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Author Topic:   Mercury MIRACLE Propeller
jimh posted 01-23-2015 06:24 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The February issue--and here issue refers to a particular magazine publication in a sequence to publications, and not a minor problem--of BOATING magazine announced on its cover:


I turned immediately to page 71 to read the article, written by Charles Plueddeman, which has the somewhat less enthusiastic title, "Mercury's Enertia ECO Prop."

The article begins with this sentence in BOLD:

Would you pay $795 to improve the fuel economy and range of your boat by 10 percent?

Plueddeman writes:

...we were...skeptical. But we are skeptical no longer. We've tested the Enertia ECO, and it works as promised. Way better than promised, in fact.

The article also declares that the propeller is made from a special alloy. The special allow is described as follows:


Plueddeman says that the results of his extensive testing show the Enertia ECO propeller delivered far more than the claimed 10-percent improvement. Plueddeman says his test data showed a 21-percent improvement over reference propellers like the MIRAGEplus and REVOLUTION4.

There you go, folks. A MIRACLEPROP. A 21-PERCENT IMPROVEMENT. A SPECIAL ALLOY. All for only $795.

Peter posted 01-24-2015 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The only data that I have seen published until now showed a 10 percent improvement over a Revolution 4. Based on my own experience with the Mirage Plus and the Revolution 4 on the same boat with the same motors and the same fuel flow measuring instrument, the fuel economy of the Mirage Plus was 10 percent better than the Revolution 4.

In my opinion, the Enertia is the propeller that the Enertia Eco should be compared against. Why don't they test it against the plain vanilla Enertia?

Jefecinco posted 01-24-2015 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     


Teak Oil posted 01-24-2015 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
The ECO likes to be run deep, low on the transom, on heavy boats that need big diameter propellers. The results are negligible on classic Boston Whaler boats, but the deep v-types like Regulator and Yellowfin should see a benefit.

I intend to try a standard Enertia to compare with the ECO I had last spring.

jimh posted 01-25-2015 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Right now for $795 you can buy a lot of gasoline. At the price of $1.77-per-gallon that gasoline was being sold for in Michigan this week, that is about 450-gallons of gasoline.

My annual fuel consumption for my boat is around 266-gallons. If the Mercury MIRACLE propeller cut my fuel consumption by ten-percent, I'd save 27-gallons per year. At today's price, that is $48 in gasoline saved.

I'd be spending $795 in order to save $48 per year, so it would take about 17-years to recover the cost of the propeller in saved gasoline.

I know gasoline is not very expensive now, and that makes the comparison a bit tilted from what it might have been a year ago, but, in the present moment, I'd be looking at a 17-year payback period to recover the cost of the propeller in saved fuel. And that is only if I keep boating at my present rate of boating for all that time.

Also, the projection of fuel savings is really not proper as I have done it above. The propeller only saves fuel in a certain speed range. It probably does not save fuel at idle speeds or slow, off-plane speeds. And it may not save much at really high speeds. It saves fuel over a certain range--let's be honest, it is not a miracle. In consideration of that, it may be an over-estimate to think it will cut your annual fuel consumption by the claimed percentage that is demonstrated at the most favorable speeds. It would only do that if you ran at that most favorable speed all the time.

If gasoline goes back to $9-per-gallon, the payback gets a lot shorter. If you run your boat 100-hours per month, it gets a lot shorter.

acseatsri posted 01-25-2015 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
After reading the thread linked below, it appears that the $360 Suzuki 16D x 18.5P 3 blade prop performs nearly IDENTICALLY to the $600 19" ECO. Tom Clark seemed to sum it up best with his comment that the ECO seemed to perform best when tested on boats which were set up and poorly propped to begin with. 546135-mercury-enertia-eco-test-results-14.html

jimh posted 01-26-2015 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Those observations may be true, but I don't see any headlines on magazine covers that declare the Suzuki propeller to be a MIRACLE PROP. Maybe Charles Plueddenman needs to write the article.
K Albus posted 01-26-2015 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Jim, you calculation for payback on the propeller are incorrect. You should not consider the total cost of a new Enertia Eco prop. You should only consider the incremental cost of the prop. At a well-known discount Mercury propeller deal, you'll pay about $50 extra for an Enertia Eco over a Revolution 4, or about $100 extra over a MiragePlus. Based on your calculations, it would only take you 1-2 years to recover the difference through fuel savings.

