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Why Do Boats Have Propellers at the Rear?

Updated on May 26, 2016

If you are a water baby and smitten by the boating bug then a boat or a canoe should be a must have on your wish list. Also now with the advancement in technology you can have a lovely time out in the water like none. Like the boat the propeller of your boat is like the legs of your boat which accentuates the push and make u move forward.

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The propellers may seem very miniscule but they are a very imperative part of a boat. In fact for that matter airplanes also have propellers with the only difference is that they are in front in the former and in the case of boats they are in the rear. Well this is mostly because of the difference in design architecture and the working of these two and also the positioning of the engines. The engine in either of the two gives the power to the boat and the propeller takes the thrust to make it move forward. However , we all are aware the push is always a better force as it further assists in moving forward, well Newton’s third law says it all.

Let’s just ponder over as to why the propellers are in the rear side in the case of a boat.

1. Added Safety to the Propeller

When the boat is in water, there are chances that it could get hit by a rock or when approaching the beach or harbor, it could get stuck in the sand. In either of the cases the propeller could get damaged. Thus when the propeller is in the rear the damage will come in the last and an impending damage to the propeller can be avoided. Thus a rear position can be a benefit

Nasty diving accident. Swimmer is hit by prop from a passing boat.

2. Helps in Swift Movement

When the propeller is at the rear, it lifts the hull which further lifts the bow potion of the boat. This further aides the forward movement of the boat. On the contrary if propeller was in front it would create Drag. Also, if propeller is in front then a heavier propeller will be required as it would be working against water and water has much more force than air which is faced by Airplanes .

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3. Better Movement with Waves

When you in water, you have to maneuver waves. If the propeller would be in front portion then because of the erratic movement of the waves, the propellers will also move out of water time and again, which will not be helping the boat to move forward. However, when propellers will be in the rear, even with the erratic wave movement they will keep the boat afloat and help it to move swiftly.

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Which is Best Propeller to Choose?

Type Of Propellers
Weight
Flex
Repair
Cost
Composite Boat Propeller
Least
Little
Not Possible
Least
Aluminum Boat Propeller
Medium
Little
Easy
Medium
Stainless Steel Boat Propeller
Greatest
Least
Difficult
Greatest

4. Reduces the Pressure on the Seal

The pressure on the front portion of the boat is much greater as compared on the rear portion. Reason being that the kinetic pressure of water is much higher in the front as the boat has to cut itself through the water. Thus the Propeller further reduces a bit of the pressure on the seal by the thrust that it gives.

So we are sure you very well know as to why the rear positioning of the propeller is best.

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