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Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Boat Equipment, Engines, News and Events, Pontoon Boat, US |

PowerStop! Prop Offers Enhanced Reverse Thrust

Innovative cupping design helps this prop bite better in reverse to slow down heavy pontoon and house boats.

The new PowerStop! propeller from PowerTech! is designed to stop as well as it goes, according the company. Aimed at owners of large, heavy pontoons and houseboats, the three-blade prop features cupping on both the high-pressure and low-pressure sides of the prop blades. The Powerstop earned an IBEX Innovation Award in 2011.

): The PowerStop! propeller is designed specifically to give pontoon and houseboat operators better thrust in reverse, with little loss of forward performance.

The PowerStop! propeller is designed specifically to give pontoon and houseboat operators better thrust in reverse, with little loss of forward performance.

On the high-pressure side of each PowerStop blade (facing away from the boat) cupping has been moved away from the trailing edge so that is does not disturb water flow over the blades when the prop is operating reverse rotation.

On the high-pressure side of each PowerStop blade (facing away from the boat) cupping has been moved away from the trailing edge so that is does not disturb water flow over the blades when the prop is operating reverse rotation.

The design was inspired four years ago following a visit by the company to a houseboat show in Louisville, according to marketing manager Marcus Clements. “Rental operators at the show told us that one of their biggest issues was inexperienced operators who would approach the dock, put the engine in reverse, and expect an 80,000-pound houseboat to slow down and even reverse immediately,” said Clements. “Our owner and founder, Steve Powers, went home and started working on a prop design that would provide better thrust in reverse.”

The PowerStop design puts a cup on the low pressure or back side (facing the boat) of the trailing edge of each blade, and a sort of double-cup on the thrust side of the trailing edge. PowerTech says this combination produces up to 300 percent more reverse thrust than a standard prop for better stopping performance (when the engine is shifted into reverse) and steering control in reverse. There is a slight loss in top-speed performance, generally about two mph.

Cupping detail added to the low-pressure blade face is said to increase reverse thrust by 300 percent compared to a traditional blade design.

Cupping detail added to the low-pressure blade face is said to increase reverse thrust by 300 percent compared to a traditional blade design.

For the retail market, PowerTech is first introducing the PowerStop prop in a size to fit outboards in the 150- to 300-horsepower range with a 4.75-inch gearcase. The prop is presently available in either stainless steel ($570 with a hub kit) or aluminum ($222 plus a hub kit). The aluminum version is presently available in 11-, 12-, and 13-inch pitch sizes with a 15.5-inch diameter, while the stainless steel model is only offered in a 12 x 15.5 size. Aluminum models have a square hub that’s designed to work with the Mercury Flo Torque hub insert, which is available to match almost any outboard brand.

The stainless PowerStop comes with the PowerTech CushionLok hub. Clements said the company will next apply the PowerStop design to props with an 18.25-inch diameter for the MerCruiser Bravo Two sterndrive, which when mated to a big-block gas engine is a popular powertrain on house boats and very large pontoons. The company may also offer the outboard-size PowerStop! with more pitch in the future.

PowerTech has been building props in Shreveport, La., since 1986.

For more information visit PowerTech!

Charles Plueddeman