Boat is 6 years old now and my prop has a couple nicks in it. It’s stainless, I’ve been careful but have ran ground 2 or 3 times over the years. It has some nicks and dings but nothing serious. This year I noticed I’ve lost about 2 mph at top end, used to be able to hit 40 but now top out at 38. So question is at what point should I be considering fixing or replacing?
When to replace prop
Can anyone recommend a place in SE WI that does work on stainless props? I’m in Wash Co and was going to contact Cedar lake sales about were to take it
How are you measuring your speed? If it's not using GPS, you may have a restriction or crack in your water line or pitiot tube. A few minor nicks in your prop blades won't cost you 2 mph. Chunks missing, a rolled blade edge or bent blade might. But not a few idle speed nicks. Are you getting the same WOT RPMs?
If it is a stainless prop, it is worth having it reworked. If it is aluminum, keep it as an emergency spare and buy a new one. Most prop places charge $50-80 to repair an aluminum prop and you won't have it back for 4-6 weeks. My time on the water is worth a few extra dollars. We have a shorter boating season in Wisconsin than most states. I'm not going to miss a third of it waiting for prop nicks to be repaired. I have 5 props for my boat...some are for different applications, but 3 of them are the same 13x21 pitch props so if I hit something and tweak a blade, I have spares on hand to get back on the water immediately.
My 40 hp tiller has hit sand bars, muck, and logs while river fishing. The prop is aluminum i can tell in the feel vibration on the tiller handle when the prop gets dinged or bent and yes I lose 1-2 mph usually. I always buy a new one cause the prop make alot more vibration when it's damaged which can lead to more problems. Then I keep the least damaged prop for a backup.
Motor is 90 hp merc and 1675 Lund impact. Only 3 times I hit anything was at idle speed and “found” a gravel bar and immediately went into neutral and trimmed up. Don’t really think the speed loss is a motor issue, she still starts, idles and runs like when new, just feel the nicks on the prop aren’t making it as efficient as it was as new
I’ll try to post some pics of the prop tomorrow
That's a personal thing. My props are almost like new, but I always have a spare prop. I don't know your boat, so hard to say, but at 40hp tops, I would purchase a new or like new aluminum prop then have your SS rebuilt. Once done, put the SS back on and keep Aluminum as a hot spare. I buy my props used off Bass Boat Central or scream and fly. Both cater to bigger motors but props for smaller motors do come up. Lots of guys buy a prop, find it is not right, then sell it for 30-50% off new with no dings. As a side note, 2 mph loss could be an engine thing and not the prop unless you just hit something.