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Bravo I FS Performance Update

The Boat Doc is a full line Mercury and Triton Boats dealer.

The Boat Doc is a full line Mercury and Triton Boats dealer.

Man – I love this time of year. Things are humming here at Mercury Racing. In fact – I’m so jammed – I really shouldn’t be taking the time to write this. I just couldn’t wait to share the latest news regarding our Bravo I FS propeller.

I recently provided  22-24″ pitch FS wheels to Josh Wiesner who owns The Boat Doc, a local Mercury dealership in Lomira, Wisconsin. Josh agreed to conduct a performance test, comparing the 4-blade Bravo I FS with the 3-blade Tempest Plus. The test boat was a 2013 Triton 216 Fishunter powered by a Verado 300 Pro Fourstroke.

Power to the Water

The all new Pro Finish Bravo I FS.

The Pro Finish Bravo I FS.

Josh couldn’t have picked a worse time to test. It was a week-long stretch of 85 degree temps and unusually high humidity. Thanks to electronic boost control, the supercharged 300 Pro Fourstroke didn’t miss a beat.

The 300 Pro Fourstroke was first rigged with a 22″ pitch Tempest Plus. The boat ran 62 mph @ 6150 rpm with full fuel, two guys and a boat load of gear. Josh then switched to the 24″ pitch FS and began his run. Over time – he was able to raise the engine by one-half inch.  At that setting the boat ran 64.9 mph at 6050 rpm. The engine height, (measured from bottom of the cavitation plate to boat bottom) was 4-7/8 inches.

Whats Up Doc?
The Triton likes the Bravo I FS.  Although hole shots were similar, the FS provided enhanced bow lift, faster acceleration and nearly three mile per hour gain in top-end speed. A big change – particularly when under heavy loads as Josh has demonstrated.

Thanks, Josh for taking the time out your busy schedule – and literally sweating the details in your Bravo I FS test session. We appreciate it and I know our readers will find your results useful as well.

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19 Responses to “Bravo I FS Performance Update”

  1. Brent Wefel says:

    Scott,
    Not to be nit-picky but was the original Tempest and final Bravo 1 FS props left bone stock or were either of them lab finished?
    Would you attribute the bow lift to the lack of the flare on the end of the exhaust tube on the B1, or is it all blade design?
    Thanks for the input

    • Scott Reichow says:

      No problem Brent; both props were box stock, not tweaked or Lab Finished. The Bravo I FS line is designed so tweaking isn’t required (it’s already done). The FS props have great leading edges, blades are robust for durability, cup heights are true, props are zero balanced to minimize vibration, the shortened barrel increases bow lift and high polish minimizing corrosion. At Mercury Racing we are promoting constancy in our propellers; if you want a prop tweaked often times the prop goes back and forth until a performance compromised is reached which also leads to greater expense and if the prop gets damaged replacement becomes a problem.
      Scott

  2. Mike McElvain says:

    Hi Scott, I have a 2012 2075 with a 300 pro verado. I ran a 21 pitch tempest 6050 rpm full load at 59 mph. Would a Bravo 1 fs work for me? If so what pitch?

    Thanks MIke

    • Scott Reichow says:

      Hi Mike,
      Sorry it’s taken so long to get back with you with your question. I’ve been busy with the FLW followed by the Lake of the Ozarks shootout. The Bravo I FS typically offers improved planing without allot of bow lift. The Bravo I FS mid-range acceleration often improves because of the wedged leading edge on each of the four blades. The prop also keeps the boat on plane at slower speeds for better boat control in rough water. The prop was designed to offer bow lift (similar to the Tempest) and stern lift (which helps lift the weight of the batteries, fuel, live well and engine). Run the 22″ pitch Bravo I FS to get similar RPM as the Tempest. Ideally, if you have a jack plate, you will want to raise your engine .25″ at a time until you find the sweet spot. The common set-up is usually .50″ to .75″ above the height used for running a 3 blade. Always make sure you have good water pressure when adjusting height.
      Scott

      • James Fritz says:

        H Scott
        I have the same boat as Mike – 2013 lund 2075 pro v with 300 four stroke. No jackplate. Fully loaded I can get 59 – 60 with 6080 RPM running the tempest 21. I do find however that the last couple of degrees of trim bring up the RPM from 5800 to the 6080 but I don’t get any speed increase so I assume all I am doing is ventilating at that point. I also find that my optimum running trim for about a 4000 RPM cruise tends to cause me to start to ventilate when I make turns. So… Would the bravo 1 FS likely help with the middle RPM ventilation? Leaving the engine at the stock height would I expect less ventilation at full trim? Would I be better to switch to a tempest 19″ to try to get full loaded RPM up into the 6200 – 6400 rpm range??

