3-Blade Prop vs 4-Blade Prop
When it comes to boat propellers, a very common question is whether a 3-blade prop or a 4-blade prop is better. It all depends on what type of application you use it for.
It’s no secret that most boats use 3-blade propellers, so why would you want a 4-blade prop? Why choose one over the other? The short answer is the 4 blade propeller has more surface area and bite, which allows a boat to get up on a plane and maintain it easier at a lower RPM. However, the 3 blade prop has less surface area, which offers less drag and more top speed than the 4 blade prop.
3 Blade Prop vs 4 Blade Prop: Which is Better?
One reason to consider going with the 4-blade prop is for boating in conditions that are constantly changing and you can’t run flat out all the time. So if you have a larger boat, a 4 blade propeller will handle rough seas for it better than a 3 blade prop would, because you need a lot of control and more bite to maintain the boat in the right direction and speed.
Another reason to consider switching from three to four blades is because as time goes on, how you use your boat and what you have on it will likely change. In other words, it’s unlikely your boat had all of the options it has now when you first bought it. Over the years, you may have added an extra live well or water tank to wash down the decks. All of those changes add a lot of weight over time, and you've probably added more to your boat than you remember. Switching from a 3-blade prop to a 4-blade prop gives you that extra oomph to get your boat out of the water and on a plane easier and faster.
In truth, 3-blade propellers will do fine in most conditions. However, if you find yourself spending more time in the mid-range and lower speeds and your boat weighs a little more than when you bought it, the 4 blade prop is a better choice. You'll lose a little bit of top-end speed compared to a 3-blade prop, but you'll gain a lot more control and lift with four blades.