Mercury Racing has had a working relationship with Captain Steven Lamp, owner of Dream Catcher Charters, for nearly 20 years. Steven relies on Mercury products to earn a living. His office space is the beautiful waters off Key West. He has been intimately involved in the development of a number of our key consumer performance outboards including the OptiMax 200XS, 2.5XS, 250XS, 300XS, Verado 350 SCi and Verado 400R.
He has also been my go to person for real world feedback regarding Mercury Racing Propeller performance. I recently reached out to Steven for performance feedback regarding our ECO XP propellers.
One of Steven’s charter boats is a beautiful 36-foot Yellow Fin offshore center console with triple 350 Verado outboards. He had been running stock 21-inch pitch Mercury Rev 4 props. I sent him a set of our 20.5-inch pitch Racing ECO XPs to try.
Steven conducted back-to-back tests to compare the Rev 4s with the ECO XPs. The boat load consisted of two guys and 100 gallons of fuel. Water conditions were flat.
He ran the Rev 4’s first to establish a baseline. The Yellow Fin accelerated from 0-20 mph in 4.5 seconds. Acceleration from 0 to 20 mph was 5.3 seconds with the XPs, 0.8 seconds slower than the Rev 4s. However – all aspects of performance – including overall handling – was noticeably improved with the ECO XPs.
Steven was impressed. “I love the way the boat feels. It feels like it’s on rails. The bow lift over the Rev 4s is HUGE! The Rev 4s are slippery; handling is dicey. There is no slip with the ECO XPs. Handling is tight for both right and left-hand turns.”
I am impressed as well. Thank, Steven, for taking the time to provide us this real-world performance feedback regarding the offshore center console performance of our Racing ECO XP propellers.
Our Pro Finish Bravo I LT propeller, originally designed for single outboard multispecies, bay boat and deck boat applications, is known to provide superior hole shot, on-plane efficiency and fuel economy under a load.
Sam Maisano from Go Fast Charters has enjoyed great success with our Bravo I FS propeller. Sam recently repowered his 32-foot Donzi ZF center console from 300 to 350 Verados. He contacted me to get some guidance on propeller selection. Sam’s boat is often under a load with passengers and gear and thus we thought it may make sense to see if the Bravo I LT could enhance his ride.
We sent Sam a set of 24″ pitch Bravo I LT props. The results have been phenomenal. When compared to the FS, the LT has a longer exhaust tube with a flare at the end. The flared tube provides more stern lift, which settles the bow for a more level ride. Sam and his customers are enjoying improved handling and a dryer, more comfortable boating experience.
The Bravo I LT has allowed Go Fast Charters to utilize their higher-horsepower engines without sacrificing fuel economy and range. At 56 mph Sam uses 40 gallons per hour (gph) with the FS as opposed to 38.8 gph with the LT. Through mid-range speeds, the story is the same. At 4200 RPM, Sam gained almost 3 mph (40.6 to 43.2 mph) while realizing a fuel consumption savings of 1.5 gph.
In addition to better performance, Go Fast Charters has proven the durability of Mercury Racing propellers when they are properly maintained. On his first pair of Bravo I FS propellers, Sam logged 995 hours with zero failures! In 2016 alone, Sam put 555 hours on his one-off set of LT propellers, and continues to use them.
With the advent of the new counter rotation Bravo I LT for dual engine applications, Go Fast Charters will blow customers away with the performance offered by their well-tuned Mercury and Donzi combination.
A number of boat manufacturers have responded to angler requests for larger and more stable hulls. The changes have resulted with the consoles moving forward, changing the center of gravity and weight distribution. The mounting of trolling motor batteries in the front of the boat affects planing performance and bow lift as well. The new hull designs, while user friendly in terms of fish ability come with a price in terms of overall engine performance.
It didn’t take long before I started getting calls from customers asking for help in enhancing the performance of their single engine outboard powered bay boats and multi-species hulls under heavy loads. Our trusty Bravo I FS was no longer the viable option for these applications. Read more
Brian Huinker called me recently for prop advice on a boat he and his nephew bought together. Brian is a Technical Application Manager for Mercury Marine.
