Another stainless prop question

  • jerrj01
    Participant
    Hudson, WI
    Posts: 1547
    #1355654

    I have a 115 2 stroke Merc Optimax about 3-4 years old. I have a few extra $$$$ and am considering a stainless prop. As I have heard you normally go up 1 number in pitch. I currently have no problems with hole shot or speed (40 mph with a 17′ Lund Explorer SS). I’m looking a bit more at durability. I’ve dinged my aluminum plenty. If I were to switch to stainless is it fair to ask what I could expect as far as increase in speed or hole shot? Or should I spend the money elsewhere?

    robby
    Participant
    Quad Cities
    Posts: 2673
    #1397302

    You will experience overall better performance.

    gregory
    Participant
    Red wing,mn
    Posts: 1534
    #1397306

    Say if your running a 13 1/4 by 17 aluminum you more then likely will go down to a 13 1/4 by 15 in a stainless

    Chuck Melcher
    Participant
    SE Wisconsin, Racine County
    Posts: 1962
    #1397308

    Isn’t there a lot more to it… cup style and all?

    gregory
    Participant
    Red wing,mn
    Posts: 1534
    #1397312

    yes but in his case if he’s happy with whole shot and top end,i would stick close to what he has in aluminum prop the rake or cup is what gives you more or less bow lift.

    propmann
    Participant
    Brainerd MN
    Posts: 53
    #1397315

    What size prop you running now and how many rpms at wide open throttle?

    kroger3
    Participant
    blaine mn
    Posts: 1116
    #1397321

    If your happy with what you have then stick with what you have… aluminum dings and dents means stainless bends and breaks…

    I run stainless but only because I need it for performance otherwise I would stick to aluminum. just my 2 cents.

    John Shear
    Participant
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    Posts: 205
    #1397323

    Jerry, I have a 2008 Lund Explorer SS with a 115 Optimax. Lund installed a Mercury Vengeance 18P prop. There’s a sticker on the rear of the lower unit that says “14” so maybe that’s the prop diameter?
    My max speed is 39mph. That pitch seems just right as I can run wide open throttle and be a little under the max rpm spec.
    Indeed I like the durability and not have to rebuild a prop every year like I did with my previous boat that had an aluminum prop.

    John S.

    John Shear
    Participant
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    Posts: 205
    #1397325

    I should have also said my boat is a 1725 Explorer.

    John S.

    broadwaybob
    Participant
    Janesville, WI
    Posts: 402
    #1397331

    Mercury has a prop selector tool here:
    http://www.mercurymarine.com/propellers/prop-selector/#
    It helps if you have some accurate information. Make sure you use gps speed and rpms directly from the engines computer management system. The rpms on your tach are always suspect until proven accurate. Prop selection is always a black art. Trial and error is still the best method as each hull and motor combination respond differently. Find a dealer that has demo props to use before buying. Good luck.

    jon_jordan
    Participant
    St. Paul, Mn
    Posts: 10908
    #1397352

    Go to a Merc dealer with a loaner prop program. Take the 3-4 most likely props for your boat/motor set up. (For instance, 3 and 4 blade options, various pitch and rake.) Go to the lake/river and try each one. Buy the one that is the best overall fit for your boat, the way you drive with the typical load. For instance, if 90% of the time you run 2 guys, full tank, all your gear. Make sure to run that load when you test your prop. No one on the internet is going to tell you what the best prop is. You need to go through the process. Good Luck.

    -J.

    look-a-like
    Participant
    St. Charles, MN
    Posts: 293
    #1397354

    I would recommend you contact Propmann at Brainerd Props. He helped me get the right prop for my Yamaha F150 a couple of years ago http://brainerdprops.com/

    85lund
    Participant
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts: 2317
    #1397360

    Go talk to propulsion Inc. Right in town. He will let you try props until you find the one that works y

    belletaine
    Participant
    Nevis, MN
    Posts: 5116
    #1397361

    Quote:


    Go to a Merc dealer with a loaner prop program. Take the 3-4 most likely props for your boat/motor set up. (For instance, 3 and 4 blade options, various pitch and rake.) Go to the lake/river and try each one. Buy the one that is the best overall fit for your boat, the way you drive with the typical load. For instance, if 90% of the time you run 2 guys, full tank, all your gear. Make sure to run that load when you test your prop. No one on the internet is going to tell you what the best prop is. You need to go through the process. Good Luck.

