This paper describes the development of a series of propeller designs incorporating advanced technology for workboats, which have been found to reduce propeller-induced vibration levels by approximately 50% and increase propeller efficiency by up to 7%, as compared to conventional workboat propeller designs. To date, the New Generation propeller design series has been installed on more than 30 different applications in both open and ducted propeller configurations ranging from 3 to 12 ft (0.9 to 3. 6 m) in diameter.
An analysis of the existing propeller design technology and the poor operating environment typical of these applications is given. A description of the design process used to develop an advanced blade section profile and radial blade geometry distributions optimized for the given operating conditions is given. The results of an analytical study to determine the preferred geometry characteristics to optimize backing performance is presented. Full-scale operating experience is given, including comparisons of measured vibration, bollard thrust, propulsive efficiency and backing characteristics with predicted performance.