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Author Topic:   4-Blade Propeller Recommendation
Airborne posted 04-22-2004 11:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for Airborne   Send Email to Airborne  
I have a Boston Whaler Outrage 22 with Armstrong Bracket and 2001 250-HP Evinrude Ficht . The boat weighs over 4000 pounds loaded. I am currently running a 14.5 X 19 3-blade prop "sst" [Stainless Steel or a brand name?--jimh] which the engine can turn to 5700 RPM. I mainly run offshore in Northern Calfornia, sometimes 50-60 miles out with lots of chop and swells. I am considering a 4 blade prop. What dimensions and make to go with? Or,should I stick with the 3 blade?
jimh posted 04-22-2004 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Mercury Marine has an extremely broad line of propellers which can be adapted to your OMC engine. Their new REVOLUTION-4 4-blade propellers should be a good match.
Airborne posted 04-23-2004 12:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Airborne  Send Email to Airborne     
Jim, Thanks for the reply. Should I stay with the same diameter and pitch or drop down to a 17? Also, would a Evinrude/Johnson Renegade Offshore suffice? I can get a better deal through Evinrude.
Best regards,
Peter posted 04-23-2004 07:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Based on your data, dropping down to a 17 inch pitch (everything else being equal) would put your WOT RPM at 6100. This is higher than the 5500 to 6000 RPM WOT range for your engine. An extra blade (everything else being equal) will reduce the RPM some so a 4 blade, 17 inch pitch propeller might put your WOT engine speed at 6000 RPM. It seems to be important to a DI 2-stroke's longevity to use a propeller that will permit it to run as close to the upper limit of the WOT range as possible as the boat is normally loaded.

If you are considering a switch to a 4 blade Bombardier propeller, then a good starting place might be with the 14 1/2 x 17 RENEGADE OFFSHORE. However, the best propeller for a particular boat/motor setup is usually found through testing. The 4 blade propeller will give you better traction than a 3 blade propeller. This is most important when running at minimum plane speeds which you might do frequently if you are running in lots of chop and swells offshore. However, if your current 3 blade propeller gets a good hold on the water under these conditions, a 4 blade is probably not going to make much of a difference other than possibly reducing your top speed.

SST is a trademark (a.k.a. brand name) for an OMC (now Bombardier) stainless steel propeller that was coated with TEFLON (a Dupont trademark) to make it slippery. The SST propeller is still marketed today by Bombardier although its not clear whether these propellers are still TEFLON coated. The current marketing picture shows the SST with a shiny black appearance. The original SST had a flat or matte black appearance.

jimp posted 04-23-2004 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Airborne -

Somebody mentioned this article in the Forum a while back, sorry, but I haven't figured out how to post a link correctly (I'll learn). Its in the current issue of Motorboating magazine (first selection in Goggle), go to "Current Issue" and the prop article is posted down the page. Read it!


I have a 2003 Merc 225 Optimax on my 1990 Revenge 22 WT. I have two props: 17" Revolution-4 stainless 4-blade; and a Merc 19" Black Max 3-blade aluminum.

The Rev-4 gives better top speed & acceleration (41.5 knots top at 5500 RPM, 24-knot cruise at 3750 RPM @ 2.8 nautical mpg). I found it for $465 (including shipping) on the Internet last year.

The Black Max gives better cruise speed and fuel economy(39.5 knots top at 5250 RPM, 27.7-knot cruise at 3740 RPM @ 3.15 nautical mpg).

My recommendation is to see if you can get some "loaner" props to try before buying. All in all, if I had tried the Rev-4 before I bought it, I might NOT have bought it. Top speed & acceleration is great, but I don't run WOT all the time and I only accelerate a few times a day. $465 is still $465. I'm using the 3-blade aluminum all the time as I like cruising at 27.7 knots and getting 3.15 nmpg.


Lopaka posted 04-23-2004 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lopaka  Send Email to Lopaka     
I just had this very discussion with Johnson. I operate a 22' Law enforcement model (400 lbs extra hull wt) off shore in Hawaii. The boat is set up for diving so my usual weight is heavy with tanks etc. The Johnson rep advised me to go with a "Cyclone" 4 bladed stainless offshore prop (14.5 x 170). I had been running a 14.5 x 19 3 blade but not getting more than about 5500rpm at WOT.
rtk posted 04-23-2004 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
I have a 1997 21 Outrage, 2003 250hp EFI Mercury. Just put on a Vensura Offshore 4 blade stainless which I believe is 14 1/2 by 17. Wide open throttle RPMs are 5800. The 14 by 19 size of the same prop wide open throttle was about 5400 RPM.


LHG posted 04-26-2004 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
As I mentioned elsewhere today, I just had an enlightening hands-on experience on props with one of Mercury's technical engine/prop guys, at a recent BW factory event, so my comments here relate to Mercury's propeller products. They can be installed on any brand engine because of the new interchangeable hub system, and I would think similiar HP engines would run the same with these props. I have no experience with OMC/Bombardier propellers.

First of all, for some of the people that related their experiences here, I can say that for an offshore Whaler with high HP engine(s) (200 & over), I learned (and experienced) the Mirage Plus large diameter 3 blade, or Revolution 4 4-blade are the only two props that should be considered. Note in the Stuart photos, Cetacea Page 78, the Whaler 320 Outrage with twin 250 Optimax engines, is displayed with the Revolution 4 props. These were also being run on the two boats with 250HP and 275HP Verado 4-stroke twins installed.

