The 4-Blade vs 3-Blade Prop – What’s the Difference?

The most asked question at the boat shows is almost always “what is the difference between a 3-blade and a 4-blade boat propeller?” The difference between a 3-blade prop vs a 4-blade prop is that the 3-blade (smaller blade ratio) is faster with a higher top speed and the 4-blade (higher blade ratio) has a better hole-shot (acceleration) and better stern lift as well as better handling and fuel economy because it will keep you on plane at a lower speed.

If you look at a propeller from behind, and visualize a circle that the blade tips would draw, you will see that the blade of a 3 blade prop covers about 50 -55% of the circle. (This is called diameter area ratio or DAR). You can add thrust within this drive circle by increasing that percent (to say 60 – 65%) by adding a 4th blade. When you look at a four blade prop you will notice that more of this area is covered because of the extra blade. That means more push contact with the water.

4-Blade vs 3-Blade prop

Many other factors including how you will be using your boat can affect your choice of prop. The propeller experts at Ace can help you find the right 3 or 4-blade Piranha Propeller. Call us at 1-866-621-7767 or use our custom sizing request form. Or, browse our extensive selection of 3 and 4-blade props here with our Piranha Prop Finder.

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