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View Full Version : Brass or Stainless Props?


bsimpson
05-25-2005, 05:04 PM
I took a friend out yesterday and when I was in the water he chopped a small branch. When I took over the controls the boat vibrated heavily between 1,000-1,500 RPMs. Once we pulled it out of the water we could not see any real visible damage. I know that we didn't hit a sandbar or anything so the shaft "should" be fine but the prop is probably not balance and needs repair.

I planned on purchasing an extra prop and puller (just not this early) to use as a hot swap. So here's the question:

What are your thoughts on Brass vs. Stainless? I'm told the Stainless will not have the problem of minor damage from hitting small branches like Brass Props but the cost of repair, if it hits something big, is much higher on Stainless Props. Is it worth it? :confused:

east tx skier
05-25-2005, 05:10 PM
I hit something hard enough with a nibral prop last year to bend the shaft anyway. But it was a major strike.

With stainless, I think you're more apt to bend more than your prop because something's got to bend.

EFiles
05-25-2005, 05:19 PM
What is nibral, anyway? I've been curious about this. Is it brass or something different?

Granite_33
05-25-2005, 05:22 PM
What is nibral, anyway? I've been curious about this. Is it brass or something different?
Nickel, Bronze, Aluminum.

I think. Maybe its brass, although I think bronze is the harder material.

EFiles
05-25-2005, 05:24 PM
That makes sense!

Granite_33
05-25-2005, 05:38 PM
I took a friend out yesterday and when I was in the water he chopped a small branch. When I took over the controls the boat vibrated heavily between 1,000-1,500 RPMs. Once we pulled it out of the water we could not see any real visible damage. I know that we didn't hit a sandbar or anything so the shaft "should" be fine but the prop is probably not balance and needs repair.

I planned on purchasing an extra prop and puller (just not this early) to use as a hot swap. So here's the question:

What are your thoughts on Brass vs. Stainless? I'm told the Stainless will not have the problem of minor damage from hitting small branches like Brass Props but the cost of repair, if it hits something big, is much higher on Stainless Props. Is it worth it? :confused:

You have varying benefits / issues of both. Don't take this for gospel :D

On the Stainless
Good: Greater performance, blades won't flex, tend to give more bite into the water. Resistant to minor dings.
Bad: Pricey. Possibly greater damage, blades won't flex. If you hit something hard, chances are that you could damage more than the prop. Shaft, strut, coupling, etc
Wildcard: $$ to fix a SS prop?

NIBRAL:
Good: Not as pricey for the new ones. You can probably find a replacement fairly inexpensively. Easier (cheaper) to repair $75 and $90 for my two love taps (courtesy of the in-laws :rant: )
Bad: Picks up the dings a little easier. Reportedly not as good performance compared to the CNC and SS props.

If you have an std. OEM prop, then I suggest getting a NEW high performance prop. Turn the OEM std into your extra. If you already have a Hi performance prop, buy a std prop for the extra.

Depends on what you value more? Price or performance.

Others here have better info since they have done prop swaps, however, given 2 big dings in 2 summers, I had some time to think about it. :D

bobk
05-25-2005, 06:00 PM
Great Thread. I am new to the boating world and am very interested in this style of questions and answers.

I like the Price vs Performance and the good and bad of products.

Ryno
05-25-2005, 06:28 PM
I had a stainless on my old ski boat and only had one time when I knicked something metal under water several times going about 2 mph. And there was no visible damage to the prop at all. I doubt a nibral prop would have the same results.

Leroy
05-25-2005, 06:56 PM
If you think of the blades as hammers swinging - hitting a rock I would rather have something soft on the blade instead of hard. Will transmitt less energy into the boat. But I haven't heard of any damage beyond the drive shaft from hitting things, like the transmission is busted now or such.It's odd that the I/O's are mostly stainless and outboards are largely nibral. Guess with I/O's they figure the lower can pop back when hitting something.

bsimpson
05-25-2005, 07:18 PM
If you have an std. OEM prop, then I suggest getting a NEW high performance prop. Turn the OEM std into your extra. If you already have a Hi performance prop, buy a std prop for the extra.

Depends on what you value more? Price or performance. :D

I would hope the prop that comes on an '05 X-Star with the 450hp L-18 IS high performance but you never know. :rolleyes: I think I am going to have to look into this more. Everyone responding to this post has some great input. The savings associated with prop repairs could be easily offset by replacing a shaft. And a shaft replacement is not something I think I'll be able to do by myself on a houseboat trip. Prop swapping I think I can handle. I'll look into a better prop but I am leaning toward the stock one rather than stainless and getting a couple of them (1 spare).

It's been tough in Cali this year.... lots of rain and most lakes are over 100% capacity so there is a lot of derbis floating around. :rant:

Leroy
05-25-2005, 07:34 PM
In terms of high performance it appears both OJ and Acme came out with new higher performance props recently. You may or may not have one on your boat. There are thread on these. I bought an Acme. Doug and BrianM have one each to try and report on performance differences.

SKI*MC
05-25-2005, 08:18 PM
I have a story to go with my prop story. I just luanched the boat with one of my freinds. My dad was driving the trailer back to out cottage. Nothing out of the orinary launching the boat, everything worked just fine. I was traveling through a little mark section between shore and some markers. The makers kinda told people not go in there unless you had a jet ski or something that could float in 5 inches of water. Anyways, i didn't even have the boat over an idle, all of a sudden kink kink kink kink kink! I through the boat into neutral and let the boat go over what ever i hit. The whole back end of the boat lifted up as it grined or a rock pile. it was a huge pile of granite rock (that hadden't been there the year before!!) The boat wouldnt go over 1500 RPM without shaking. As the day went back on i went back to my cottage, almost had my dad totally lose it, but it back on the trailer, and back to our place. We heated the prop and bent it back as good as we could, there isnt a shake now, but it still need balancing. I guess it was a good thing we had brass prop. A stainless would have killed the shaft and anything connected to it if i would have had one on it. So i guess you could asy i prefer brass over anything!

Granite_33
05-26-2005, 09:12 AM
I would hope the prop that comes on an '05 X-Star with the 450hp L-18 IS high performance but you never know.


Good point. I am referring to the older boat models, mainly. My 90 Maristar had a Michigan Wheel dyna jet cupped 13x13 3 blade. My extra was a Dyna-Jet, which I only used while the other one was getting fixed. Your X-Star should have the latest design CNC on it.

east tx skier
05-26-2005, 10:09 AM
NIBRAL:
.... Reportedly not as good performance compared to the CNC and SS props.


Just for clarification, and I don't think you were saying they weren't, but the CNC'd props are nibril, too.

Granite_33
05-26-2005, 10:55 AM
Just for clarification, and I don't think you were saying they weren't, but the CNC'd props are nibril, too.
Absolutely. CNC'd are the Nibral also. I worded that one wrong, I think.

BRAZOS 205
05-26-2005, 11:02 AM
It's odd that the I/O's are mostly stainless and outboards are largely nibral. Guess with I/O's they figure the lower can pop back when hitting something.
I/0's and Outboards have stainless or aluminum props. These props have a rubber slip hub in them. It's supposed to let the propeller slip on the shaft if it comes in contact with something, to prevent further lower unit damage. I have never seen an outboard nibral prop, I guess you mean an inboard nibral prop. I grew up behind a Glastron w/115 Evinrude and I changed countless number of props on that boat.