In your case, you could sell your used MiragePlus for say $250. You could then purchase an Enertia Eco for $525. It would only take you 6 years to recover the price difference. And that's based on today's low fuel prices. If fuel prices go back up, your payback period decreases.

jimh posted 01-26-2015 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Unless you don't own any propeller, my calculations are correct. Most of us already have propellers on our outboard engines. I have a Mercury MIRAGEplus 17-pitch. If anyone wants to buy it, let me have your offer. I know the value is going down all the time, because it is not a miracle propeller.
K Albus posted 01-27-2015 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Easy, Jim! It was Boating Magazine, and not Mercury Marine, which dubbed the Enertia Eco a "miracle" prop.

By the way, you're not the target market for the Enertia Eco. The Boating Magazine articles points out at least a couple of times that the Enertia Eco was designed for use on 250 and 300 hp Verado motors. I seem to recall it also suggests that the Enertia Eco is best suited to multi-engine set-ups.

All of the evidence seems to indicate that the Enertia Eco would be an excellent propeller choice for somebody buying one of the large new, multi-engine Boston Whalers. The price differential over the other Mercury props would be paid for by fuel savings in only a season or two.

You're probably right about the value of your MiragePlus falling, though. That's an old-technology prop. Maybe we should start calling it a MiragasaurusPlus.

jimh posted 01-27-2015 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Kevin--yes, I did note the article's mention that the impetus for development of this miracle propeller was from owners of VERADO-powered boats who wanted to have improved fuel economy for their VERADO engines. Perhaps there is something about the VERADO engine's power curve, its fuel efficiency curve, and its gear case design that causes the ECO ENERTIA propeller to work a miracle when on those engines.

It has been my impression, gained from my own experience, that propellers work differently with different engines. Variations in the gear case design could easily affect how the propeller operates. The mounting height could also affect propeller operation. Giving some thought to the engine's power curve and fuel efficiency curve may also be necessary. Maybe a propeller tweaked for a certain engine load and engine speed range, where BSFC is best, can extract better performance. It is all very reasonable to me on a scientific basis. The concern is in regard to whether the miracle can be repeated.

Charles Plueddeman tested the ENERTIA ECO and found it made a 21-percent improvement. That is just one set of data. The editor of the magazine probably decided to make it a "miracle." But, I think he might be right. It sounds rather miraculous to me. Maybe Plueddeman's experiments are like those with cold-fusion: hard to duplicate by others.

OMCguru posted 01-27-2015 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for OMCguru  Send Email to OMCguru     
It is a shame that Evinrude engines can not use a 16" diameter propeller.
jimh posted 01-28-2015 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Kevin--You can't really give the MIRAGEplus a new name. There are two reasons.

First, it already has a very clear and unambiguous name. There is no confusion about the identity of the propeller.

Second, the use of the "-saurus" suffix with the intention of conveying a sense of being from long ago is inappropriate in this case. The MIRAGEplus probably first came out a couple of decades ago. We don't need to change its name now, because it is not a new product.

It might be clever to suggest a name with a "-saurus" suffix for a product that was newly created and just introduced--with a lot of fanfare--but actually contained very old and obsolete technology, a product that reversed the trend of development and reverted to old ways. I think that would be a fair use of the "-saurus" suffix. But the MIRAGEplus does not qualify, as I explained above, because it is not a new product being introduced whose technology actually reverses the trend of development to a much earlier time.

So on that clear, logical, and indisputable basis, I will just keep calling the MIRAGEplus propeller by its well-known, long-established, and unambiguous name.

But, I do agree, that the more people like Charles Plueddeman and the editors of BOATING magazine publish incredibly enthusiastic reviews for the ENERTIA ECO, the more boaters might think they can just dial-up a 21-percent improvement in fuel economy by changing from a propeller like a MIRAGEplus to an ENERTIA ECO. That will tend to reduce the re-sale value of my propeller. I mean, let's be honest, who wants just a propeller when you can have a miracle propeller.

jimh posted 01-28-2015 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Re the propeller aperture on Evinrude engines, I bet the new Evinrude 74-degree V6 engines have a larger aperture that can handle a 16-inch diameter propeller.
acseatsri posted 02-05-2015 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Just a heads up- the Mercury Enertia Eco MIRACLE PROPELLER is now available in 17 pitch.
jimh posted 02-05-2015 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The test data presented by Charles Plueddeman really is miraculous. At some speeds he cites more than 40-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the other propellers tested. The other propellers tested are not slouches--they're some of Mercury's best propellers. Also, Plueddeman says there was no loss of speed or acceleration.

