For many the sizing, design and operation of the propeller is totally taken for granted. There is a certain black art surrounding matching the hull design to the engine & gearbox type in order to give the best performance in terms of economy, vibration and power.
Variables required for calculating the correct propeller include hull displacement, max cruising speed, gearbox ratio and engine horse power. For canal craft, specific issues surround the cruising speed. We are restricted to 4mph max (3mph is more social)! but do need the ability to cruise at higher speeds if doing river work. Therefore we will suggest contacting one of the highly regarded specialists listed in our canal boat propellers section
in the directories should you need specific advice regarding your particular circumstances.
In any case, we can perhaps point you in the direction of some common issues and phenomena surrounding canal boat propellers.
The most common type of propeller found on a canal boat is the three bladed type. As we alluded to earlier, it is essential to have the propeller matched to the hull design, engine and gearbox so whilst many will be happy just bunging on any old second hand unit, if you want the best in terms of performance, economy and smoothness speak to the professionals.