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 Canada Propeller 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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