View Full Version : Aluminum VS Stainless Prop?

08-03-2004, 07:29 AM
How much performance difference will you see from a stainless prop over aluminum. I have a Suzuki DF200 on a Sea Pro 206CC and need to replace the prop. I am concerned that if a stainless prop hits something then the lower unit will also get damaged. Any opinions?

08-03-2004, 10:09 PM
FWIW, I've had my boat for 6 months, but it's a 1988, and runs on a stainless prop (the prop is original). I dinged the prop pretty good first time out (long, funny story-just think maiden voyage on Chesapeake the same day the Balt. water taxi capsized), and no problems with the lower unit yet. I've put on 40 hrs. since then, including some long fast runs (12+ miles) Stainless just seems a better option to me, esp. in the salt.

Pauper Piscator
08-04-2004, 08:36 AM
I have heard tell that Stainless contributes to corrosion on Aluminum outdrives.

Performance is supposed to be a quicker hole shot and higher top end as the blades are stiffer and thinner. You rig is definitley high performance oriented. If you are trailering, you will prob notice MARGINAL performance increases. Maybe look at a 4 blade prop?

On another topic...if you are cruising offshore, SS will prob give you better overal performance and economy. However, if you are in the boulders, on the flats, etc, I'd much rather repair/replace an alum wheel than a steel one.

In a 20' boat, I am guessing you are not reluctant to get in tight.

IMO, not worth it. Spend the $$ on some trim tabs if you don't already have em.

08-04-2004, 10:15 AM
Typically, there is a 10 to 20% difference in performance. Most have a rubber hub insert that gives way when you hit something, so the lower unit should not be a big concern. Think of it this way, at a 15% difference, you burn the gas of 200 ponies, but get the results of 170.

08-04-2004, 11:47 AM
TheMann, I would have thought your hot new rig would come with a stainless prop. Putting an aluminum prop on that sweet engine is like putting bias ply tires on a Corvette.

I run a stainless wheel on my new Yamaha 150 HPDI and I wouldn't have speced it any other way. My spare prop is aluminum, but - knock on wood - I have not needed it yet.

The waters off Salem and Beverly probably are rockier then my home waters around Newburyport but I would at least try and borrow a stainless wheel from J & W and make my decision from there. Of course you can buy 3 aluminum props for the price of 1 stainless. ;)

10-29-2004, 10:24 AM
Probably way too late to post on this thread...sorry but I was just surfing away looking for winterizing tips when I came across this conversation. Let me throw in my two penny-worth...
I have a pair of Suzuki 140 four-strokes both with stainless props. A few weeks ago, I dinged one of the props on a floating object - I think it was a submerged oil drum just lying below the surface. The impact sent the prop free spinning and stripped the engine drive shaft. Ouch. There's not much give in stainless props.

10-29-2004, 12:36 PM
In terms of protecting your outdrive, I would think that there is little difference if you hit a rock with aluminum vs stainless. I've dinged quite a few props and doubt that aluminum would soften the blow, that is the job of the rubber hub. As to corrosion worries, the shaft that the prop sits on is stainless, so I don't see how stainless props contribute to galvanic corrosion (i.e. electrolysis). As to performance, the higher horsepower that you have, the more benefit of stainless steel.

In short I would spend the extra $200 and go with stainless, after all, the motor alone is what, 15K?

10-29-2004, 01:56 PM
I recently bent my aluminum prop and replaced it with stainless of (supposedly) the same size. I definately gained acceloration, but I lost about 200 RPM and 3 mph on the top end. The engine is a Yamaha 150 4-stroke.

The stainless prop wieghs much more than the aluminum. When they design golf clubs, they say lighter wieght equals more club-head speed. Is this true in props? Does this make any sense? Also, how do you spell check this thing?

11-18-2004, 09:04 AM
[QUOTE=Philster]I recently bent my aluminum prop and replaced it with stainless of (supposedly) the same size. I definately gained acceloration, but I lost about 200 RPM and 3 mph on the top end. The engine is a Yamaha 150 4-stroke.

SS prop does not give you the same performance of an aluminum prop of samd diameter and pitch.......ya gotta go to a different pitch when switching over. I'd say consult with a prop specialist first, might even go with a custom 4 blade if you are into real performance,: sure made a difference on my scooter.