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1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:23 pm
by jimh
It has been several years since I gathered any performance data on my 1990 Boston Whaler REVENGE 22 Walk-Through Whaler Drive boat with a 2010 Evinrude E-TEC 225. Below is data from a recent test. The engine is now in its 11th season of use.

Performance Data


Boat: REVENGE 22 Walk-Through Whaler Drive, 1990

Engine: E-TEC 225, Evinrude, 2010-model-year, E225DPXISE
Recommended WOT RPM Range: 4500 to 5800-RPM
Optimum WOT RPM Range: 5500 to 5700-RPM
Gear ratio: 1.86:1

Propeller: Mercury MIRAGEplus 17-pitch three-blade stainless steel
Diameter 15-inches
Length 6-3/4-inches
Exhaust port flare diameter 4-7/8-inches


Date: July 12, 2019
Air Temperature: 77-degrees
Wind: 5-knots
Current: none
Humidity: unknown, probably 50- to 70-percent, a nice Summer day
Waves: small with some boat wakes mixed in
Crew: two aboard; total crew weight 360-lbs
Canvas: Flying Top deployed
General gear: normal non-overnight cruising gear.
Fuel: 35-gallons (half-full tank)


Upwind into small waves:

23.2 3736 2.52 34 35 Not yet optimized for this throttle setting
24.5 3536 2.76 34 36 Optimum fuel economy
27.8 3918 2.66 37 36 Nice cruising speed
29.1 4051 2.66 37 36 Same LOAD as above, but faster speeed
32.9 4456 2.66 41 36 Now 5-MPH faster with same fuel economy
36.5 4921 2.49 46 47 Fast cruising speed
42.6 5605 2.09 100 40 Maximum throttle

Downwind with small waves:

28.0 3894 2.77 37 35 Optimum fuel economy
28.0 3793 2.81 36 35 Optimum fuel economy
29.2 3949 2.76 37 36 Optimum fuel economy
29.7 3937 2.84 37 25 Optimum fuel economy--cherry picking the data
35.7 4690 2.61 44 34 Fast cruising speed with minimum effect on economy
35.8 4708 2.63 44 33 Fast cruising speed with minimum effect on economy

Slow speed data
2.9 503 10.2 0 35 To burn 1-gallon takes 3.5-hours at this speed

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:19 am
by jimh
Recently we were underway with the boat very heavily loaded:

  • 65-gallons fuel
  • a 96-quart cooler packed with ice, beer, and food
  • a cabin filled with mattress, sleeping gear, dry goods, clothing, and book and charts for a week of living aboard
  • all weather canvas rigged and up
  • four adults aboard instead of the usual two adult crew

Best boat speed was reduced to 40.9-MPH. I did not note the engine speed. Fuel economy at best cruising speed was about 2.2-MPG

Later with our two extra passengers gone, and going upwind into moderate headseas, the best fuel economy was only 2.4-MPG.

An hour later heading downwind in smaller following seas, fuel economy was back to a steady 2.6-MPH and 2.7-MPG on occasion.

The boat was at its heaviest loading when this data was collected.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:24 pm
by jimh
Regarding the heavy-load performance data above: while cleaning the boat after our cruise, I just noticed that while underway last week the aft cockpit live well had about 15-gallons of rain water in it. Add another 100-lbs to the already heavy cruising load.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:44 am
by jimh
While running the boat in very light load state, with no canvas up, only 22-gallons fuel, and in very calm seas and no wind, the boat speed hit 44.5-MPH at an engine speed of 5,700-RPM. Fuel economy was also very good, and we saw 2.8-MPG at many boat speeds.

The effect on performance of boat weight, air resistance from canvas, sea state and wind, and other environmental influences continues to surprise me.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:54 am
by jimh
I have tested a new propeller, an Evinrude CYCLONE 17 TBX. I had previously tested a CYCLONE 17 propeller and found it to be a good performer. An opportunity arose to buy one at remarkably low cost. The CYCLONE TBX propeller I bought is a newer model that uses the Evinrude TBX hub kit system, and I also wanted to try a TBX hub. I was able to get a TBX hub kit at a very good price, too, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to purchase and test this propeller.