        Thanks for your help

        • Scott Reichow says:

          James,
          The Bravo I FS will hook up, solving your mid rpm problem. Switching to the 22″ pitch Bravo I FS will get you similar rpm to the 21″ pitch Tempest. The Bravo I FS does like to run higher than the 3 blade. You will typically see a 100 rpm gain when moving up by one transom bracket hole. I’m not sure what the stock height is. Make sure you maintain good water pressure while adjusting engine height. If you step down to the 19″ pitch Tempest, you will gain rpm but lose a couple of mph at top-end. You will also experience similar issues you encounter with the 21″ pitch at mid-range rpm.
          Scott

  3. MLB says:

    Not being funny but that’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison. Of course the 24 pitch prop is faster as long as the motor will pull it to operating RPM. This is only a positive if the boat will only pull the 22 pitch tempest.

    • Scott Reichow says:

      MLB,
      You’re right. It is not apples to apples. We switched from a 3 blade Tempest to a 4 Blade Bravo I FS. The Tempest has height limitations. It needs to be mounted lower in the water to stay hooked up whereas the Bravo I FS runs better at elevated engine heights. Typically, raising an engine increases rpm resulting in the opportunity to increase pitch. The trick is making sure you have the prop hooked up – optimizing performance. You also have to make sure there is good water pressure for the motor The dealer and end customer preferred the performance of the 4 blade over the 3 blade.
      Scott

  4. Gary says:

    Scott

    I am currently running a 2013 620 ranger. 250 Pro Verado, Kicker, all the tournament goodies.

    my current prop is a 25p Tempest. I am pulling this prop to 6100 Rpms at 66Mph on Gps.

    my problem is that my holes shot is NOT very good. I am going to try a 24p Tempest as soon as it comes in the mail. but I fear that I will over rev this prop. I also tried a 23p Tempest and the holeshot was awesome here but I could not come anywhere near full throttle as I would hit 6400 Rpms Very Easy.

    any idea what size Bravo I should try? or maybe a different style of prop.

    thank you
    Gary.

    • Scott Reichow says:

      Hi Gary,
      The Bravo I FS is a great choice for your rig. If you want to match the rpm of your 25″ pitch Tempest, go with a 26″ pitch Bravo I FS. If you want to gain 150 rpm (6100 to 6250), then go with the 25″ pitch Bravo I FS. Have fun with the Bravo I FS; it really wakes the boat up.
      Scott

      • Gary says:

        Hey scott i have had a chance to run a few more props. here are my results.

        the 26p Bravo 1 FS.
        hole shot is not very good when the boat is loaded down.
        mid range is pretty good.
        Top end is GREAT!!!
        70.6Mph at 6300 Rpms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBhwkQkVtWQ

        according to the prop slip calc mercury offers that is still 17%. also when i adding a fishing partner i drop to 66-67 mph and drop to 6050-6100 Rpms.

        now i almost feel bad for complaining about results like this but i cant help but think that this can be better.

        i have also tested out a 23p Rev 4 with good results.
        hole shot was GREAT with this prop. almost needed a neck brace with the midrange punch this prop offered. top end was 68mph where i needed to get out out of the throttle as i was hitting 6400 Rpms.

        all testing was done with a 6″ Hyd Jack plate on the boat. the rev 4 was ran as high as i could get it to get the top speed.

        the bravo was ran 1″ down to obtain top speed. with the bravo it seemed that as soon as the prop started cavitating it lost performance rather quickly. the rev 4 i could not get to cavitate.

        Now my next test will be with the 25p rev4 but i have a feeling this is going to be a bit to much prop as the 23p was close to wide open throttle.

        here is where the problem lies. correct me if i am wrong here. from what i understand the 25p Bravo 1 FS is just a 24p prop with cupping added to simulate a 25p, and the Rev 4 does not offer a 24p prop.

        now what is the difference in these two props and what prop do you think i am going to have better results from. i am trying to find an ALL OUT SPEED prop.

        thank you for you help

        • Scott Reichow says:

          Gary,
          If you’re heavy load hole shot needs improving with the 26″ pitch Bravo I FS, consider replacing one of the solid vent fittings with a large vent fitting that came with the prop. Running your 250 Verado, see if it is vented enough to improve the hole shot (you may end up going with two large vent fittings). The Bravo I props run light in pitch. That’s why we ask you to move up one inch of pitch when moving from the Tempest to the Bravo I FS (you move up 2” of pitch compared to the Rev 4). If you recalculate the slip using 25″ pitch instead of 26″, then the slip is more in line at 13%. Some of the slip can be contributed to the amount of trim… but if it gets you more speed, we’ll take it. The Rev 4 offers some good attributes but, as you know – it’s limited in pitch offering. If you wanted to compare the hole shot of the 23” pitch Rev 4 you would use a 25″ pitch Bravo I FS. And yes, it would be quicker than the 26″ pitch but about 1 mph less at top end. The Rev 4′s blade design has cup wrapped around the maximum diameter. This enables you to run it higher on the transom. The Bravo I has very little cup at the maximum diameter (typically a faster design). It’s hard to answer your question re: cavitation. If it’s at wide open throttle then the engine might be too high or trimmed out too far. The Bravo I props are cast in 2″ pitch increments so yes, we make the 25″ pitch from the 24″ pitch casting. Comparing the 24” Bravo I to the 25″ the 25″ has more cup along the trailing edge resulting in a 150 rpm difference. On rigs equipped with jack plates, you can tell the difference on how the odd pitch might hook up better than the even pitch. It all has to do with how high the engine is. If you’re looking for top speed – you already have it with the 26” Bravo I FS. It just may take some tweaking with the venting to get a good hole shot.
          Have fun,
          Scott

