For Comparison's Sake: Performance Propellers

Are more blades better?

Mercury Marine Mirage Plus
The Edge: If you're looking for top-end speed, the three-blade Mirage Plus may be the prop for your performance needs. It should be noted that it's the preferred speed wheel for conventional, nonstepped performance hulls that need some help carrying the bow at wide-open throttle. The Slip: A three-blade propeller is never going to give you stellar hole shot, so if you want to use your boat for towing duties, the Mirage may not be your best choice to get boarders and skiers up and going. $639.79; mercurymarine.com
Mercury Marine Revolution 4
The Edge: Quite possibly this is the best all-around prop on the market for fast runabouts and some performance center-consoles. An extra blade gives it the bite it needs for acceleration and for holding a boat's line through turns, and the fourth blade dramatically improves efficiency in the midrange. The Slip: A four-blade is great for all-around performance, but you won't get the top speed you're looking for when a smirking smart guy pulls up alongside and challenges you to a race. $721.95; mercurymarine.com
Mercury Marine High Five
The Edge: If you use your boat for towing tubes and/or kids on wakeboards or wakesurf boards, the grip coming from the High Five can't be matched. Nail the throttle and five blades plant you back in your seat. These props also keep their grip in turns so your boat doesn't fall off plane as easily. The Slip: While the four-blade Revolution 4 is designed for all-around use, the High Five will significantly impact a boat's top-speed numbers, which some boaters might not like. $700.65; mercurymarine.com

The number of blades on your propeller can have a significant impact on your boat’s performance. Do you want three, four or five? The answer depends on what you want to do with your boat and what you expect from it.