The CYCLONE 17 TBX propeller is a polished stainless steel four-bladed propeller made by Evinrude specifically for the legacy E-TEC engines. The blades have the typical sharp-edged thick trailing edges. The leading edges are thin but have a smooth and rounded entry. There is a modest rake to the blades. There is the typical blade cup. This particular propeller was previously used but in very good condition. In shipping there may have been a minor nick or two in a blade edge due the hub kit parts becoming loose from their box and rattling around. A few minutes with emery cloth and the blades were all smooth and like new.

The marked pitch is 17-inch (same as the three-blade propeller tested above) and the diameter is 14-1/4-inches, about 3/4-inch less than the three-blade MIRAGEplus propeller. The length of the CYCLONE hub is 6-inches, or 3/4-inch shorter than the three-blade propeller. The exhaust port flares to a 4-3/4-inch diameter, slightly smaller than the three-blade.

Installing the TBX-style propeller took a few minutes. The plastic coupling between the propeller shaft and the long brass splined coupling to the propeller required a bit of work to assemble. I pre-fitted the plastic coupler into the propeller hub as deeply as I could, using a small block of wood and a hammer to seat it. But the coupler was still not bottomed out. Several revolutions of the propeller nut were needed to fully seat the coupler into the tapered square bore of the propeller hub.

Environmental conditions for this test were similar to prior testing: fair weather, high pressure, clear skies, air temperature high-70’s, and water temperature 73-degrees. The wind was 7 to 10-MPH. Waves were 1-foot or less.

The four-blade propeller produced a different engine vibration frequency than the three-blade, as expected. I don't have any measured frequency or amplitude data about the vibration. This summer I have noticed a cockpit coaming panel has had a tendency to rattle in sympathetic vibration with the engine and three-blade propeller. That panel was not excited into vibration by the four-blade.

The boat was in a light weight configuration as before, and fuel was now only 16 to 19-gallons during the test. We did have the Flying Top canvas up.

The first change I noted was the maximum engine speed of the E-TEC was limited to 5,500-RPM, about 100-RPM lower than with the three-blade propeller of the same pitch. This is a reasonable outcome, as in general a four-bladed propeller will be harder to turn than a three-bladed propeller (although the smaller blade diameter will tend to reduce that effect).

Hitting my usual benchmark of 2.7-MPG fuel economy was difficult. I was finally able to coax a reading of 2.7 while running down wind and down sea, and at a boat speed of 27 to 30-MPH.

The maximum boat speed was 42-MPH, again a bit lower than with the three-blade.

Overall, maximum engine speed, maximum boat speed, and maximum fuel economy were all lower than the three-blade propeller.

I did not observe any remarkable changes in the boat’s handling. There may be a slight improvement in controlling the bow rise, but bow rise on a Whaler Drive boat is always very limited in range; the Whaler Drive acts like a giant trim tab and won’t let the bow come up very much.

I will keep the CYCLONE on the boat for the rest of the season and spend more time evaluating it and collecting more data.

Here are two data points.

Evinrude CYCLONE 17 four-blade propeller
For both measurements the throttle position and trim position were
TRIM=33 to 34

RPM=4000 MPH=28.4 MPG=2.6

RPM=3950 MPH=28.5 MPG=2.7

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:05 am
by jimh
A remark on propeller testing in general

In both reports above, the propellers tested were not new propellers. Both were in like-new condition. Both propellers are products of outboard engine manufacturers, and one might assume, perhaps, that propellers from outboard engine manufacturers are generally high-quality and well-designed for the outboard engines of the specific manufacturer. The prices of propellers from outboard manufacturers are generally higher than for propellers from aftermarket providers.

Even assuming that the two propellers were in perfect, as-new condition, consideration has to be given to the fact that these are mass-produced propellers. They are not delivered from the manufacturer as new in perfect balance with every blade carefully checked and nudged to be in the exact same pitch. Getting a finely-tuned and balanced propeller generally means paying about double the cost of a standard production propeller (or more) for a "lab-finished" propeller. On the basis that the tested propellers are both standard production parts and were slightly used, an assumption that each is an absolute perfect specimen is not justified. Inasmuch as the reported differences in performance are rather slight, to assume that if the tests were repeated with a different pair of these propellers the exact same results would be obtained is probably a risky assumption.