          • Gary says:

            ok that does help out some. I think It will be easiest to just call and talk with you. so I will give you a call in the next few days.

            Thank you

            Gary

  5. Kevin says:

    Hello, I have a 2001 ProCraft 215 Combo with a Mers 225 EFI and a 5.5″ hyd JP. Currently running a 25P Tempest Plus with vent hols opened up. This prop has sad hole shot but not bad a WOT but does seam to take lots of trim and JP adjustments for a smooth ride. Out of the hole I am able to get 4400RPM with 62 mph at 5800 rpms.

    I do have 4 batteries in the rear with big fuel tank. Needing a better prop for water sports and open water speed.

    Which Brovo do you thinks would work best for my set up?

    Kevin

    • Scott Reichow says:

      Kevin,
      Bravo I XS with the 1″ vent holes. The Bravo I FS typically doesn’t vent enough for your 225 EFI. If you are low on rpm with the 25″ pitch Tempest, consider the 25″ pitch Bravo I XS. It will allow your engine to gain 150 rpm at WOT. It will also offer better planing which will really help with the water sports. If you are concerned about dropping 1.5 mph then stay with the 3 blade Tempest.
      Scott

  6. Jr Brown says:

    Scott
    I am looking at trying the Bravo I FS propeller what size would you recommend and or changes that I may need to do.
    I have a 2001 Ranger 520VX 225 opti max. I am currently running a 23 pitch TXP propeller 5650 rpm running 64.3 mph 25 psi water pressure. I also have a 24 pitch TXP that will run 66.3 but only turns 5400 rpm and 25 psi water pressure. My pad height is 3″ the boat has a tendency to fall off the pad in the turns and loose some bite. These are all run with tournament loads 2 talons 4 batteries 1 27 gallon fuel tank of fuel and 2 people minimal tackle. What is the minimum water pressure I could run and be safe. I loose about 1-1.5 mph when I fill the livewells.

    Thanks Jr

    • Scott Reichow says:

      JR,
      Consider the Bravo I XS with the 1″ vent holes. The Bravo I FS with PVS .75″ vent holes is designed for the Verado and the Pro XS equipped with the Torque Master II gearcase. It’s hard to make a pitch call with your 23″ 4 blade. If it offers similar rpm to a 23″ Tempest, then you would move up to the 24″ pitch Bravo I XS. The Bravo I XS fast work horse of a prop – even when under a medium to heavy load (live wells full). It just doesn’t care how much weight you throw at it.
      Scott

  7. Walt Wardzala says:

    Dear Scott,

    I think most of these questions are from bass boat owners but I have a 26 Spectre Center Console with 300 Verado. The engine was mounted very high on a fixed offshore bracket from the factory and we dropped it down a pin. This helped a lot with ventilating in the rough water but it is still an issue. The factory supplied prop is a 21 Enertia. If I trim it up enough I can hit 6300 but I get almost no bow lift. 6050 at somewhat normal trim is about it.

    From what I am reading here, it sounds like a 22 Bravo 1 FS would be the best bet. I wouldn’t need to lower the motor any more to stop ventilating and some bow lift might give me some more top end.

    Is that about right or should I consider the Tempest?

    Thanks, WW

    • Scott Reichow says:

      Walt,
      Your engine height can still be a factor with a 3 or 4 blade prop. Knowing you lowered the engine already; it appears the 4-blade will perform better. I agree with your thoughts regarding moving to the 22” pitch Bravo I FS. It should offer better performance over the Tempest. The addition of a fourth blade provides additional blade area for hooking up the water. This helps particularly for hole shot, on-plane performance, propeller through turns and staying on-plane at lower speeds. Hopefully, you will realize better top speeds over the 3 blade as well (it all depends on engine height). The shortened barrel of the Bravo I FS offers good bow lift (it won’t lift the stern like the stock Bravo I). for enhanced fuel economy. The Tempest and the Enertia are both great props. However, both have limitations with your set-up.
      Scott

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