Picking a Propeller

Information +

Power

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO MAKE A SMART PROPELLER CHOICE.

When it comes to propping your outboard, one size doesn’t fit all. There are too many variables involved, such as boat size, horsepower, application—even altitude. Even with all of that to consider, there are ways to zero-in on what you need.

Generally speaking, the right propeller will allow your engine, under a normal or heavy load, to reach the upper portion of the wide open throttle (WOT) range specified by its manufacturer, without exceeding it. For example, if your outboard’s WOT is 5000-6000 RPM, you need a propeller that will allow your engine to turn between approximately 5700 and 6000 RPM, with an average load in the boat. Many things affect load, such as fuel levels, full bait and/or live wells, batteries, passengers, equipment like anchors and ropes and safety gear like PFDs and fire extinguishers. Be sure to account for everything when determining your load weight.

Large Offshore propellers

Once you've identified your WOT at your average load weight, use the following steps to pick a propeller that will maximize the power of your outboard and enhance your boat's performance.

Step 1

Check out our performance bulletins.
Visit the Performance Bulletin area of our site, choose the type of boat most similar to yours and see what propeller is listed.

Step 2

Review our propeller charts to see the solutions available for your horsepower.
Look for the same series names and pitches of propellers featured in the Performance Bulletin. Then, adjust the pitch depending on your boat's weight and your altitude. Pitch down for heavier weights and higher altitudes. Pitch even or slightly up for lighter weights or lower altitudes. Each inch of propeller pitch is equal to approximately 100 +/- 50 rpm.

Step 3

Determine the pitch of your propeller.
If we don't offer a Performance Bulletin for your type of boat, check the outside barrel of your current propeller for the pitch. You can also remove the propeller and look on the inside of the hub for the propeller "size". Then, consult the horsepower charts listed above to adjust the pitch accordingly.

Step 4

Check out the latest edition of Prop Shop.
Each quarter, Prop Shop reports on general propeller information and the latest Yamaha propeller releases, and shares unusual propeller applications we've discovered.

Volume 4 Edition 3 - August 2014
GYT Propeller Additions, Bass Boats: Propping for Performance, Parts and Pieces: A Lesson in Propeller Anatomy, Performance Bulletins, New: Prop Shop's Application Chart

Volume 4 Edition 2 - June 2014
Shine It Up!, Propeller Polish, Propeller Care & Maintenance, You've got questions? We've got answers., Grease and Go!, Talon SDS Hub Maintenance

Volume 4 Edition 1 - April 2014
Yamaha introduces Talon aluminum propeller with SDS, Springtime boat prep, Fuel Inefficient: Propping correctly can save you big at the pump., Steps to Speed: Stepped hulls and propping them., You've got questions? We've got answers., Endless Propeller Solutions – making solutions simpler

Volume 3 Edition 3 - November 2013
FXP receives rubber hub, Cracking the letter code, Turbo 2+2 OT is back, You've got questions? We've got answers., Shine up and drive, What's the difference?

Volume 3 Edition 2 - September 2013
Unfamiliar territory, Four blades and skinny water, You've got questions? We've got answers., Are you ready for some new wheels?, Don't forget the pin?, A tale of two props 

Volume 3 Edition 1 - March 2013
Shine It Up!, Ready for Action, You've got propeller questions? We've got answers., Altitude and Four Blades?, Upgrade your F150 

Volume 2 Edition 5 - December 2012
What's all this noise about SDS?, Reliance propellers now available with SDS, You've got questions? We've got answers., Don't judge a prop by its name, Dual Thurst Prop on F70 

Volume 2 Edition 4 - September 2012
Three parts to 
proper performance, Know the effects, Testing propellers, 
Over and out?,  Reconditioned propellers

Volume 2 Edition 3 - July 2012
Yamaha introduces 3 new propellers, We like to hear from you, Unusual application of the month

Volume 2 Edition 2 – April 2012
Why Yamaha Propellers, What's in A Hub?, Propeller Q&A, Yamaha or Turbo? Unusual Application

Volume 2 Edition 1 – February 2012
Maintenance Tips, Performance Testing, Propeller Selection, Propeller Types, Spare Propellers, Propping Large Bay Boats

Volume 1 Edition 4 – December 2011
Making/Testing Propellers, Propeller Q&A, Shift Dampener System (SDS™), Cleaning Your Propeller, High Altitude Propping

Volume 1 Edition 3 – October 2011
How to Pick a Propeller, Propeller Q&A, The Endless Propeller Solutions Tour, Saltwater Series II Propellers on V MAX SHO®-Powered Pontoons

Volume 1 Edition 2 – August 2011
Yamaha's Endless Propeller Solutions, Propeller Q&A, Installing a Guardian SQ-LOK "Universal" Hub System, Pontoon Propellers on F70-Powered Flats Boats

Volume 1 Edition 1 – June 2011
Propping a Yamaha F350, Picking a Propeller by Application, Our New Shift Dampener System (SDS™)

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Step 5

Test propellers on the water—that's the best way to know.
Your Yamaha Marine Dealer will be able to help you determine the propeller that's right for you and may even be able to let you test a few on the water. Before consulting with a dealer, be sure to follow the steps above and have the following information handy:

  • Boat make, model and year
  • Engine model and Primary Identification Number (PID)
  • Current propeller size and style
  • Current maximum RPM at wide open throttle
  • Typical and maximum loads (weights) carried