For example, the difference in observed fuel economy is only 0.1-MPG in a value of 2.7-MPG. This is a variance of onl 0.1/2.7 or 3.7-percent. The small difference may a result of testing errors, testing conditions, testing bias, and natural variation in the products being tested, and not due to a fundamental difference in the nature of the two propeller designs. Holding all test variable to be identical and to cause less than 3.7-percent influence on the results is really extremely difficult to achieve, in my opinion, in propeller testing.

The best methods of testing propellers should include blind testing, that is, testing where the boat driver and the person recording the data have no knowledge of what propeller is being tested. The propellers should be tested on the same propeller shaft, on the same engine, on the same boat, and within a few minutes of each other, so that influences due to variations in the engine power output, the hull fairness, weight, and wind resistance, and air and water environmental conditions can be held to a minimum.

A further consideration in propeller testing is the engine fuel. Today the gasoline fuels available vary in their ethanol content, from no ethanol to perhaps 10-percent or more ethanol content. Fuel octane also varies. Engine power output will be affected by the fuel being used. An engine will produce more power output on pure gasoline fuel of higher octane than it will with a fuel consisting of a blend of gasoline and ethanol and lower octane. In order to have comparable test data, the engine fuel should be consistent throughout all tests.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:38 pm
by jimh
Here is more data on my testing with the Evinrude CYCLONE four-blade 17-pitch propeller:

Performance Data

Propeller CYCLONE 4 17-pitch, 14.25-inch diameter


Date: August 22, 2019
Air Temperature: 74-degrees
Wind: 10-knots to perhaps 15-knot gusts
Current: none
Humidity: unknown, probably 50- to 70-percent, a nice Summer day
Waves: 1-foot or less
Crew: two aboard; total crew weight 360-lbs
Canvas: Flying Top deployed
General gear: normal non-overnight cruising gear.
Fuel: 37-gallons (half-full tank) mostly all fresh REC 90 pure gasoline





LOAD=39 (same as downwind run immediately prior)


After more time underway with the CYCLONE propeller, the best fuel economy with this propeller seems to occur at a higher cruising speed. Boat speeds in the 28 to 32-MPH range seem to have the best fuel economy in MPG.

We found the propeller had reasonably good reverse thrust at low speeds. We also had to go into reverse and apply a lot of throttle in order to stop the boat very rapidly when we came up on a barely submerged but completely unmarked breakwall. The record-high-water-level in Lake Michigan had completely submerged the rock rip-rap of this breakwall, and we were lucky to be going slowly and could stop in time before running over it.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:43 pm
by jimh
Since the four-bladed propeller (Evinrude CYCLONE 17 pitch) was installed, the boat has not been run in any significant waves, except for a few miles on the last trip of the season. We were running downwind on Burt Lake, loping along at 28-MPH, riding up and over some two-footers. As in any sea state, there will be occasionally higher waves, and at one point we came over the top of a larger wave. The trough in front of the wave was rather deep, and as the bow of the boat launched off into the air, I was anticipating a rough landing.

To my surprise, the CYCLONE 17 propeller just held the bow steady, and the boat gently settled downward with a rather soft landing. This behavior is also an effect of the E-TEC engine, which just seems to have no limit on torque and never loses any engine speed when the propeller load soars briefly higher. The CYCLONE four-bladed propeller surprised me with how slowly it let the bow come down and how soft the landing became.

I don't have any scientific data to compare the CYCLONE to the three-blade--the other propeller also seems to be able to hold the bow in the air when launching off a wave--but that four-blade did a very nice job of keeping the boat from slamming down hard, and I was a bit surprised by the easy landing that occurred. I was expecting something a bit harsher.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:56 am
by Jefecinco

Regarding the new propeller, did you notice any improvement in acceleration or time to reach planing speed from idle speed? Was there a noticeable difference in the lowest speed at which plane could be maintained?

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:08 pm
by jimh
BUTCH--I did not notice any easily observed change in time to plane. With either propeller, the boat is on plane in seconds. If there were any change--in either longer or shorter time to plane--I would estimate it would have been very small, maybe a second. The time to plane is really determined by how fast I advance the throttle. The boat shows no reticence to get on plane.

