A leading propeller company has launched a rapid design and manufacturing service to deliver bespoke, fully-machined Class S propellers in just two weeks.

Bespoke mould machined using fully-automated robotic tooling

Bespoke mould machined using fully-automated robotic tooling

The precision-engineering specialist, CJR Propulsion is the only propeller manufacturer in Europe able to offer this level of responsiveness, following a £4m investment at its Southampton, UK facilities.

The reduction in lead times, for propellers up to 1.5 metres in diameter, has been achieved through an end-to-end design and production solution that is able to support boat owners and operators in their most challenging moments. By combining 3D mobile scanning, computational fluid dynamics and lifting surface theory design software, robotic mould-making, CNC machining, and pick-and-place production automation, six weeks or more can be saved, and a superior product supplied anywhere in the world.

“Regardless of whether or not we have the original vessel and engine data, we can reverse engineer any supplier’s prop and stern gear set-up. Subsequently, using the data we gather, we can accurately determine the vessel’s existing performance and understand what enhancements are available through our approach. The performance, efficiency, and longevity benefits differ from project to project but we’ve had customers gain as much as two knots in top line speed – just by replacing the boat’s original props with ours. We’ve also solved serious vibration and cavitation issues, commented Mark Russell, managing director of CJR Propulsion and CJR Fabrication.

In addition to providing an unrivalled solution for when a prop is damaged, the service is also perfect for any boat that isn’t meeting its expected performance, where vibration or poor ride comfort are an issue or if a spare set of props are required in a hurry.

“We often get called in when a vessel’s existing props aren’t performing as intended. It could be the result of damage but, more often, it is simply that the props aren’t very good. Surprisingly, we still see commercial vessels using standard pattern or cheaper Class 1 props. The result is typically poor performance, vibration or cavitation, so what looked like a saving is actually the opposite in the long run.

By Jake Frith