Thanks to fellow WoodyBoater Mark Bigda AKA “Rocket man” for sending in this story on his Rocket prop experience. Isn’t that name of a country song? Good Ole Rocket Prop? Maybe not. Anyway, his experience with size and ordering a new prop. Man we have been there! Take it away Mark.
Ever since I have been running Rocket Man I have gotten up to 2600 RPMs and then a whole lot of non response after that. I questioned the timing or maybe fuel delivery as possible causes. I decided consult with the engine experts that had gotten me in the water in the first place. After describing the symptoms – well I might not have even finished the sentence – and the response was “you have the wrong propeller”.
Okay so now what. I have been running the propeller that came with the boat not knowing any better. A 12 inch diameter 14 pitch. The boat went forward and backward so what’s the big deal ? It fits on the shaft and clears the hull. Works for me. Needs to be better though. On the original build sheet it is called out a wheel #684 which according to posts on the Boat Buzz is a 12.5 inch diameter 13 pitch.
What conspires next is my personal experience and in no way is a negative spin on any manufacturer or business but rather something that is information to be shared. ( We at WoodyBoater only have heard great things regarding ACME BTW, and ACME took the prop back no problems.)
After hearing several stories of lore of the modern propeller designs I decided to go the ACME propeller route. I did not deal with them directly but instead went through someone that I trusted that has far more experience with these motors and boats that I do. All of my information was relayed to ACME and I was advised that they would select the closest production propeller so that I would not have to wait forever and it could be returned if there was an issue. Both made sense to me.
The ACME propeller arrived in short time and looked great. The design and machining was indeed impressive.
It was a 12.5 inch diameter 10.5 pitch. I carefully removed it from the box and went out to the boat for a test fit. I was concerned how close the blades would get to the hull with the extra ½ inch diameter. Well unfortunately I never got that far as the trailing edge instead hit the rudder. Ouch! Never saw that one coming.
After relaying the information beck to my broker it was agreed that the propeller would be returned for a full refund. Just for the record in addition to the problem with the rudder interference the propeller was actually ¼ inch deeper and rode higher on the shaft and would have contacted the strut as well.
Now what. A call to Jim Staib from Fine Wood Boat’s and a confirmation that he had an original wheel # 684 in stock. I ordered it and received it a couple days later. It fit perfectly and was ready for a test run.
What a run it was. I quickly and easily got up on plane and achieved 30 mph at 3,000 RPMs. Right where I should be according to Jim. I would have pushed it more but the water was choppy and had neglected to put on a depends. Will try again on a calm day.
So this again is not an attempt to dissuade anyone from ACME propellers but instead share an experience. Maybe I should have listened to Seth Katz at Katz’s Marina who told me that if I had an original Mickey Mouse ear propeller then stick with it.