Steel Vs. Aluminum Props for Your Outboard Motor

Steel vs. Aluminum Props for Your Outboard Motor

Many boat owners have questions about the respective merits and advantages of steel vs. aluminum props for their outboard motors. Although both types of material have definite advantages and drawbacks, the best choice of material ultimately comes down to the outboard motor’s intended use and desired performance. Consider this list of pros and cons when deciding on a steel or aluminum prop for your outboard motor:

Steel:

Stainless steel is a very strong material and steel props will be stronger and more durable than their aluminum counterparts. Additionally, stainless steel prop blades are generally thinner than aluminum and can be manufactured in a wider variety of shapes and styles, which increases their performance and longevity.

For boaters who need to reach high speeds, stainless steel may be the better material choice due to the fact that there is minimal flex in stainless steel, even at high speeds. Although stainless steel is known for its durability, the material does rust and will need to be protected against corrosion and damage just like the rest of the boat.

Aluminum:

Most of the factory-model props included with new outboard motors are made of aluminum. Aluminum is a great multi-purpose material that works well for general-use props due to the fact that it is light and easy to care for. Although aluminum props are inexpensive, lightweight and easy to service, the material is not overly strong, which means that aluminum props may be more susceptible to damage than their stainless steel counterparts. The choice between stainless steel vs. aluminum props for outboard motors can be a tough one.

Boaters who are just getting started in the sport and intend to use their outboard motors for light fishing and general use will get along just fine with a standard aluminum prop. On the other hand, boaters who need to reach higher speeds or want enhanced performance from their outboard motors may benefit from upgrading to a stainless steel prop.

Although the two materials both have advantages and drawbacks, stainless steel is significantly stronger, less likely to wear and offers enhanced performance. A wide selection of outboard motors and prop choices can be found at reputable outboard motor dealers, such as L & M Marine, LLC.