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How To Make Your Boat Faster
Wilson Custom Marine could take a 55 mph runabout and have it running close to 60 mph after blueprinting the bottom.
Speed Gain: 2-5 mph
Cost Per MPH Gained: $200.46
Bottom Line: The easiest way to pick up a few miles per hour
The easiest way to move the speedometer needle is to switch propellers. For a runabout-style V-bottom equipped with an aluminum prop, replacing the prop with a stainless-steel model will usually yield a gain of about 2 to 3 mph. Because stainless steel is stronger than aluminum, the propeller blades don’t flex, and the blades are thinner, which lets them cut through the water with less resistance. Mercury’s Enertia prop is made of an alloy that’s stronger than stainless steel. When I switched from a stainless-steel prop to the same size Enertia on my 23-foot Chaparral bowrider powered by a MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI Alpha One, I picked up two more miles per hour, so going from a stock aluminum prop to the Enertia could gain you up to 5 mph in additional speed.
If you already run a stainless-steel prop, have it custom-tuned at BBlades Professional Propellers (bblades.com). Tell the pros what you want to achieve and BBlades will customize the prop accordingly.
“If somebody says he has a 27-foot Fountain or a 17-foot Four Winns, immediately a recipe pops into my head because we’ve done so many,” said BBlades President Brett Anderson. Adjustments can be made to the propeller diameter and/or pitch, the cup of the blades and the size of each blade. BBlades charges $98 per hour and breaks each hour down into 15-minute increments.