    -J.


    Had no idea that was an option Jon! Does Yammi do that as well? That’s hands down the best way to dial it in

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 13280
    #1397372

    Quote:


    I currently have no problems with hole shot or speed (40 mph with a 17′ Lund Explorer SS). I’m looking a bit more at durability. I’ve dinged my aluminum plenty. If I were to switch to stainless is it fair to ask what I could expect as far as increase in speed or hole shot? Or should I spend the money elsewhere?


    As a number of guys above mentioned, you have a few things to gain & understand. First and foremost, follow Jon’s advise on running multiple props to determine which is best for your application. Not all stainless blades (just like knives) are created equal. Typically, stainless will cut water better and not flex as much under a load. This is the reason why you’ll make a small change in the pitch.

    When comparing the individual blades of a prop, you’ll see significant differences between manufactures & custom designers. Keep in mind that it is only about the trailing edge and tip of the blade (cupping) that actually propels your boat forward. The rest of the ear determines distance of travel (without slip) per each revolution, efficiency of cutting water, volume of water it pushes out to the cup, and ventilation (amount of air it draws around the prop).

    If your looking to achieve better performance – speed or fuel economy – stay away from generic designs that have a “Mickey Mouse” ears. You would think that having more surface area would push more water out to the cup. However, it creates more drag and the prop has a negative affect on performance. The opposite is usually found in a super high rake/low surface area that gives that “squirelly feeling” at high end and has very little grab for a hole shot.

    Things to expect
    Stainless cost more. More upfront cost and repairs are more. Small dings in the trailing edge and cupping decrease performance. You can run a $1,000 custom prop and a couple little dings will knock the performance down to the level of a generic prop.
    Over-all, the best suited stainless prop for your boat will make improvements in hole shot, bow lift, and top end speed compared to your aluminum. Some of these improvements may be minor. You may get on plane 20 feet sooner, it may be adding 1 or 2 mph or more, or better handling in rougher water or turns. Most common improvement you will see with a quality tuned prop is fuel efficiency. If you increase 1 to 3 mpg more, it makes a huge difference when filling the tank. I mostly fish large bodies of water where making 5 to 20 mile runs a day is common. For me, I had custom props made for my boat and just the fuel savings has paid me back many times over.
    Once you make the change (if you do) you’ll appreciate the attributes a stainless gives you. Just do some research and talk with a few different prop guys before laying out the money. BTW – you’ll need to verify this, but I think your Opti will run the older Yamaha “M” series stainless – just need to use the different thrust hub. Those M series props were very reasonable in cost and a very high quality grade of stainless.

    milemark_714
    Participant
    Posts: 1283
    #1398165

    Quote:


    Mercury has a prop selector tool here:
    http://www.mercurymarine.com/propellers/prop-selector/#
    It helps if you have some accurate information. Make sure you use gps speed and rpms directly from the engines computer management system. The rpms on your tach are always suspect until proven accurate. Prop selection is always a black art. Trial and error is still the best method as each hull and motor combination respond differently. Find a dealer that has demo props to use before buying. Good luck.


    Ain’t that the truth.Black art indeed.I found that my tunnel jon runs best with a semi-cleaver style prop.Both these props are factory Yamaha(15P).1st is a polished one,second one is a black steel that I polished.I lost 200 rpm and 3mph on the top end with the factory polished one.

    Tom P.
    Participant
    Whitehall Wi.
    Posts: 3408
    #1398349

    Quote:


    Ain’t that the truth.Black art indeed.I found that my tunnel jon runs best with a semi-cleaver style prop.Both these props are factory Yamaha(15P).1st is a polished one,second one is a black steel that I polished.I lost 200 rpm and 3mph on the top end with the factory polished one.


    I don`t think your polish made the big difference in speed and RPM. Looks more of the design of the prop made the difference.

    milemark_714
    Participant
    Posts: 1283
    #1398440

    Quote:


    Quote:


    Ain’t that the truth.Black art indeed.I found that my tunnel jon runs best with a semi-cleaver style prop.Both these props are factory Yamaha(15P).1st is a polished one,second one is a black steel that I polished.I lost 200 rpm and 3mph on the top end with the factory polished one.


    I don`t think your polish made the big difference in speed and RPM. Looks more of the design of the prop made the difference.


    Tom,the polishing on the installed prop made no difference at all.I did that because the black finish was a little beat,and I was bored at work.Blade design is the biggie.

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