Hi there, First of all, best of luck on your new purchase. Regarding the gap between the struts and props, I have heard that many many times that it should not acceed twice the diameter of the shaft and it is better when it is the same diameter, apparently because then it will cause vibration and loss of speed. By practical experience, I never had ANY boat that was less than twice and never had problems with vibration (needing to change any part before its expected time) or loss of speed. The only thing I can agree with is that if you are looking for pushing hard on the throttles to juice more speed fast then you might effect the parts but after all this is a sport fisher so even under tournament conditions it won't be pushed as ruff as sports or speed boats are pushed, specially that you will not be trolling in slaloms at 30knts! Again, good luck and happy fishing. Cheers!