The message I get from this is that Mercury should suspend manufacture of all their other propellers and only produce and sell this MIRACLE PROPELLER. If Plueddeman's test data is valid and can be expected to be obtained by others, why would an outboard engine boater choose any other propeller? There is no loss of acceleration. There is no loss of top speed. And the fuel economy increases, not by ten-percent, not by 20-percent, but by over 40-percent. This is a miracle. I expect that once a wider audience of boaters than those dedicated readers of BOATING magazine learn of this, sales of all other propellers, both Mercury-brand and other brands, will come to a halt. The other propeller makers will end up having only the Mercury-haters, the deny-ers, as customers, people who would rather waste money on fuel than admit Mercury makes the best propeller on the planet.

K Albus posted 02-05-2015 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Please post a picture when you purchase your non-Mercury propeller.
OMCguru posted 02-05-2015 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for OMCguru  Send Email to OMCguru     
Sadly not everyone can use a 16-inch diameter propeller as the older gearcase designs do not allow it. It is a shame since most all of the first hand reviews show a positive increase in performance and economy.

For the $579 price tag online for the Enertia Eco it seems like a very affordable upgrade. I suspect that many of negative comments are coming from people who have not tried the propeller or can not use it do to the older designed gearcase clearance issues.

It seems like a case of sour grapes.

acseatsri posted 02-05-2015 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
""For the $579 price tag online for the Enertia Eco it seems like a very affordable upgrade. I suspect that many of negative comments are coming from people who have not tried the propeller or can not use it do to the older designed gearcase clearance issues.

It seems like a case of sour grapes.""

Or maybe a case of "If it sounds too good to be true, it's because it IS too good to be true."

jimh posted 02-05-2015 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The most amazing element of Plueddeman's story is a narrative explaining why the MIRACLE propeller was developed. According to the article, Mercury began development of this propeller only three years ago because a few owners of boats with VERADO engines asked them if they could make a propeller that would improve the fuel economy from their VERADO engines. According to the story, a propeller engineer with 30-years experience with Mercury responded with the ENERTIA ECO. What I find fascinating: why didn't Mercury think of this themselves about 30 years ago? But, I do want to thank those unnamed owners of VERADO engines for bringing up this idea to Mercury. Without them we'd be stuck with the REVOLUTION4, perhaps to be re-named the NOT-A-REVOLUTION4, and the MIRAGEplus, perhaps to be re-named the MIRAGEminus. A big boater-to-boater thank you to those VERADO-engine-owners who were tired of the lousy fuel economy they were getting with their supercharged engines. Without them we'd have no MIRACLE.
acseatsri posted 02-05-2015 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
""A big boater-to-boater thank you to those VERADO-engine-owners who were tired of the lousy fuel economy they were getting with their supercharged engines. Without them we'd have no MIRACLE.""


Jim, I think an equal amount of kudos should go to the designers of Flo-scan and other fuel flow measurement devices as well as the people who invented GPS. Without these instruments, we'd never really know what kind of efficiencies we are getting. :)

jimh posted 02-06-2015 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One thing to keep in mind: people who believe in miracles tend to be very strong in their faith. I mean, let one 14-year-old girl see a vision of Mary, and you can get a three centuries of believers. I don't know if the ENERTIA ECO will have as many followers or if they will hold their beliefs that long, but, if the propeller is truly is a miracle, we may have another Lourdes on our hands.


K Albus posted 02-09-2015 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Another thing to keep in mind: Don Quixote believed he was fighting giants, but they were really windmills.
jimh posted 02-11-2015 07:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't think Charles Plueddeman and Miguel de Cervantes are quite comparable as fiction writers.
mkelly posted 02-21-2015 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for mkelly  Send Email to mkelly     
I have a 22' Sportcraft Grady knockoff that comes in at 2,800 lbs dry weight, has a hardtop & a newer 200 HP ETEC. We a four blade Cyclone (I can't remember the specs) but it does wonderfully getting out of the hole & keep an absolute true speed....the only downshot & something we've talked about on this site is it only turns the motor 5,000-5,100 at WOT. I was told this is "lugging" the engine & problematic stress condition. I would willing to fork up the $$ if anyone has any experience or data with this propeller & my size boat. I have the motor on its highest mounting height although I still can not see the ventilation plate while cruising.
jimh posted 02-22-2015 01:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Charles Plueddeman has his first convert.
acseatsri posted 02-22-2015 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Re the 22 sport craft - I doubt yor rig will be able to spin the lowest pitch miracle propeller available (17 inch). You're probably looking at closer to a 15 pitch.

Looks like there won't be any miracles in your future.

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