You may wonder how we go about testing props. We have a number of our own outboard and sterndrive boats that we use for initial testing. Nevertheless, I’m a firm believer of getting feedback from those who use the product everyday in the real world. Recently, I wanted feedback on performance differences between our Lab Finished Bravo I and Pro Finish Bravo I XS outboard props. My target applications were Walleye and bass anglers.
My colleagues at Mercury (known internally as, “The Big House” or “Mother Mercury”) provide me access to members of the Mercury Pro Angler Team. Walleye pro, Pat Neu of Forestville, Wisconsin, is my Walleye test guy.
Pat runs a 2011 Ranger 620VS Dual Console Walleye boat powered by a Mercury 250 ProXS. He also has a Mercury 9.9 Pro Kicker. The boat was initially rigged and dialed-in with a stock, 21-inch pitch Mercury Tempest prop. The boat ran great and most people would be satisfied. Not Pat.
Like most pros and enthusiasts, Pat is continuously tweaking his set-up for improvement in overall boat performance. Pat was very receptive to my request for some feedback on our Bravo outboard props on his rig. Mercury Racing is the only propeller manufacturer to provide outboard variants of the Mercury Bravo sterndrive prop (see my blog post, Bravo for Outboards, Yes!).
Pat did back-to-back runs — up to wide open throttle (WOT) — comparing the Lab Finished Bravo I with the Pro Finish Bravo I XS. Both props were 22-inch pitch. The tests were completed with a full fuel tank, tournament gear (all compartments full) and two anglers in the boat, each weighing approximately 210 lbs.
Bravo I Lab Finished…
RPM @ WOT: 5,850 (full tank of fuel). Speed @ WOT: 57 MPH. Hole shot: 4-5 seconds. Price (MSRP): $1,162.
Bravo I XS…
RPM @ WOT: 5,750 (full tank of fuel). Speed @ WOT: 56 MPH. Hole Shot: 5-6 seconds. MSRP: $708.
Pat noted both Bravo props didn’t care how much weight is in the boat but noticed the engine would tick the rev limitor when the fuel level reached less than half a tank. Pat suggested those who plan to run lighter loads move up to a 23-inch pitch Bravo I XS prop. As you can see, both props ran very well on Pat’s rig.
If your interested in fishing and getting a turn-key, dialed in rig off the show room floor, a Ranger 620VS Dual Console Walleye boat is a great choice. If your like Pat, and want to get the most out of your boat, you’ll want to consider our Bravo outboard prop options.