I did not experiment with lowest possible planing speed with the four-blade. The three-blade propeller has already demonstrated that it can keep the boat on plane at about 10-MPH (or less) into big head seas. Next time we encounter some big headsets and have the four-blade still on, I will see how it does.

The ability to keep the boat on plane at a lower speed is more likely NOT related to the propeller, but instead is a function of the engine torque available. Many outboard engines have narrow power bands and just cannot develop enough power to turn a propeller under heavy loads at low pre-planing speeds, where the boat is really traveling uphill on its own bow wave. The E-TEC engine acts more like a diesel engine. It just runs at the speed you set the throttle, and you can make the boat travel at almost any speed you want between displacement speed and planing speed. I don't do that very much, unless conditions demand it, because the fuel economy is not very good in those intermediate boat speed ranges.

Before we put the E-TEC on this boat, its classic two-stroke carburetor 3.0-liter V6 engine could not keep the boat on-plane or on-near-plane at speeds between about 8-MPH and 20-MPH. The classic two-stroke did not have enough torque in the engine speed range needed.

If people report that a new propeller let them keep the boat on plane at lower speeds, it may be because the new propeller is slipping badly, and the engine speed is then higher at that boat speed, and the engine can stay at that speed due to the propeller slip.

Again, I got the four-blade for these reasons:

--I wanted a TBX hub propeller because I felt the TBX hub is a better design than the FLO-TORQ hub I was using;

--the CYCLONE 17 was available at an extremely good price, far below even dealer cost, and about 80-percent off its usual discounted retail price;

--I had been running the same propeller for many years, and I thought, hey, what the heck, let's buy this nice four-blade and fool around with it.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:50 am
by jimh
In looking over my notes from the test of the CYCLONE 17 propeller, I found the top speed was 42.0-MPH. The top speed with the MIRAGEplus was 42.6-MPH, or slightly faster. In assessing the propellers, it should be noted that the mounting height that was used might not have been quite the same for both propellers due to their difference in diameter, even thought the engine mounting was not changed.

The MIRAGEplus propeller is a 15.5-inch diameter propeller. The CYCLONE is 14.25-inch diameter propeller. The blade tips of the MIRAGEplus will then be 7.75-inches from the propeller shaft, while the blade tips of the CYCLONE will be 7.125-inches. This is a difference 0.625-inches, or almost 3/4-inch. The waterline running over the engine gear case is going to be the same with either propeller, and the location of the propeller shaft is going to be the same, so the result of running the CYCLONE at the same engine mounting height as the MIRAGEplus will be to locate the propeller tips of the CYCLONE blades 0.625 farther below the water surface than the blade tips of the MIRAGEplus, or, in other words, the CYCLONE was running about one-hole deeper as measured by the blade tip position than the MIRAGEplus.

A more fair comparison might be achieved if the engine mounting were raised one-hole so the CYCLONE blades were operating about the same depth under the water as the MIRAGEplus blades. This is a subtle consideration, but before writing off the CYCLONE propeller as being slower, one ought to test it at the equivalent immersion depth as considered by blade tip position.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:44 am
by jimh
Here is more recently obtained data on my testing with the Evinrude CYCLONE four-blade 17-pitch propeller. The engine in all these tests is the same engine, the 2010 E-TEC 225 3.3-liter V6 engine. The tests are reports of variations due to propeller changes.

Performance Data

Propeller CYCLONE 4 17-pitch, 14.25-inch diameter


Date: August 24, 2020
Air Temperature: 79-degrees
Water Temperature: 74-degrees
Wind: calm
Current: none
Humidity: muggy, probably 70-percent or more
Waves: ripples
Crew: two aboard; total crew weight 360-lbs
Canvas: None deployed
General gear: minimal
Fuel: 37-gallons (half-full tank) mostly all fresh REC 90 pure gasoline
Engine Mounting Height: unchanged; still one-hole up on Whaler Drive


LOAD = 100
TRIM = 33
RPM = 5480
SOG = 43.5-MPH
MPG = (Not recorded)
SLIP = 8.2% calculated

The full-throttle engine speed of 5480-RPM was just below the narrow range specified as optimum, 5500 to 5700, for this E-TEC engine, but well within the recommended operating range of 4500 to 5800-RPM.

