The Miss Geico Racing Team has announced it is entering a new propeller program with Hering Propellers. The goal, according to Miss Geico driver Marc Granet, is not just to develop stronger and faster props for the turbine-powered racing catamaran, but to help develop a line of propellers for high-speed pleasure boats.
Five Axis Industries formerly provided the team’s propellers, and by all accounts the program was successful. So why the change?
“That’s a very good question, because the Five Axis propellers have worked very well for us,” said Granet. “When they were entering the offshore market, their first propellers were tested on the Miss Geico race boat. And as I said, they worked very well for us.
“Jeff Johnston at Hering and the team at Miss Geico had very long discussions about where to go next with our propellers,” he continued. “We felt that their manufacturing process was the direction we wanted to take with our propeller program. Their process is to actually build each blade separately and then bring them together. Hering has always made a very fast propeller. We believe that with the extensive propeller testing data we gather and their manufacturing process we could make a propeller that is even faster and stronger.”
According to Granet, the Miss Geico cat will serves as an “ultra-high-speed” research and development vehicle for Hering in 2011. The team, of course, will benefit from working closely with the company on a custom propeller program. Hering, in turn, will offer the propellers developed through that program to its “select” customers.
“We are gong to put together a different propeller design for them,” said Johnston of Hering. “They are coming up with their specs now, and hopefully in a couple of weeks we can begin machining.”