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As a propeller blade rotates a pressure distribution is created.

The magnitudes of this pressure distribution are dependent of several factors including lift coefficient (for required thrust), section shape and section thickness.

On the back (suction) face of the blade an area of low pressure is formed. If the peaks of the low (suction) pressure falls to the vapour pressure of the liquid then vapour filled cavities are formed. The forming of these cavities is called cavitation. The effects of cavitation include:

- Erosion due to the collapse of cavitation bubbles as they move into areas of higher pressure.This is also know as cavitation erosion.
- Vibration
- Effective profile of the blade is changed due to the disturbed flow along the surface. This can cause thrust and torque reductions and a decrease in efficiency.

If you complete our enquiry form we will be able to calculate your required propeller. Teignbridge Propellers have several propeller sizing programs suitable for the various types of propellers we supply. Boat builders should also supply a lines plan. A propeller sizing can only be as good as the information we are supplied. It is essential that the information you provide is as accurate as possible. An incorrect gear ratio or an over optimistic top speed can have a dramatic effect on the accuracy of the propeller sizing.

The mechanism for generating thrust from a propeller blade is the same as that for generating a lift force on an aircraft wing. Motion of fluid over a blade establishes a pressure difference between the two sides i.e. fluid on one side is moving more rapidly than the other. The integral of the pressure differential over the area of the blade gives a force acting on the fluid – Thrust on the vessel and torque necessary to rotate the propeller.

If your taper has not been set it is best to use a 1:16 taper for high performance applications. This will allow the blade section lengths (chord lengths) towards the root (Near hub) to be as long as possible. A longer chord length allows us to use a thinner section which reduces the risk of cavitation.

A 1:16 taper also has the highest contact area between propeller boss and shaft.

There are three common propeller tapers – 1:10, 1:12 and 1:16.

E.g. for a boss with a length of 150mm, dimension 1 of 50mm and dimension 2 of 40.63mm: 150/(50–40.63) = 16.01. Therefore the taper is a 1:16.

Rake is the angle of the propeller blades relative to the hub (viewed side on). If the face of the blade is perpendicular to the hub then the propeller has zero rake. If the blades angle aft the propeller has positive rake. If the blades angle forward the propeller has negative rake.

The number of blades is chosen to suit both the required DAR and the vibration requirements. Theoretically a 1 blade propeller would be the most efficient propeller but this is not practical. As the blade number increases vibration decreases but in theory the efficiency decreases.

The above propeller has a DAR of 92%.

The total area of the circle is

PI x (Diameter/2)2 = 3.141 x 3002 = 0.283m2

The total blade area would be:

PI x (Diameter/2)2 x DAR= 3.141 x 3002 x 0.92 = 0.26m2.

This produces a DAR of 0.260/0.283 = 0.92

When rotating in a fluid a propeller is subject to slip. Slip causes the difference between the geometric pitch and the actual distance travelled in one rotation.

Pitch is the theoretical distance a propeller would move forward in one revolution if it were moving through a solid. A 30” pitch propeller would theoretically move forwards 30” in one revolution.

The general notation for a propeller size is in the form of:

E.g. a 28 x 30 x 5:92 propeller has a 28” diameter and 30” pitch, with 5 blades and a DAR of 92%.

When viewed from the aft a right handed propeller will rotate clockwise. A left handed propeller will rotate anti clockwise.

Place the propeller on a surface ensuring the large end of the bore (diameter 1) is on the surface.

Look at the right hand blade.

If the blade slopes down towards you it is a right handed propeller. If the blade slopes away from you it is a left handed propeller.

The stock diameter is determined by the material, the size of the rudder and the vessel speed. We calculate rudder stock diameters both from first principles and according to classification societies rules.

We can provide rudders in either Aluminium bronze (AB2) or Manganese bronze (HTB1). We can also design rudders with Temet 25 stocks which reduces the size of the required stock and therefore reduces the size of the required rudder tube and associated components.

There are several different shape rudders both in terms of profile and section shape.

The profile is determined by the vessel requirements. The section shape is determined by the speed. Low to medium speed applications require an aerofoil section whilst high speed applications would be fitted with wedge or custom parabolic sections.

Teignbridge Propellers can custom design rudders to suit your boat.

Wedge Rudder | Scimitar rudder (aerofoil section) |
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Their are two main popular types of rudder configurations – Inboard rudders which are entirely under the hull and transom hung rudders which are mounted on the stern of the boat.

There are advantages to both types. Inboard rudders are more efficient and are less prone to ventilation.

Transom hung rudders allow the propeller to be mounted further aft which could allow the shaft angle to be reduced for increased propeller efficiency. They can also provide some space saving within the hull and are easier to fit and maintain.

The main factors influencing the required rudder size are the type of vessel, vessel dimensions and speed of a vessel

Teignbridge propellers use a selection of calculations to accurately determine a required rudder area.

An inadequate or incorrectly specified rudder and associated control systems will give poor steering response, a possible increase in drag, and is potentially dangerous.