Designed for high-performance outboard center consoles and stern-drive performance boats, BBLADES‘ newest props will be on display at the upcoming Miami Boat Show. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Heading into next week’s Miami International Boat Show, BBLADES Professional Propellers founder/owner Brett Anderson and the rest of his crew at the Princeton, Wis., high-performance marine propeller company in Princeton, Wis., couldn’t be more excited as they’ll be unveiling two new propellers during the Feb. 16-20 event. Heading into full-scale production after the show, the company’s the new 4–SPEED™ wheel is designed for stern-drive applications, whereas its and 4–SPEED OB/FX™ is designed for outboard applications. According to a press release from the company both props feature “21st Century geometry that makes it easier than ever to improve performance on air entrapment, multi–stepped and deep V hulls.”
“Our new propeller models—our first new props in two years—are designed primarily for center consoles with 350- and 400-hp Mercury Verado outboards and stern-drive models,” said Anderson. “We’re really excited about them heading into Miami.”
Both balanced and heat-treated propellers are investment-cast from 15–5 grade virgin stainless steel and are available in right- and left-hand rotations in two–inch pitch increments from 24- to 34-inch pitch increments The 4–SPEED stern-drive propeller is cast at a true 15.5-inch diameter, while the SPEED OB/FX is available in 14.75- or 15.25-inch true diameters. According to the release, the larger diameters available on each propeller help the blades hookup in the aerated water produced by stepped and air entrapment hulls. This holds true, the release stated, for drives mounted at aggressive X-dimensions, as well as higher outboard engine mounting installations. Both can be lab-finished for client-specific applications.
“The blade design is key to the performance and efficiency of these revolutionary new castings using variable cord length throughout the blade area,” according to the release. “‘Cord length’ is the distance between the leading edge and trailing edge of the blade at any given point along the blade. At the ‘blade root,’ where it attaches to the hub, a long cord length helps to get a boat on plane. Once there, the prop needs less surface area meeting the water to maintain top speeds and a substantially reduced cord length at the blade tip allows for the most efficient performance throughout the rpm range.”
The BBLADES 4–SPEED also helps deliver rapid planing through an extended exhaust tube length, which then increases overall hull lift as an extended planing surface. The tube doesn’t have the “flair” common on other propellers, meaning reduced drag and increased top-end. If your set-up doesn’t require an extended exhaust tube, the new BBLADES 4–SPEED propeller can be easily modified by BBLADES technicians to the exact length required for your application.
The BBLADES 4–SPEED OB/FX has an adjusted exhaust tube to allow for a slight additional amount of ventilation when planing. The 4–SPEED OB/FX has also been equipped with custom cupping and rake adjustments to aid in increasing trim reaction important for today’s center-of-gravity forward performance-oriented center console boats.
Like the other custom BBLADES propellers, the new 4–SPEED and 4–SPEED OB/FX are equipped with the company’s adjustable Controlled Aeration Port System (CAPS). The systems employs “vent holes” to allow for additional control of the aeration around the propeller blades.
Anderson estimates the new propellers will be delivered within five to six weeks to customers who order at the Miami Boat Show.