The warm and muggy air and the very warm water may have affected performance. Engines produce more power in colder dryer air and propeller efficiency improves in colder water.

The calculated SLIP at 8-percent is a good indicator the propeller is working efficiently.

Trimming out beyond the usual TRIM = 33 tends to result in the bow bouncing when the weight forward is really light, as it was in this test. Boats with a Whaler Drive just don’t run on plane with the bow very high.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:24 am
by jimh
Another difference between three-bladed and four-bladed propellers is the vibrations created when a propeller blade is aligned with the skeg and gearcase or shadowed by them. In that position the water flow is disrupted and the blade loading on that propeller blade changes. This produces a vibration.

Assume the engine speed is 1,000-RPM and the gear ratio is as above, 1.86:1. The propeller shaft speed is then

1000 / 1.86 = 537.6-RPM

Converting to revolutions per second

537-revolutions/1-minute x 1-minute/60-seconds

8.96 revolutions-per-second

With a three-bladed propeller there will be six occurrences of a blade being shadowed per revolution. A three-bladed propeller at 1,000-RPM engine speed thus generates a vibration with a frequency of

6 x 8.96 = 53.76-Hz

With a four-bladed propeller there will be four occurrences of a blade being shadowed per revolution. A four-bladed propeller at 1,000-RPM engine speed thus generates a vibration with a frequency of

4 x 8.96 = 38.4-Hz

There is also a difference in the amount of propeller blade that is shadowed. With a three-bladed propeller only one blade of three or one-third of the blade area is shadowed at a time. With a four-bladed propeller two blades of four or one-half the blade area is shadowed at a time. Because a larger portion of the blade area is being shadowed in the four-bladed propeller compared to the three-bladed propeller, the intensity of any vibration might be greater in the four-bladed propeller.

Another factor, however, may be affecting the vibration. With a four-bladed propeller the blade shadowing is symmetrical as both the top blade and bottom blade are shadowed at the same time. With a three-bladed propeller each blade of the three blades passes through the shadow of the sketch and gear case separately, creating six different directions of offsets.

The net effect of all these influences is a difference in the frequency and strength of a vibration created by the propeller blades being shadowed. How this will affect a particular boat will depend on many factors, and to predict that one style propeller will reduce vibration on any particular boat and engine combination at any particular engine speed will be difficult to impossible.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:39 pm
by jimh
Got another data point on September 11, 2020, for the CYCLONE 17-pitch four-bladed propeller on a late summer day with 64-degree air and 62-degree water. The boat was lightly loaded as in prior data runs.

Tweaking for best MPG at fast planing speeds, i again found this boat-engine-propeller combination would produce 2.7-MPG at 29 to 32-MPH.

TRIM was about 35, and
LOAD (percent of full throttle) was 37.

The data was taken down wind in very light wind and with ideal conditions with just a ripple on the water surface.

Re: 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, E-TEC 225

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:12 pm
by jimh
On the last day of boating for me in 2020, a new top speed was set for my 1990 REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive boat with 225-HP E-TEC. Still using the four-bladed CYCLONE propeller with 17-pitch, the GNSS receiver showed a speed over ground of 45.4-MPH. This new high speed mark was assisted by the lack of any canvas being up, having no gear aboard, just the usual crew of two, fuel at half-full, cold air temperature at 45 to 48-degrees, water temperature about 55-degrees, no wind, no waves, and possibly a very small favorable current. We were running in a river, but at a point where the river widens considerably and creates a large marsh.

Engine speed was 5,650-RPM. That calculates to a SLIP of 7.7-percent. On that basis I find this data set quite reasonable to accept.

The factors which I feel had the most influence in the new top speed were:
  • cold air
  • cold water
  • light load
  • no canvas
  • very calm water allowing a long wind up to maximum speed and hull trim adjustments

I did see a value of 45-MPH on the instrument panel, but in the trip log for that day I found the 45.4-MPH value was the highest recorded. We did make a run in the opposite direction, and the top speed for that one was over 44-MPH. I did not make a note of the exact speed value.