Mercury Racing Bravo I FS Prop Dials In Multi-Species Boat Performance Squeezing more speed and better handling from the Mercury Pro XS 300 outboard.
Anglers out to maximize the performance of the new Mercury V8 Pro XS outboards are turning to Mercury Racing for propeller expertise. We have documented prop test results for many bass and multi-species boats running the 2.6-liter L6 Mercury Verado models and the previous V6 Mercury Optimax Pro XS outboards, but are just starting to test these boats with the new 4.6-liter V8 motors. We recently executed a detailed propeller test with Mercury Pro Staff fisherman Matt Kirsammer, who is running a new Lund 208 Tyee GL powered by a V8 Mercury Pro XS 300 outboard. After testing five Mercury and Mercury Racing props, it was the Mercury Racing Bravo I® FS that not only delivered the best top speed, but also improved hole shot and fuel economy over the baseline prop in this application. Here’s how we conducted the test.
This 20-foot-8-inch fiberglass Lund model has a beam of 8 feet. This was a real-world test – the prop evaluations were conducted with two people aboard, a full 55-gallon fuel tank and Kirsammer’s typical load of tournament gear. Baseline performance was established using a 19-pitch Mercury Tempest® Plus prop Kirsammer has been running on the boat. We then tested a 20-pitch Mercury Revolution 4®, a 21-pitch Mercury Racing Revolution 4® XP, a 22-pitch Mercury Racing Bravo I® LT, and a 22-pitch Mercury Racing Bravo I® FS. Two engine heights were also tested -- the factory position that was the second hole from the top on his engine bracket, or 2.5 inches above boat bottom, and the fourth hole from the top, or 1 inch above boat bottom. Matt preferred the lower engine height for overall boat control. Check out data chart to see all of the results.
The best overall performance was delivered by the 22-pitch Mercury Racing Bravo I® FS at the stock engine height; gaining 1.3 mph on top end speed, improved fuel economy, quicker hole shot, and much better handling at speed. One of the great attributes of switching from a three-blade to a four-blade propeller is the improved boat stability on top end and in rough water, which can give the driver much more confidence. The tuned barrel of the Mercury Racing Bravo I® FS also generated the perfect amount of lift for this application. The Bravo I LT, which has a longer, flared barrel, had slightly too much stern lift for this boat-and-motor combination. Both Mercury Racing Bravo prop models, however, performed better than the Revolution 4 models, with quicker hole shot and the ability to hold the boat on plane at lower speeds, an important attribute for a pro angler who is often out in rough conditions.