Bravo 3 experience....

Lake Bum

Well-Known Member
#1
Okay, I am boat shopping yet again. I am looking at a couple different cuddy cabins, both have 350 MAG engines, and Bravo 3 outdrives. One of them has twin 28's, the other has twin 26 props. I'm not sure with Powell elevation if even the 26's will be sufficient, or 24's are better suited? New prop set is about $1100 so I need to be sure before I pull the trigger.
 

CJR

New Member
#2
Okay, I am boat shopping yet again. I am looking at a couple different cuddy cabins, both have 350 MAG engines, and Bravo 3 outdrives. One of them has twin 28's, the other has twin 26 props. I'm not sure with Powell elevation if even the 26's will be sufficient, or 24's are better suited? New prop set is about $1100 so I need to be sure before I pull the trigger.
I have a 24' Sea Ray Sundeck wtith the 350 mag and bravo 3, 24 pitch. Alittle sluggish out of the hole at LP, other wise a great combo. Can get most skiers' up. I would think it would depend on weight. Mercruiser has a prop comparison that I'd seen awhile ago. Good luck
 
#3
Bayliner 265, 26', 350 mag mpi, bravo 3, boat weights ~ 7K lbs; 20 pitch for Powell, 18 pitch for Yellowstone (~8000 feet above sea level). At first got by with 22 pitch at Powell but have added lots of stuff to the boat including a kicker that just pushed the weight up. Not sure if anything changes with twins. I also think weight will be the big factor. The gearing on the Bravo 3 is not always the same and will likely be a factor. You might want to call Mercury support and get their take, they were pretty helpful for me.
 

Lake Bum

Well-Known Member
#4
I stand corrected. The boat has 24's on it, not 26's. I think it should work out fine on a 23' cuddy.
The way I wrote it up was misleading, it doesn't have twin motors, I was only referring to the twin props on a Bravo 3.

Thanks for the replies!
 
#5
On my old boat, 1987 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer with a 383 mag mpi and a bravo 3 2.43 gear ratio outdrive. I was running 26 pitch props. I cruised at 28 mph 3600 rpm and toped out mid to high 40's depending on my load. I never had a problem getting on plane, sometimes when I had 8-10 people on board with coolers I had to use full tabs and send a couple of them into the cabin for a few seconds to get up on plane. The gear ratio will definitely matter on what pitch props to use.
 

Lake Bum

Well-Known Member
#7
I took your guys advice, and went onto Mercury's prop website. Entering all the elevation, weight, gear, motor, gear ratio, it confirmed that 24's are the right setup for Powell. I am THIS close to pulling the trigger on this Rinker, but my wife is NOT happy about owning two boats at the same time, as mine hasn't sold yet. Pray for me :cool:
 
#8
My boat before the current one was 22', 350 Mag MPI, B3 and did great at Powell with 24's. I have no idea what the gear ratio was on that one. It was really nice to have a lighter boat when it came to water sports!
 

Lake Bum

Well-Known Member
#9
My only experience with dual props, was on a heavy 25' Chaparral cruiser, but it was Volvo/Penta and their props are sized completely different. Apples to Oranges.....I never really figured out their system. I had B4's that I ran and the F5's were too big for Powell. VP couldn't keep it industry standard and stay with normal sizing :confused:
 

Leardriver

Well-Known Member
#10
Each pitch change of 2 inches is about 350-400 rpm's difference. On a 270 Sundeck with a 496, the standard 26 pitch was good for 4100 RPM at 6000 feet, and the target is 4400-4800, which really means 4800 loaded if you plan on doing any watersports pulling. I went to 22 pitch, and hit 4800 at altitude, and maybe a hair more at Powell if I tried.
You can guess pretty closely, but there is nothing like a water test to verify. You want to hit the maximum rpm fully loaded, or at least in the configuration that you are likely to be boating in. Keep in mind that you rarely, if ever, actually operate at 4800 or wherever the top of your recommended range is, it is just a measuring test to verify that you have the correct pitch installed.

Nothing makes a boat perform well like getting the correct pitch prop on there. Used Bravo 3's on ebay sell for 450-600. You can then sell yours, and the cost to change is minimal compared to the satisfaction that you receive.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
#11
I had a 2004 21' Crownline bow rider with a 350 MAG and B3. About 4000 pounds on the water. I ran 24's everywhere from 9000' (where they didn't work very well) down to 1000' (where it hit the rev limiter). They did well at Powell, but on a heavier boat, I would probably go down 2" in pitch.
 

26Biesemeyer

Well-Known Member
#17
I have 26p on my Bravo 3 7.4mpi. For skiing the merc site says 19's , 20's and 21's for various acceleration oriented gear ratios at 3600ft elevation..I 've no idea what my 2000 B3 stern drive is geared at...but will check on max cruise performace as well and choose a middle ground.

26p at lake Mary, Flagsatff at 7000feet would be quite the work out for slalom ski...lol...doubt I could hold out that long.

22 pitch for max cruise/ fuel economy. I start my search today! mmmm, those four bladers look cool.
 
Last edited:

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
#18
Well I bought the boat! I test drove it on Havasu this morning, and with those 24's on it, talk about instantly jumping on plane......I was impressed. I bought a 23' Rinker 232 Captiva, 350 MAG/Bravo 3 drive. It's going to make a great Powell boat for us :cool:
Congratulations.
 

ROSCOELAB

Well-Known Member
#19
best thing I ever did on my boat with a bravo3 was get a set of signature props out of Hill Marine in California. the phone call was amazing and their exchange policy until your satisfied with the propset you have bought was amazing. I have a Bayliner 2855 and always needed the trim tabs to get it moving and on plane, after this purchase didn't need to ram the tabs all the way down, in fact with just the family on board (3 folks 2 dogs) didn't even use the tabs till cruising to adjust the boat left to right. I got 3-5 mph at the same rpm for cruise and noticed the fuel consumption was lower, figured I have paid for the props the last two summers.
 

26Biesemeyer

Well-Known Member
#20
yep! I believe those are the ones I'm really interested in getting to go along with my near perfect paint finish on my 18 year old B3 outdrive. (very surprising to see a lower unit skeg with only scratches on the very bottom instead of chunks mising or the add on chrome crap hiding damage)

both 4 blades correct?

they state on the website that you choose the same pitch as they've been designed like that vs the pitch differential between 4 and 3 blades...
 
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