I'VE HAD my Gale Force 4.8 metre fibreglass centre console fitted with a 70hp Yamaha two-stroke outboard for just over two years now. During that time I have successfully fished offshore waters, the northern section of Moreton Bay out from Bribie Island and had countless trips to bass lakes and to the Jumpinpin as well.
I can’t complain about the performance of the Yamaha two-stroke. It has done everything I've asked of it, and until recently the propeller fitted to the engine was nearly as good as the day I first brought the boat home.
Unfortunately, a recent trip to Jumpinpin resulted in less than perfect alignment with low tide channels in the dark, and the original aluminium propeller ended up somewhat worse for wear. A lot of the paint was missing and some of the original factory blade angle was been removed courtesy of my ploughing.
I was keen to look at an alternative propeller, and as Solas have a strong range of stainless steel models (a logical upgrade given my tendency to plough at night) I arranged with Steve Evans of Just Propellers, at Maroochydore, to take my boat up to the Maroochy river and try some different props to assess performance.
The exercise was an eye opener! My original prop had a 17” pitch so we stayed with that configuration for the tests. We tried out four different propellers, from the Solas aluminium replacement to their Solas stainless steel Hi Thrust – which was the most successful for my engine and hull combination. The results achieved with a GPS unit were interesting, to say the least:
ORIGINAL ALUMINIUM PROPELLER
SOLAS STAINLESS STEEL 17” TITAN HI THRUST
I was particularly impressed with the lower range performance of the Solas stainless steel Titan and could see some considerable fuel savings from the fitting of one, especially when trolling for mackerel at nine knots, as we do.
If you think a Solas propeller might suit your boat, I recommend that you contact Just Propellers on (07) 54794909 and talk to Steve Evans about a conversion.
1) The old and the new. As you can see, the original propeller (on the right) has sure done some work!
2) The author's Gale Force centre console runabout underway.Reads: 5553