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Thread: Stainless Advantage

  1. #1

    Question Stainless Advantage

    I have a friend who says by replaceing his 3 bladed aluminum prop with a 4 bladed stainless, he's gained 20% more power and milage. I think he's just saying this because of his $500 investment and is too proud to say otherwise. I think that while there may be a sight improvement, 20% is physically impossible.

    What are your expereinces with this comparison? I'm sure there are other threads that hash this out, but I'd like something fresh.

    Doug
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  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I would say that your friend did not pay very close attention in math class! The benefits of stainless as that I have experienced are:

    *props don't flex. This translates to more efficiency. This is especially noticeable on the higher hp motors. In fact, my F250's require stainless.

    *no more dings when blowing through the kelp. (I will come back to this one)

    *motors can be run up a bit higher due to the increased number of blades. (still need to play with that one)

    *The polished stainless are very pretty...chicks dig shiny things.

    The cons that I have/might experience are:

    *hit something hard enough while blowing through the kelp and the lower unit will give. This could happen with aluminum too.

    *expensive.

    *my wife is not impressed with the shine.

    Your friend really is not comparing apples to apples either. THere is a big difference between 3 and 4 blade props. It has been my experience that you gain hole shot, better maneuvering at the dock, stern lift, and better cruise efficiency going to a 4 blade. The 3 blades I sea trialed gave me a couple mph higher top end, but a 3-5 mph slower cruise. I am more about practicality and the 4-bladers won for me. A-1 prop will allow you to test props out. That is what I did.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member GOT TOYS's Avatar
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    Default SS prop

    I've tried a few, 3-blade, 4-blade, ss and aluminum. The only thing that makes sense here is he was pitched wrong with his aluminum prop. The two props I ended up with: SS 3 x 14 1/4" x 17P, which I run, and an aluminum 3 x 15" x 17P, now used for spare. They perform very close to each other. The SS has better hole shot, and the aluminum has a little better top end. I only paid $230 for my Honda SS prop, got lucky there.
    Kingfisher 2525. 225, 20, and 2hp Hondas.

  4. #4

    Talking Enough Said

    Thanks Guys. I figured as much.
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    Default an honest salesman

    I actually had a salesman tell me he'd gladly sell me an SS prop but said I out sale SS with aluminum 10 to 1. He said it just is not necessary or substanially beneficial...

  6. #6

    Talking I'm sure

    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag View Post
    I actually had a salesman tell me he'd gladly sell me an SS prop but said I out sale SS with aluminum 10 to 1. He said it just is not necessary or substanially beneficial...
    It all comes down to Pete's hypothosis: Chicks like dig things.
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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    It all comes down to Pete's hypothosis: Chicks like dig things.
    With the smaller outboards I do not believe that you will see a performance difference between the two. I most certainly noticed a difference all the way around with my F100's on the old hewescraft. Go talk with Mike at A-1. He carries solas or contact these guys: http://propgods.com/content/index.aspx
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If he gained a 20% improvement then his original 3 bladed aluminum prop was not the right prop for his engine and perhaps was already damaged.

    I haven't tried a ss prop yet as I'd much rather total a $150-200 aluminum prop and hopefully save my lower end vs. hitting something with a $500 wheel.

  9. #9

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    Hard to run aluminum, after running stainless. I suggest you start with aluminum, and never switch.

  10. #10
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I didn't notice much improvement on the top end, but the difference on the bottom end and the ability to stay on step at slower speeds in rough seas is night and day between my saltwater series stainless and an my aluminum props on my 20 trophy with a 150 4stroke yami. Ran one on my old bayrunner with a honda 90 with the same results. It is true that you can damage the lower units easier with the stainless since they will not break as easy as the alum will, but they still have rubber slip clutches in them so it is not like all the energy from an impact goes to the lower unit.

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    Default I vote stainless

    I don't know much about the performance difference for hole shot or cruise between aluminum and stainless and 4 vs 3 blade. I do know that there is no way an aluminum prop could have held up to the several hundred hours of interior AK river running that my stainless has seen.
    I have run through gravel and sand, hit logs, and on occasion other hard objects. My 5 year old prop is still good enough that it will be the one on the motor for this years hunt.
    I've never had a lower unit issue on any motor I've ever run with stainless props from 30hp up to 150hp. In my experience aluminum props are too fragile to depend on for the running that I do.
    As far as your friends claim, I have to also believe it is not quite the way he thinks it is, assuming that his original prop was correct in the first place.

  12. #12
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Doug,

    There is a remote possiblity that your friend actually did see improvement in his cruise.

    I had a friend who had a 18/19 Boston whaler with a stainless 3 blade that was a miss match for the application. You had to be at full power with the 150 to get this thing on step because the prop was designed to give bow lift. At frist we put on a stingray/hydrofoil to deal with the bow rise and that helped some. Switching to a 4 blade and stern lift the boat planned out easily and cruise at 3500 instead of 4500 rpms. And we saw a huge increase in fuel economy.

    But if your boat performs good with your prop and you go to stainess 4 blade you definately won't see an improvement of 20%. In my buddy's case the boat was either only able to troll or run at darn near full speed so there was no cruise and for get about slowing down in rough seas.

    Sobie2

  13. #13

    Thumbs up Aluminum for Now

    I'll stick with my aluminum for now. I appreciate all of your comments as I'm sure this has been hashed out over, and over.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
    how to act in public

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