32 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.

    1. Steve,
      The Bravo I FS would be the way to go for all-around and I believe Ranger spec’s a 22″ pitch. For an even better hole shot (if Ranger specs the 22”) consider stepping down to the 21″ pitch. Your engine rpm will increase 150 and you’ll drop 1.5 mph. The Bravo I LT in a 21” pitch would also work but if you ever hit WOT the prop would offer to much stern lift giving a bow steer feel. Enjoy your new rig.

  9. I just purchased a ‘19 tracker 195 txt tournament with a ‘19 150 proSX fourstroke that has a tempest plus 24p and 2.08:1 gearing. I’m only getting 50 mph at 6000 rpm. I do not believe this is the proper prop for this gearing. What would you suggest? With the 24p it want to run more than 6000rpm

    1. Derek,

      What is the engine height on your setup? We like to measure the difference between the cav plate and the boat bottom. An easy method is to measure from the bottom of the boat to the ground and then from the cav plate to the ground, on a level surface, and subtract the difference. An average height for a setup like yours will be around 1.5″. I only ask because your slip number is very high, this could be because your engine is either too high or too low. ]


        1. Derek,

          If the cav plate is 4 inches above the bottom of the boat, you will need to lower your motor at least two holes. This is most likely the reason for your high slip percentages.


  10. I am running a 2013 yar craft 2095 btx tiller with a 175 optimax pro xs. The boat is stern heavy with a kicker, two batteries and a livewell in the rear. I am looking at running a four blade as the tempest does not want to hold the nose down in any chop unless trimmed all the way in. I am running a 19 tempest getting 51 mph around 5550 rpms. Any recommendations on a bravo or rev 4?

    1. Levi,

      For added stern lift, consider the 19 pitch Bravo I LT. Your hole shot will benefit from the longer tube and your rough water handling should be much better.


  11. Hey Nick,

    I’ve got a 2016 Ranger 1850LS with a 150 Four Stroke (not ProXS). Motor is mounted in the center hole. Ranger shipped it with a Tempest Plus 19, and she runs about 46.5MPH GPS WOT at 5500-5550 RPM. But the hole shot is not great, especially if I get more than 2 souls on board.

    I switched to a 17P Rev 4 at the recommendation of Bud at Ranger Boats and now she runs about 44.5 MPH GPS WOT, at about 5600-5650 RPM, but the hole shot is much improved.

    I don’t often run WOT, and sometimes have 4-5 souls on board, adding to the stern weight. Hole shot is still poor enough with 4-5 people on board that pulling a skiier out of the water is not easy, esp in the warmer weather. Usually have to ask a person or two to move to the bow and things are better.

    I do really like the handling of the Rev 4, and honestly feel it is a really good prop for my hull, but wanted to know if you have any other or better recommendations. Trying props is kind of an expensive hobby! Would prefer to get it right.

    1. Mike,

      Great testing results. It sounds to me like the 19 Tempest is a great top end prop and a 15 pitch Rev 4 would be a great family and water sports prop. Both props are hooking up great for you, the 15 pitch will offer improved hole shot but you will lose 3-4 mph at wide open.


  12. I just bought a 2007 formula fastech 382 that has blue mercury 600 with the whipple from mercury. Boat had generator, bathroom, etc. When I’m getting up on plane the boat had a major vibration. It stops when I’m on plane and don’t come back. People have said cavitation but my 2000 fountain fever 32 w/ 502s don’t do it. Props don’t look bent but who knows. Boat only has 200 hours and the previous owner said it’s always done it. How bad should the cavitation be or not be.

    1. Mike,

      Congrats on the purchase. Are you running Bravo I propellers? If so, are they lab finished? Switching to a 5 blade propeller such as the Maximus Short Tube can help with your cavitation issue. A great person to talk to about your setup would be Bob Teague at Teague Custom Marine. Give them a call at 661-295-7000. He has years of experience with setups like yours.


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