Regarding Airborne, I would think JimH's initial recommendation of the 17" or 19" pitch Revolution 4 prop is good, providing overall performance and high top end is the objective. Robert (from Mercury technical division) had my 25 Outrage (twin 200 EFI's) running 60.8 MPH (by DGPS) turning a pair of 19" Rev 4's at 6300 RPM through a 1.87 gearcase. In my case, I needed 21" pitch, but the 19 is one hot prop, with effective pitch higer than indicated (or with very little slippage). If strong mid-range running and cruising is more important, the Mirage Plus will excel, but you may have to drop down to 17" pitch, since they will generally run 400 RPM less than the smaller diameter prop you are currently using.

JimP, it sounds like you should be running a 17" Mirage for your Whaler application. This will give much better performance & mid range speed than an aluminum prop. Selling the Rev 4 should be easy, as there would be a high demand for one of these used.

RTK, I almost hate to tell you this, but Mercury is no longer recommending the 4 blade Vensura (previously called Offshore - the name change is probably revealing) for engines over 175 HP. He did say they are fast on acceleration, but otherwise lacking for maximizing overall perfromance on big high HP Whalers. Mirage Plus or Rev 4 would be the prop of choice for your rig also.

rtk posted 04-26-2004 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
LHG- I appreciate the information and please do not feel bad for being the bearer of bad news. Based on the way the boat is handling in anything but calm water I agree with you- I am not happy with this prop. Having a hard time finding demo props. Mercury has "demo prop dealers" but none of them have the stainless in stock to demo. I'd really like test both the Mirage and the Rev 4 but I don't want to open up a used prop shop :).

Thanks Again,

jimp posted 04-26-2004 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     

Good info on the props. That's the type of first hand info I/we (the Forum) need(s). When I asked my Merc dealer about the Rev-4, he said "good prop will make you faster than the aluminum". The Merc prop selector listed the Rev-4 as a solution. Well, from your experience and from what I'm getting in real time, the Mirage+ may be better, which would mean selling & buying a Mirage+. I'd love to top 50 mph (47.725 is close), but mpg is a biggie for long distances in a potentially harmful environment.

Anyway, could you drop me an email at my profile email? I also have some trailer set-up questions for you regarding single bunk set-ups and stability.



LHG posted 04-28-2004 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I think I see the makings of some prop-swap business deals here. It looks like JimP's Rev 4 prop would be ideal for rtk, and rtk's prop would be ideal for someone with 150HP on an 18/19 Outrage (recent thread on this subject). Then JimP could pick up a Mirage Plus!

JimP, I'll drop you a line.

BW23 posted 04-28-2004 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
How about that 15 1/4 x 15P Mirage that you recommended for my 23 Con ?
I need to fix the 5300 denotation before I test any other props.

Thanks again for your input.

rtk posted 04-28-2004 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
LHG- I read that thread and the same thought crossed my mind. If anyone has an interest in my 14 1/2 X 17 Vensura Offshore stainless I am going to sell it once I get a prop that works for me. I actually went to order a Rev 4 prop yesterday- they were out of stock. He recommended as an alternative a Powertech 4 blade stainless that is 15 1/4 inch in diameter in a 16 pitch. I'm going to give it a go- seems like the big diameter propellers work well with this boat. If I don't like it I can exchange it for the Rev 4 or a Mirage Plus no cost to me. Plus it was less expensive then the Rev4. Should have it by Friday so I'll post results.

Thanks- Rich

Airborne posted 05-04-2004 02:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Airborne  Send Email to Airborne     
Could one of you recommend a site to purchase a Rev-4 14 1/2 x 17 hubbed for an Evinrude?
TomT posted 05-04-2004 11:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for TomT  Send Email to TomT     
Bass and Walleye Boats magazine had a 4 blade prop shootout in the Feb 2004 issue that you might find useful. Their number is 310-537-6322
LHG posted 05-04-2004 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Contact either: The website gives pricing on some props, and send e-mail for quotes on others.

or 877-930-6372 They advertize the Rev 4 at $449, all other Merc props at $399. They also have a 15 day exchange program.

Are you sure you want 17" pitch as opposed to 19"?

I have found both of these to be competitive, and near the bottom on pricing. They ship tax free out of state. Theoretically, there should be no cost for the hub substitution. The props are factory boxed with a separate boxed hub kit for Mercury. The seller then pulls out the Merc hub kit and substitutes the other brand hub kit. I have also seen these Merc hub kits sold in boating catalogs separately, for about $25. The Michigan Wheel brand hub kits also work, since they are licensed from Mercury.

Mercury recommends the medium hole size vent plugs.

BW23 posted 05-05-2004 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
Based on what I have read here and my previous post,

I ordered 2 props today from

> 15 3/4 x 15P Mirage (in stock)
> 14 5/8 x 17P(minimum) Rev 4 (on order)

These will be tested on my 23' CON w/ 225 EFI. I'm upgrading from a 14 1/2 17 P Vengeance.

I'll post numbers when I'm finished.


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