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BigSwen

Prop Advice...Any suggestions?

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Hi guys: I wanted to see what your opinions may be on what to try with my boat. I have a 2006 Alumicraft Dominator with a Mercury 115 4 stroke motor. The boat is rated for a 150, but as we know, that was extra dollars at the time I got it. When I got the boat, it came with a 19 pitch prop. It would hardly get it out of the water with me in it, much less with passengers and livewells full of water. I put a 17 pitch prop on it, and it works pretty well with two guys and full water in the wells. However, put a third or fourth person in it and it won't plane up without a long run. What would be the next step? With the 17 pitch prop, I turn 5800-6000 rpms with it trimmed up and top out at 36 mph on the gps. What I would really like is a quicker start. Would trying a stainless prop give me any advantages there? I don't want to drop the 5500 bucks needed to get the bigger motor.

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Stainless will definitely help as the blades will flex less. I have been using a High 5 and love it. Hole shot is great, but you don't get the best top end. I've heard of some dealers that have demo props, this could be an option for you.

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I've got a 2007 Lund Explorer Sport with the same motor and these boats are similar in design. I had the same experience as you with both a 19 and 17 pitched props. I called Soderbloom's Props (FM sponsor) and they recommended a 15 stainless. This is the prop that the boat needed as I now get a great hole shot even with 4 adults and it runs at 44mph WOT. I would call Soderbloom's and get a recommendation.

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Not that this post will help your situation but it always amazes me that a dealer will let a boat go out of the showroom with such a mismatch in the prop. I have bought two boats from Dan’s Marine in Bloomington in the past six years and both were propped correctly right out of the gate. Sorry I can’t help you select the right prop, but your dealer sure did not do you any favors……

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A stainless prop will definitely help with better holeshot as well as higher top end.

Also be aware that stainless is less forgiving than aluminum if you hit something with the prop - with aluminum you'll chip the prop up, with stainless you'll do lower unit internal damage.

marine_man

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I've got a 2007 Lund Explorer Sport with the same motor and these boats are similar in design. I had the same experience as you with both a 19 and 17 pitched props. I called Soderbloom's Props (FM sponsor) and they recommended a 15 stainless. This is the prop that the boat needed as I now get a great hole shot even with 4 adults and it runs at 44mph WOT. I would call Soderbloom's and get a recommendation.

Thats good advice there.

Stainless props are more aggressive than aluminum props and usually you have go down and inch or two in pitch when going to stainless from an aluminum prop. Overall a stainless prop will hold better and overall perform better than an aluminum prop on a boat with trim/tilt.

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soderbloom has a prop calculator right on their HSOforum that will get you 95% of the way to the right prop, stainless or aluminum... Hard place to call, I ALWAYS get a busy signal when I call there. I only had any luck going through their HSOforum and contacting via email. I bet I called there 10 times last month when I was trying to pick up our new prop and never got through. Emailed and got a quick response, ordered off the HSOforum and had it in three days.

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Jay and Chris are quite busy and if you cant get to them on the phone leave them a e-mail with a # to call and they will get back to you ASAP. You wouldnt believe how many props he has in the shop that are there to get fixed. crazy

Add docks, Ice Houses, Deer Stands and all the catalog orders and I cant believe he even has time to eat. grin

Great people and honest as they come.

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Thanks for all the advice! I will have to go do the prop/pitch calculator on line and maybe give them a call. You were right about the dealer sending it out without knowing what they were doing...Along with the crappy trailer they wouldn't work with, I know I wouldn't do business there again!

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Depending on what year your motor is the max RPM is either 6400 or 6000. I believe the newer 115s made by Merc go to 6400 and the older ones made by Yamaha go to 6000. Regardless you are going to want to get as close to max RPM as possible.

I would recommend a stainless prop for sure. I think a 16 pitch Mercury Vengence would be your best bet. The lower the pitch the better hole shot you get.

You could also consider a 17 pitch Mercury Tempest. The stainless will give you better performance than the 17 aluminum you are running.

If you go to a good dealer they should let you try several props. Also, you may want to check what hole your motor is mounted in. If it is too low you want get good performance no matter what the prop or motor is. Finally, if you set your boat up to run best with 3 or 4 guys, full livewells, etc and you happen to go out with less than a "full-load" you are likely to over-rev the motor because you have a lighter load to push. Set the boat up for a typical load you normally fish with and go from there. If you only have a 115 on the boat you described and than have a heavy load you aren't going to get great performance no matter what prop you run.

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Also be aware that stainless is less forgiving than aluminum if you hit something with the prop - with aluminum you'll chip the prop up, with stainless you'll do lower unit internal damage.marine_man

I have personally felt this pain. It's your boat so do as you feel is best. As for me, I'll sacrifice the performance a stainless prop gives as I can no longer afford to fix lower units from hitting stuff underwater. The advice given to contact Soderblooms is the best advice given. E-mail is the best option as they are uber busy but will get you info via e-mail quickly. They are top notch stand up guys that really do know what they're talking about.

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Just a thought here, but since you have power trim have you tried trimming the motor in to get the boat on plane? If the motor is trimmed out it will push the stern of the boat down and take longer to plane off.

My current boat (20' Viper F/S with a 200 mercury, 23" Tempest prop) needs this trick if it is carrying a load.

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I always start it out with the trim all the way "down" if that is what you mean by "in". After I get on plane, I trim it "up" or "out" until it maxes out the rpm's or bounces a little too much, whichever comes first. I tried the Soderblom's site, and the boat chooser must be a bit out of date, it doesn't list the Dominator for a model choice. I'll have to e-mail them when I get some more time to play with it. I run the river a lot in the summer up here, so I worry a little about the stainless, but I may just give it a try.

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