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Thread: Honda 225 Alum vs. SS and 3 vs 4 blade

  1. #1

    Default Honda 225 Alum vs. SS and 3 vs 4 blade

    I have a 2006 22' Weldcraft OceanKing with a 225 Honda on it. I misjudged the entrance to Harrison Lagoon the other day on a super low minus tide and dinged my prop pretty good. The current prop is a 3 blade 15 x 17 Solas aluminum. My question is what to replace it with - alum vs. SS; and 3 vs 4 blade. I was looking at these options:

    - status quo direct replacement with a 3 blade 15 x 17 Solas aluminum
    - Solas 3 blade stainless steel 15.25 x 17
    - Solas 4 blade 14.5 x 17
    - OR???????

    Performance with my current prop was good (before I hit the rock that is....). Jumped up on plane nicely, and I usually cruised at 3200 -3500 rpm. Top end speed is unimportant to me as I rarely go above 4000 rpm. I am getting decent fuel economy, but with the gas proces, an increase in fuel economy with a differennt prop would be very helpful. I was getting approximately 6 - 7 gph at 3200 - 3500 rpm with my old prop.

    This looks like a great forum with lots of experience. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Member GOT TOYS's Avatar
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    Default prop

    I get nearly the same perfomance out of my 2 prop choices on my 225. 15x17 aluminum, and 14.25 x 17 SS. SS has slightly better hole shot, and I prefer it. I have a 25' Kingfisher, and get 3 mpg at 4700 rpm. If I were you I would go with the 15.25x17 SS. You can maybe even run a 15x19 on your size boat. There are some pretty decent prop selector programs on line. Best to deal with a shop that will let you swap props until you get the right one. That's the ONE good thing AMDS did for me. If you don't already have a spare, buy an aluminum of different size. The SS props are heavy

  3. #3
    Member kammer's Avatar
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    Default Ask the experts

    I have heard good things about A-1 Propeller and Impeller Repair in anchorage. I personally have not dealt with them but have heard from other boaters that they can answer the questions you are asking (3 blade vs. 4 blade, ss vs. alum) without spending a lot of money testing propellers. Please post any information good or bad you get from them. Good luck.

    A-1 Propeller and Impeller Repair
    1220 E 68th Ave, Anchorage - (907) 344-7767
    Kammer
    22' Seasport

  4. #4

    Default Good advice

    Thanks - that is a good reminder about A1 Prop. I used them long ago when I was running my Zodiac with a prop up the Little Su. That is what I was looking for - a local shop with expertise.

    Thanks again for the replies!

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I can only provide a minor comment comparing a 3 blade suzuki to 4 blade solas on my suzuki 140. I was hoping going from the 3 blade 14X19 to 4 blade 13 7/8 X 17 would improve my mileage. What I found for my application is that while I picked up 300 rpm at the same speed, my fuel consumption was the same, but I lost 2 knots off the top end.

    In general the 4 blade props will help a touch in holeshot and in the midrange, but sacrifice top end.

    As far as aluminum vs ss, ss is supposed to provide a bit more top end as the blades don't flex under load, but they cost 2-3 times more than aluminum, and when you get into the rocks, your bottom end takes the abuse that your aluminum prop would have taken.

    To my way of thinking, the minor improvement in mileage you might get form a ss prop will take a long time to make up for the higher initial cost, and that savings will be blown if you ever hit anything with it.

  6. #6

    Default

    Good points, especially on the alum vs. SS question. OK, the Stainless prop will tranfer the force or an object strike up to the shaft and motor, but they look SO good heading down the Seward Highway heading to Whittier or Seward!!!

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I was all set on getting a stainless prop, until I did this to my aluminum prop on my first trip out this year.



    With all the stuff that can be floating in the water, logs, commercial fishing gear, and the various shoal areas, I find it hard to justify a stainless prop. I ran all of last year with no spare prop and didn't put a ding on it. This year I picked up a spare prop, hoping to gain some efficiency, and destroyed it the first trip out.

    Unless you are way off on propping your boat, I seriously doubt you'll see a signifigant gain in mileage by repropping. You'll gain more by monitoring fuel flow and trimming out the boat for best efficiency, as well as backing off on the throttle.

  8. #8

    Default

    Having spent a ton of time around outboards both large and small, here is a quick rundown of what my experience has been for both alum and ss props.

    SS props generally run a smaller pitch to the equivalent of the alum as the flex of a 19 pitch alum for example actually ends up closer to a 17.5 on the top end. So, the SS prop would need to be a smaller pitched prop to be the same equivalent of the alum.

    SS props don't cavitate as easily as an alum prop so if you were trying to trim the motor up higher, (usually pretty high before it makes a difference), the SS prop will perform better than alum.

