Springtime is the official start of the boating season and BBLADES Professional Propellers reminds boaters to run through their prop check list, because the wrong or damaged prop can negatively impact performance, increase fuel use, and lead to potentially expensive problems at the worst time; while actually boating.

“Even if you don’t suspect prop damage, you should check for it,” says Brett Anderson of BBLADES. “A ding or a dent – or worse – could have occurred when trailering the boat for the final time last year or while the boat was in transit or in storage. Look for the obvious, and then look closer for cracks that may run through one or more blades.” Anderson suggests a magnifying glass could help locate pitting or hairline cracks that could lead to bigger problems later, and reminds boaters that the Prop Pros at BBLADES can repair most any damage to stainless steel and aluminum propellers.

Anderson points out that over or under propping can not only affect boat performance but also fuel economy by causing an engine to work harder. “High engine rpm that is the result of an inefficient set-up –how high or low the prop sits in the water, or the result of a high prop slip percentage, can often be corrected by changing to a propeller that has more blades, changing the depth of the prop in the water or changing the pitch, diameter or other prop geometry,” he says, and then goes on to define “slip” as the difference between actual and theoretical travel created by one revolution of the prop. BBLADES can help a boater determine prop slip over the phone in many cases, and offers two test programs to help boaters determine the right prop and the right drive height.

For a modest fee, BBLADES allows boaters to test a variety of sterndrive and outboard propellers to see first-hand how a specific propeller will perform on a specific boat, providing a “try before you buy” option. Similarly, for performance boaters using Mercury Racing Six Drives, BBLADES offers the marine industry’s only test program for spacer plates, which allow for raising or lowering the depth of the propeller in the water. BBLADES makes the only Six Drive spacers plates available in quarter-inch increments, for dialing in the most precise “X” dimension. Details on both programs are available by calling BBLADES or visiting its website.

BBLADES Professional Propellers also offers “Lab Finishing” or “Blue Printing” for stainless steel wheels that can improve specific the performance characteristics of standard propellers, as well as a complete line of propeller protection accessories from prop covers to carrying cases, and the new BSAFE Propeller Lock, that offers stylish theft protection without robbing performance.

Based in Princeton, Wisconsin, BBLADES Professional Propellers is a full service propeller company offering consultation, inspection and repair of any aluminum, stainless steel, nibral and brass propellers; “Lab-Finishing” or “Blueprinting” of stainless steel propellers; competitive pricing on new props from Mercury, Hering, Hydromotive, Acme and Turbo; and the most comprehensive propeller testing program in the marine industry.