holeshot, and a lot better durability.
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