    If you were running a lot of sandy rivers where you bump the sandbars quite a bit, I'd say go for the SS as this does not bother the shaft or lower unit but just kills the alum props w/ only a couple hits. The SS props just hold up much longer in the sand.

    Hitting rocks, logs, or other heavy/hard debris on a SS prop however do have a tendancy to bend propshafts, and cause other problems with lower units whereas the aluminum prop sort of becomes the cheaper item to replace.

    Last but not least, because the weight of the SS prop is sooo much heavier than the alum prop, if you do a lot of shifting or are one of those guys who likes to go from forward to reverse at the dock w/o any pausing in neutral, the sudden jarring of direction changing of the prop can and usually does cause problems w/ the dogs wearing down in the lower unit much sooner than alum props. Whew, sorry for the long sentence there. Anyhow, most sport boats don't have too much of an issue because they shift so rarely, however like when I was commercial fishing dungi's and shifting all the time, there is no way I could have made it through a single season using a SS prop. I would have had to rebuild the lower unit at least once before the season was out.

    Hope this helps, and in my opinion I'd save the money from your SS prop option and go for the new aluminum prop w/ another alum for a spare. As far as 3 blade vs 4 blade, I can't help you there, never used the 4 blade myself.

  9. #9
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Default

    Look at the wooldridge website:

    http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/brochures/index.htm

    Then click on its either a 23 or 24 SuperSport Pilothouse with a 225 Honda and they have a performacen bulliten. 5MPG!!! at cruise I think its a Powertech prop but it is in the sheet.

    Sobie2

  10. #10

    Default Thanks Wasillaguy! One more Q!

    I am going to go with aluminum 3 blade at this point.

    A1 Props in Anchorage has two aluminum options in stock, a Solas 14.8 x 17 which is very close the the original 15 x 17, and a 15.5 x 17 Solas Amita 3+ which has bigger blades and is designed for "heavier boats". Should I stick with as close as I can get to my original prop (the 14.8) or go with his recommendation for the + model for heavier boats? I am a bit worried about the bigger blades creating mroe drag less economy,etc.

    Any thoughts? Thanks again for your great reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by wasillaguy View Post
    Having spent a ton of time around outboards both large and small, here is a quick rundown of what my experience has been for both alum and ss props.

    SS props generally run a smaller pitch to the equivalent of the alum as the flex of a 19 pitch alum for example actually ends up closer to a 17.5 on the top end. So, the SS prop would need to be a smaller pitched prop to be the same equivalent of the alum.

    SS props don't cavitate as easily as an alum prop so if you were trying to trim the motor up higher, (usually pretty high before it makes a difference), the SS prop will perform better than alum.

    If you were running a lot of sandy rivers where you bump the sandbars quite a bit, I'd say go for the SS as this does not bother the shaft or lower unit but just kills the alum props w/ only a couple hits. The SS props just hold up much longer in the sand.

    Hitting rocks, logs, or other heavy/hard debris on a SS prop however do have a tendancy to bend propshafts, and cause other problems with lower units whereas the aluminum prop sort of becomes the cheaper item to replace.

    Last but not least, because the weight of the SS prop is sooo much heavier than the alum prop, if you do a lot of shifting or are one of those guys who likes to go from forward to reverse at the dock w/o any pausing in neutral, the sudden jarring of direction changing of the prop can and usually does cause problems w/ the dogs wearing down in the lower unit much sooner than alum props. Whew, sorry for the long sentence there. Anyhow, most sport boats don't have too much of an issue because they shift so rarely, however like when I was commercial fishing dungi's and shifting all the time, there is no way I could have made it through a single season using a SS prop. I would have had to rebuild the lower unit at least once before the season was out.

    Hope this helps, and in my opinion I'd save the money from your SS prop option and go for the new aluminum prop w/ another alum for a spare. As far as 3 blade vs 4 blade, I can't help you there, never used the 4 blade myself.

  11. #11
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    If you do not ding them Mike at A-1 will swap you out at no charge if he has them in stock. I have been trying out different ones all season trying to squeeze the most economy out of my F250's. If he has to order them, I pay the shipping. Try a stainless in both 3 and 4 blade. I am not sure what size you need. You never stated your WOT. Do you have those numbers?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  12. #12

    Default A1 Prop Shop is Great!

    It is SSOOOO nice to find a knowledgable, helpful shop to work with. Mike and Eric down at A1 are just that - great to work with. Mike will work with you to find the right prop for your use. By the way they are not on 68th anymore, they are on Potter between A and C streets.

    I finally decided to go with a 3 blade aluminum and use the extra cost savings vs. stainless to buy a fuel management system. I changed to a Solas Amita 3ME+ which is designed for heavier boats and has a bigger blade.

    And I am going to try and avoid the rocks..........

    Thanks to everyone for their input and thoughts!

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