What size prop?
I will be running a 200 Optimax on my 23 foot Wooldridge Alaskan moose hunting up to the Koyukuk river. Since we need to carry a lot of gas and gear the wet weight of the boat including passengers will be appriximately 5,000 pounds.
What size and style of prop would you folks recommend? Three or four blade? Alunimum or stainless? Pitch size?
I have zero interest in trying to see how fast I can go. I need holeshot capability. Low to mid 30's is all the speed I need for crusing.
Ok these questions never get replies because there are just too many variables.
BUT... with that said, you'll want 4 blades and a prop that will give you a lot of stern lift (what gets you on plane) and thrust. Bass boats want a prop with bow lift so they can fly. Pitch, no boday can help you there that is what you'll have to work with. A good prop shop will let you try before you buy and might even come out with you and a bunch of props.
I don't know what kind of river the Koyukuk is but a sandy one will be good candidate for stainless cause hitting a sand bar will seriously wear out an aluminum. A rocky river and you'll want aluminum.
Lastly and I highly recommend you get a stingray or doel fin type bolt on hydrofoil which help you hop up on plane. Fortunately you have a small lightweight boat and a lot of hp.
Been Down This River
I went through this last year. I would say that a 17 would give you more than enough hole shot. Might get by with a 19. Either should get you into the mid 30s the 19 will be at or over 40 mph. That's the numbers I saw on my 21ft wooldridge with a 150 Honda. You should just have more payload with the extra power. As said above if it's rocky go with Aluminum, so the prop can break before the lower unit. Take a spare or 2. This is my best SWAG. I have never used 4 blades. Try a couple different Aluminum ones in different pitches. The range should be 15, 17, or 19. You can have one repitched an inch either way. Happy Spending!!!! I used a 17 on my boat and it could have used a 19. I like the extra power and payload and the extra power comes into play more than speed for me out in PWS.
This boat has never seen water yet and it will only be used for moose hunting. I heard 4 blade props gave a better holeshot, any truth to this?
4 blade 3 blade
yes 4 blade will do the hole shot BUT you have to have the HP (HP to Boat weight Ratio) on the hi side.
You can see a lot of info in not too much on piranha.com about props and they know and can answer a lot of questions. I have used them for 15 years and have saved me money.
Never heard of a prop shop giving some one blades to try, check out there swap prop deal.
Here's what I did on a couple different boats I have taken up there. Get a handful of different size props, two or three 55 gallon drums and head to the lake. Fill drums with water and start testing props. I've used an electric sump pump with a small generator to fill drums. Put as much weight on your boat as possible. If you score up there you'll be packing alot of weight coming back up river.
I run stainless props and haven't had a problem. Stainless will not flex like aluminum especially when pushing a heavy load. I run turbo props and usually run a 17 pitch on the way down river and put a 15 on coming back due to loads and running up river.
Just make sure you have everything right before taking off... it's a long boat ride.