Chet, I just bought it, and havent even ran it yet, but I sure hope for 30, and I'll be happy with that, or 24 with 6 miles to the gallon, I might be dreaming, I hope Hotwheel's will let me know, I'm sure he can tell me a lot about a tritoon, with a 150 Honda. He's ran one for a lot of year's.
test drove a friends late last year, fell in love with the setup, just wanted a windshield and the Crest brand has one just a little pricey, will be looking for a used Crest Continental but will probably end up with something else. I do not think they are known for the fuel milage from what I have seen, but 30 MPH keeps the San Juan and GHB in reach...already picked out the trolling motor and Hummingbird unit I want, can't wait.
Jack, does your boat have the lifting strake's, and doe's it have the alluminum underskin? Just wondering how much difference that stuff make's, on these tritoon's. It seem's like a 22ft, should run a little faster. Are you happy with the 15x13, or do you think you could get more speed with a different prop?
I do have the Lifting strake's , but my middle pontoon is flat on the bottom no aluminum underskin. I am happy with 15x13, a 15x15 may give you more speed though. What model tripoon you looking at? I have a premier http://www.pontoons.com/ , I don't like the idle speed is only complain have with 15 x 13 lowest speed I can go is 2.5mph.
SS not better if you impact a rock, much more likely to take out the drive. Generally the alu prop absorbs the energy when it hits. But it also flexes more under a load unlike a stainless so a little less transfer of energy. I've always ran alu, alot cheaper to replace. San Juan has eaten a couple.
Oh, I bought a Voyager, it has the U shaped pontoon's, lifting strake's, and all Alluminum, underskin. I prefer a good hole shot, with a good load, rather then speed. And if I dont like it, I can allways sale it.
I am not sure of the foundation of "taking out the drive" by hitting a ss prop. But I have never heard of it happening. And I have first hand experience of some pretty bad hits. One that was bad enough that it rendered a SS Hi-Five unrepairable.
The advantages of SS far out weigh the trade-offs (the only one I can think of is price). They have less flex which will give you both a better hole shot as well as top end. In addition, they are much less likely to need to be rebuilt. Growing up, my folks had a boat with a aluminum prop. I remember needing to rebuild it pretty much every year. Even hitting small branches/logs seemed to bend the prop. After changing to SS, it never needed rebuilt. I ran SS on my Bravo 3 outdrive on my old boat (the only type of prop available for that drive) for 9 years, and never needed to be rebuilt.
The only thing about SS, you can hit something solid, and just crack it, a hare line, not even visible, to my old eye's. And then dow the road they can start vibrating real bad, and next thing you know, you loose a blade, and boy was that fun, what a vibration, your through, unless you have a spare prop. But I definetly like SS Better then alluminum. but it's so much pricier, that's what started thi thresd.
ss versus alu props is a matter of choice and opinion concerning the impact to the gears and shafts. It would be near impossible to test the damage to the lower gears using different material props. The hub "should" spin before the impact damages gears in any case. I retract what I said about damage to lower from using ss because it's just as possible the same amount of damage could occur while running an alu prop. I run alu at Powell and I know everyone else will run what they want.
If I'm not mistaken, I think there is a rubber bushing with ribbing (like a gear) between the motor prop shaft and the prop itself that will give under a high impact on the prop. This would reduce or eliminate the impact inside the gear box (lower unit). But I'm not a outboard motor mechanic. I've always used aluminum props and don't think that the speed/performance advantages of a SS Prop justify the much, much higher price for a mostly fishing boat. However, it might be worth it for a power squadron play boat. I'll stick with aluminum and I always carry a spare.
SS props don't actually flex less, even though that a common made statement.
SS material is much stronger, and allows the blades to be made thinner and sharper, cutting through the water more efficiently. An aluminum prop can't be made in a hydrodynamically perfect design, because the blade material needs to be thicker.
I have hit plenty of things over the years with a prop, hopefully never again, and would never dream of using aluminum to save cost. Life is too short, boating opportunities too rare, and SS just flat performs better.
Our tritoon had the lifting strakes and they do make a difference in the ride as well as speed compared to the tri our friends had who did not have the lifting strakes... they had a larger motor on their boat but we easily passed them on the water.