• High Performance Propellers, the Hoss Way! Part 1

    Experience, Custom, and Innovative: Three words that describe Hoss Marine Props.

    The idea of working high performance propellers originated in the very successful early racing days of the Hoss Brothers; my father, Dave Bostic, pictured on the left with his Allison race boat and his older brother Glen on the right. (Circa 1965).

    My experience with propellers began several years later, around 1976, in our basement in Bethlehem, PA helping dad modify and repair props for some of our friends and a few customers. I would come home from school, head down to the basement and work until my dad arrived home from his full time job at Bethlehem Steel Corp. We had a modification that we did to the OMC SST V4 props as well as the original Mercury Chopper 1 props. Today, we still do that same modification work to both props on occasion.

    Hoss Marine Propellers was started as a full time business in 1979 in Locust Grove, Oklahoma with repair work and custom mod work on various propellers. My dad, my older brother Randy, and I started manufacturing our first propellers in early 1981 with the introduction of the Triton 1 propeller. A thru-hub version quickly followed and became known as the Triton 2. Since then, we've developed several other propeller lines as well as many prototype props. Our company has hand built well over 4000 propellers since its inception. Through the years, we've constantly improved our current designs while developing new products to keep pace with the advancements in boat and engine designs. Today, we still continue to do custom mod jobs to other manufacturer’s props.

    We do not mass produce any of our props - every prop is hand built to fit our customer's requirements. We start with quality, rough castings and begin the process that leads to a beautiful, finished, custom propeller. No need to send it back to us or some other shop and pay extra money to have any ‘lab work’ performed on it; that's already included in every prop we build.

    First step is visiting with the potential customer and looking at what they're currently running. Our focus is on accurate numbers, including RPM, GPS speed, engine height & overall setup as well as their current prop configurations. The more accurate information we start with enables us to build the best prop right from the start.

    The next step in our manufacture process is to take the rough casting and thoroughly inspect it for any minor imperfections. We rough-grind the casting, then map all the blades for pitching and other variances. We choose what we consider to be the best blade, and modify it for best performance for that particular application. Then we blueprint the other blades to match, thus customizing the prop for the performance dictated by its application. Precision balancing and thinning, if desired, is next.

    At this stage, the modified and blueprinted propeller goes into the furnace for a proprietary heat treat process that we've developed. This process gives the material exceptional durability as well as uniform hardness. We determined years ago that the best heat treatment for our propellers needed to be performed at our facility, under our close supervision. This process alone takes two full days and material hardness is checked at three different steps during this process.

    Once the heat-treatment is complete, we go to final grinding. We are looking for a good, uniform, fine finish on the propeller - almost a satin finish. If everything looks good, the prop needs to have cupping added to the blades. This is done, again, on an individual basis in regards to the customer's requirements. The last steps include a coloring buff followed by a final mirror-polish.

    Be sure to check back soon for the second part of this feature on Hoss Props.

    Words and photos by Tim Bostic, Hoss Propellers owner


    Comments 12 Comments
    1. stokernick's Avatar
      stokernick -
      have tried the rest, now ready to try the best!!
    1. Bies's Avatar
      Bies -
      Good Article Tim.

      Mark Monkres
    1. BuckCamp's Avatar
      BuckCamp -
      Great Article Tim, Looking Forward To The Next One!!! I'll be towing my rig to you, in order to look it over & help decide on a wheel or two; in the near future... Still tuning on the PH/PCU & working the L/U.

    1. Mo River Rat's Avatar
      Mo River Rat -
      Tim, that was good to know that your props don't need to be sent back to be "labbed", will be watching for part two! thanks, Bob.
    1. dnelson964's Avatar
      dnelson964 -
      Excellent article Tim ! Great idea to give back ground info as well as present update to what you do, offer and have available to help us performance minded power boaters ! I love how your prop works on my boat. Thanks, Keith
    1. Superbender's Avatar
      Superbender -
      I enjoyed the article thanks
    1. tux974's Avatar
      tux974 -
      Tim, very nice articles with some good background and history!! An enjoyable read
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Hoss props are absolutely awesome. My Triton was the very best propeller I ever used on my Valero YT.
    1. DaGadget01's Avatar
      DaGadget01 -
      My hyperdrive is still holding up. i think it may be 10yrs old or more. See the prop is holding up better than my mind.
    1. stormbringer1's Avatar
      stormbringer1 -
      I raced out of Oklahoma in the early 80s. Placed 11th in the US with the Outboard GrandPrix mod vp and third in drags in Nats at Fort Worth. Hoss sponsored props for the Hydro Stream and then the JBE tunnel we ran. There could not be a greater bunch of guys in the business nor anyone more proficient. They were with me not far from their shop when while testing props I took the Vector for an unscheduled flight at 106 mph (radar). Fortunately I was only shaken up badly lol. I always loved the props design and its ability to function on different hulls. Great product.
    1. aeneas's Avatar
      aeneas -
      Very interesting! I had a Hoss Triton I once and I will definately buy one again.
    1. stormbringer1's Avatar
      stormbringer1 -
      I worked with these guys in the 1980s and raced IOGP and SDBA drags with a lot of success. They are fantastic guys and saw me take a paper light Vector airborne around 100 mph with a Dick O'Day motor and N20. I could not recommend anyone better and I always loved the way the prop looked. I plan on getting back into it next year and you can bet we'll be turning one of their props.
Chris Carson's Marine