Brian and his nephew Mike Huinker bought an Alumacraft Trophy 195 with a 200 Pro Verado. With his work – Brian travels with an assortment of tools and props to assist dealers and builders in their boat setup. Brian has realized success in the past with the stock, stainless steel 3-blade propeller. He happened to have a 19-inch 3-blade in his support van – so he mounted it on the Verado. Brian mentioned he had heard good things regarding our Bravo I FS. His nephew Googled it and found a variety of information (there’s more to that – read on 🙂
Calm Before the Storm
It was right after Brian had dialed the boat in with the 3-blade that he and his nephew packed their gear and were off to Northern Minnesota for their annual fishing trip on on Lake Winnibigoshish. Their first day out was beautiful. The water was calm and the fish were biting! 🙂 The 19-inch 3-blade turned the 200 Pro Verado 5800 rpm at 50 mph. Unfortunately, the weather turned and the calm serenity of the first day was a distant memory.
The wind stirred the lake into a fury of rough water. Mike was driving – doing all he could to battle the rough seas.
“We were getting pounded and wet. It was a rough day on the water,” Brian said.
The wind picked up even more on the next day. Brian was busy loading his gear – getting ready to head out when he noticed Mike working on the back of the engine. As he got closer he could see he was changing the prop. It was not just any prop. He was installing a 20-inch pitch Bravo I FS.
“Looking at the prop, I looked at him and asked, did you borrow one? No he said.” I ordered it. I’m thinking wow, must have been good YouTubes and other positive news for him to order one,” said Brian.
“My research I found YouTube videos of Steve Miller and Jim Saric discussing the Bravo I FS . Then early last spring another YouTube video of Gary Parsons (professional walleye angler) talking about the FS and I was sold. I had the prop before we took delivery of the boat,” Mike said.
Brian and Mike proceeded to put their rain gear on expecting another rough and wet day on the water. They take off and were about half way to their fishing spot when Brian asked Mike if he was driving the boat differently from the previous day. Mike said no.
“I was able to push the throttle harder and the boat handled so much better in the rough conditions. We were not getting pounded, the boat had a much better ride and we were staying much drier,” Mike said.
“We were impressed with the boat. The Bravo I FS changed everything about it. It made a believer out of us,” Brian said.
Now instead of dreading the day on the rough waters, Brian and Mike are able to enjoy the ride to their fishing spot.
Sometime later they were able to find calm water.
“With the engine mounted at the second hole (same height as with the 3-blade stainess) they matched the 5800 rpm engine speed and 50 mph top speed. Mike then raised the engine up to the third hole while also adding a trolling motor and three batteries in the front compartment. The added weight didn’t affect the FS a bit. The engine turned 5800 rpm’s all day at 50 mph,” Brian exclaimed.
Good stuff. I look forward to hearing from Brian again to see how he and Mike are doing now that the weather is turning nicer and their Alumacraft is dialed in for some serious fishing. 🙂
Happy New Year from Houston. I’m excited to be here to work the boat show.
We are introducing our all-new series of Mercury Racing Revolution 4 propellers. The new props will be the perfect solution for dialing-in select single and multi-engine applications to their maximum potential.
The Pro Finish Rev 4 XP provides “Extreme Precision” when dialing in multi engine, stepped bottom performance center consoles (trip, quad, quint) and single engine bay boats.
Popular with the Mercury Verado 350 and Mercury Racing 400R outboards, The new XP models expand the pitch range of the Rev 4 family from 18-inch to 25.5 inch sizes in one-half inch increments. The one-half inch pitch offerings enable engines to be dialed in to their maximum RPM operating range for enhanced throttle response, optimized cruise fuel efficiency and top speed.
