21 thoughts on “Propellers”

  1. Scott,

    As per our earlier conversation in the Pro Max prop section, I recently purchased a 32″ lab finished Pro Max, which has yet to be run. My question is about the PVS plugs: How do you insert them? And does using or not using them affect top speed? I’m not concerned about hole shot.

    I tried tapping them in with a rubber mallet, then a hammer, then placing then in hot (tap) water for several minutes before inserting them, all to no avail. I was afraid I’d break the plastic if I used any more force.

    I have my 300X gearcase centered about 1 1/2″ above the centerpod on my Stoker 22 Mod-VP hull, which causes the engine to rev up fairly high getting on plane anyway. I have an earlier 30” lab finished Pro Max without PVS holes, and I’ve used the Pro ET and Lightning ET over-hub exhaust props before and had no problems with any of them. So am wondering whether it will really make any difference whether the plugs are put in or left out in my application?

    Thanks for your comments.

    Lee King

    1. Lee,
      The venting system is designed to bring the boat on plane. At 70 mph, there’s 100 lb.ft of force applied to the gearcase/propeller, minimizing any exhaust escaping out the holes. The Pro Max’s small barrel enables the exhaust to flow through and over the barrel. This aerates the water around the propeller – similar to the what the PVS venting system does. With some applications, the gear ratio and taller pitch props require added aeration from the PVS vent holes. Installing the fittings can be tricky. Place the propeller on a work bench. Align the tapered side of the fitting over the PVS hole and hit the fitting squarely and forcibly with a plastic hammer.

  2. Hello, i have a 30 Et 4 blade prop…..en i wanne buy a new prop…the mercury pro max 4 blade…………….but noboddy wasnt to tell me the difference between the 2 …esspeciasly…if i now have as 30 Pitch ET…do i need also as 30 pitch mercury pro Max…?

    please give me asn anaser becauase i cald mercury heasdqwuasrter in begium, but the dit not kow thast..!@!@!@!!!!

    1. Thierry,
      The Pro Max props have the same blades as the Pro ET; we added the barrel to assist planing and hooking up better in turns. Run pitch for pitch.

  3. I have a 2017 208 tyee GL with a verado pro 300 just bought a Bravo 1 LT 20.5 is this the best prop for top speed, PVS holes are pluged how do these affect top speed

    1. Tim,
      Run the Bravo I LT and record rpm, top speed, and engine height, if you would like to make changes in performance we would start from there. The vent holes are for added planing performance and do not affect top speed. Especially on two-stroke outboards, removing the pvs plugs will cause air to flow both through the barrel and around the prop, making it spin up quicker.


  4. Hi Mercury
    I am looking for some prop advice. I have owned a 21 foot race/ski type boat for about 12 months, similar to the Nordic, or Force Boats in Australia. It is partnered with a Mercury Verado Pro 300hp. I have been having hole shot issues with it since I purchased it. The boat weighs about 1900 pds, hull only, is 21foot long and a 21 degree deadrise. The boat is mainly a social ski boat, but I also use it for days out in the bay.
    After testing many props, I have settled on the Vensura 4 blade in 19p.
    I have also been playing around with engine height, and have added wedges. Both have improved hole shot significantly. I have found that the higher I lift the engine, the better the hole shot, however it is now cavitating. I am in the middle of moving the 200l fuel tank forward about 2 foot and am about to add a hydraulic jacking plate.

    I am still looking for a better hole shot when pulling skiers. The hole shot is now pretty good when pulling a single 165lb skier, but starts to struggle when pulling a 250lb skier, or two heavy skiers.

    What prop should I be looking at. Should I just go down in pitch to something like a 17p Vensura, or change to a larger diameter prop such as the Bravo 1FS, and if so, what pitch, or another prop. This is primarily a social ski boat, so speed is really of no concern. I am also happy to look at two props, one for skiing, and the second for cruising the bay. The current 19p vensura will hit the rev limiter (only just) at 6480 revs at 65Mph.

    1. Tom,
      You may just have to step down to the 17” Vensura. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find. Mercury no longer is making the Vensura line. I hope you get a chance to try the 19” or 19.5” pitch Bravo I LT (contact Brainerd Propeller for their test program). Consider taking out (2) vent fittings to aerate the water around the propeller during planing.

      1. Thanks Scott, I am in Australia so the test programs are few and fast between, but I will try and find a Bravo prop to try. Is it worth trying a High Five. I tried a High Five before the engine height was lifted and the before the wedges, and it was definitely the best Waterski prop, however very few people recommended the high Five for such a large hp engine.
        I tried lots of props before the engine height and wedges were corrected thinking it was all a prop issue, however the engine height and wedges changed the characteristics of the hole shop dramatically, so now need to do some propping again.

  5. hello:
    I currently have a fury 3 blade on a 20 foot Lake &and Bay (no pocket) boca grande Flats boat with a 250pro/torque master . I am considering a lightning et, or the Fury 4 blade. Looking for more speed… Big surprise there. Please recommend a propeller for me with Pitch.
    Thanks, Jeff

    1. Jeff,
      The ET is a fast prop but your on-plane performance will be different. Consider the Bravo I XS which is 2″ taller than the Fury. You will want to raise the engine at least 3/4″.

  6. I have a 2007 20 ft lake and bay boca grande with a 2017 250 pro xs I have setback and my jack plate only moves 6-8 inches looking for max top end at 6g with a little hole shot

  7. Hello,
    I have a customer with a 2015 382 fastech with sc 700 om971328 and ntx drives and only turning up 3900 without trim, and with trim 4000. What should this boat be running as far props when tested from factory and the max rpm with these red engines.


    1. Jon,

      You should be in the neighborhood of a 30 pitch Bravo propeller, but it depends on gear ratio. Are the drives spinning outward? I know in some applications, the five blade Maximus is also used. Those engines spin up to 5800 rpm.


  8. Hi: I have ordered a 2019 Ranger 619FS with a 225 hp Merc Pro XS 4-stroke XL. The boat will have a Merc 9.9 hp 4-stroke kicker.

    I’m looking for a good hole shot and good mileage at mid-range cruising (~4,000 RPM), and not necessarily highest top end speed.

    Scott has previously recommended props for me and was spot-on. I look forward to your reply. Thank you.

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