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Looking for a top speed prop

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Old 10-06-2016, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default Looking for a top speed prop

99 Shabah 202 5.7L A1

I've searched and searched and of course with props it seems there's never a definitive answer, results vary boat to boat, but I'd like to at least get some good suggestions from you guys with knowledge on the subject.

Currently running a Solas 4 blade aluminum prop, I can't tell what pitch. Is there any way to tell by looking at it? At WOT I see around 4400-4500 RPMs and around 51-52 MPH on the speedo (not sure how accurate) with three adults, a full tank of gas, and not really any gear in the boat. I'm basically at sea level here on the TN river. Yes there is a whale tail on it and yes I hope to ditch it in favor of some tabs but I'm still learning what tabs would suit me best...

I won't do much skiing or wake boarding with this boat although I will do some tubing, but most of the time in it will be spent running up and down the river to different areas, some times 15-20 miles one way. I'd like to get the most speed I can get out of the setup, cruising and top speed.

What prop would you guys recommend? What changes can be made to improve and get what I'm looking for? Thanks in advance for the input!
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  • Old 10-12-2016, 06:09 PM   #2

    baholtz is currently offline
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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    I have a 98 202 with the 305 and am using a Mercury HighFive 19". https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/...ries/highfive/

    I'm at about 4700 elev. so I loose some performance. I can see about 46-48 mph (not verified) when it's just me and nice and calm. Used to run a 21 3 blade but wanted better hole shot. Dropping to the 19 highfive didn't change my top end by more than 1-3 mph and helped alot with hole shot. We usually run about 3,400 rpm for cruising, at about 30-32mph... That's the smoothest ride in rough water. I'm able to stay on plain down to about 2,800rpm with this setup...

    You might look at a 21 since you have more power and lower in elevation.

    Usually the prop info is engraved or cast on it somewhere. Take a look, I bet you can find the pitch.
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    Old 10-13-2016, 03:44 PM   #3

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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    Did u read any of the 3 Stickies at the top of the Prop Talk forum? Your prop size & pitch is usually stamped on the inside of the hub and with that info the Stickies will guide u to the answers u seek.
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    Old 11-10-2016, 04:14 PM   #4
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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    I did end up finding the stamp on the old prop, it was a 19 pitch. After doing more reading and thinking I decided to get the exact same 4 blade 19p in a stainless prop, and got it installed while it was in to get winterized.

    I'm happy with how the boat planes out and cruises now, and pretty impressed with the top speed already, so I decided to stick with the same specs on the prop. I'm already itching for spring and ready to get back on the water!
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    Old 11-10-2016, 05:05 PM   #5

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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    So you saw a difference in the aluminum to SS? Man, I would think at your elevation and with the 5.7 you would be able to jump to the 21 pitch. We ran a 21 Hi-Five for awhile, but weren't happy with holeshot when the boat was loaded.

    Check out the smart tabs threads. I put these on last year and have been pretty happy with them. Getting on plane is immediate, and I've noticed a smoother ride when cruising.
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    Thank you baholtz for this useful post!
    Firestone (04-13-2017)
    Old 11-11-2016, 01:50 PM   #6
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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by baholtz View Post
    So you saw a difference in the aluminum to SS? Man, I would think at your elevation and with the 5.7 you would be able to jump to the 21 pitch. We ran a 21 Hi-Five for awhile, but weren't happy with holeshot when the boat was loaded.
    I won't have the chance to test out the new SS prop until spring, I just meant I was already happy with the way the boat handled with the aluminum prop. I'm sure the change to SS won't affect too much, from all the reading I've done it seems they perform a little better all the way around the spectrum, hole shot, top speed, etc... And I shouldn't have to worry about replacing it ever again, hopefully!

    Between the new SS prop and giving the hull a GOOD cleaning, buff, and wax job this winter, I feel like I should still pick up a few mph on the top end.
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    Last edited by MTH; 11-11-2016 at 02:02 PM.
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    Old 11-11-2016, 02:00 PM   #7
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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by baholtz View Post
    Check out the smart tabs threads. I put these on last year and have been pretty happy with them. Getting on plane is immediate, and I've noticed a smoother ride when cruising.
    I still have so much reading to do on the tabs. I understand how they work and the benefits of them. What I'm trying to decide, is it REALLY worth drilling holes in the boat to install these? For my situation I'm not sure yet, and the thought of drilling for installation scares me a little bit.
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    Old 11-17-2016, 09:56 PM   #8

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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    Yes, totally worth it. Just for the bow rise when coming out of the hole. It almost eliminates that... Smart tabs were nice, if I had the money I'd look at some trim tabs with electronic solenoids.
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    Old 01-03-2017, 01:20 PM   #9

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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    Question? I have the same boat as MTH except its a 4.3LH which is listed on my top cover, common sense would be for me to get a counter clockwise prop is that correct? I'm just trying to get an understanding. I went on iBoats and they have those two options of counter and standard.
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    Old 04-13-2017, 12:04 AM   #10

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    Default Re: Looking for a top speed prop

    You have to check what you have on it. Most people run standard

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    Thank you Firestone for this useful post!
    motofun (05-08-2021)
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