Pro Finished Rev 4 XP Prop Offerings
Our new Pro Finish Rev 4 XC prop, designed specifically for single outboard powered hulls, features an “extreme” amount of blade cup. The Rev 4 XC (15″ & 17″ pitch) complements the Bravo I XC (20″, 22″ and 24″ pitch) as a family of propellers featuring an extreme amount of blade cup with a pitch range of 15″ to 24″ in 2-inch increments.
Eric Simmons, owner and CEO of Simmons Custom Boats said, “When we built the Recon hull designed for fishing the ultra-shallow flats and back-waters of the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, we needed a propeller that could deliver instant hole-shot grip, stay hooked up while maneuvering in very shallow waters, and still yield great top end speed. I knew Mercury Racing could help us get “Dialed In” with this request. The result was the Bravo I XC. This prop design is based on the Bravo I, what is possibly the best all-around prop used on other SCB models. The XC version is unique with very aggressive cupping,”
“We are finding the that if your currently running a standard Bravo I, and looking for extra grip, you will need to drop 2” in pitch to run the XC version. That’s a direct result of the grip of the prop,” said Eric.
The enhanced cup enables the engine to be run at elevated transom heights – without sacrificing performance. This is particularly beneficial for flats boats running in “skinny” water.
The larger blade area enables the prop to stay hooked up for quick planing and enhanced performance throughout the engine RPM range. The exhaust tube is designed to support planing and stability at lower speeds. The combination of the extreme cup and custom exhaust tube results in enhanced low speed planing efficiency – a bonus for scouting fish in the shallows.
In most of these applications, venting is not required to plane the boats quickly; however, should the need arise, the Rev 4 XP and XC propellers are all equipped with the Mercury® patented Performance Vent System® (PVS). PVS® enables the user to fine-tune the amount of venting, if needed.
Pro Finish Rev 4 XC Prop Offerings
This show is a hoot. Not only is it my first time being here – it is the first time in my long career of working shows that the event will shut down for a day due to a NFL Playoffs game. Being from Wisconsin – I’m a die hard Packers fan. But – since I’m here – and the Texan’s playoff game is Saturday – I’m all in and will be rooting for Houston’s team. Its all good – the Packers play Sunday night. I hope both teams win. 🙂 The Rev 4 XC and XP are winners when applied to the select applications in which they were designed.
The hot news from Hot Springs, Arkansas is our release of five new half-inch pitch offerings for the popular Bravo I® XS propeller. The new offerings debuted this morning at the 2015 FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) tournament.
The new half-inch pitch offerings greatly enhance the application of the XS for single engine outboard applications. The addition of half-inch pitch offerings enable bass boat and center console bay boat owners to Dial-In their engine RPM for maximum power and efficiency. The new models include 22.5″, 24.5″, 26.5″, 28.5″ and 30.5″ pitch sizes – complimenting the expansive 22 inch to to 31.5 inch pitch range.
The Bravo I XS has proven to be one of our most versatile props. It’s a natural for 2-stroke applications and now – with the Mercury patented Performance Vent System®, it is delivering unprecedented performance on single engine four stroke applications as well.
Bravo I XS Part Numbers:
Get your rig Dialed in the XS. See you authorized Mercury dealer today!
In our trifecta of Miami product releases propellers are always the unsung heroes. They are often forgotten about in the glitz and glamour of media conferences and product unveilings. However, it is that polished piece of art bolted onto the leg of an outboard or sterndrive that makes or breaks an engine’s performance. Performance propeller guru Scott Reichow gets it and is continually serving niche markets with new props and or enhancements to existing models. He did just that for the Miami Boat Show with the release of the all-new Pro Finish Bravo I XC propeller as well as enhancements made to the popular Bravo I XS and Pro Max props. Read more
My good friend Steve Miller recently bought a 2014 Lund Pro-V 2075. Steve is the Senior Category Manager for Mercury Marine. He was heavily involved with the Verado from day one and also on the ground floor of the 150 Fourstroke launch as well as the launch of its 75-115 siblings. He knows the products – inside and out. Its only natural his 2075 Lund features Verado 300 Pro Fourstroke power. Steve uses the boat for both fishing and family time on the water. Read more