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What Prop???

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Hey guys (and gals).

I finally got a boat that will hopefully do everything I need. I loved having a bass boat but circumstances have changed and I needed something more flexible so I bought a 17 foot Spectrum Pro Avenger aluminum with a 90 hp Force on the back.

Yeah, I know. It's a Force but I like the simplicity and I've had good luck with those motors.

I love the tinny and all the room. It's a little slow at 38 mph but it's "fast enough" to do what I want it to do. The only issue is the prop is a little chewed up. I will be using this for fishing but also water skiing and cruising when visitors come around.

I want to buy a new prop that has a good hole shot for skiing as well as fishing. A few people have suggested getting a 4 blade aluminum.

I was just wondering what your opinion is.

The boat is a 1995 Spectrum. 17 feet. 840 lbs dry. 1995 Mercury Force. It currently has a 13 x 19 3 blade aluminum prop that spins up to 5100 rpm on a local lake this morning with just me on board, all my fishing gear and a 1/2 tank of fuel. Air temp was about 80.

What prop would you suggest?

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While I would not suggest what prop to get, there are several things you need to consider. First, there is no one size fits all. Any prop selection is a compromise. Do you want a hole shot, or do you want to maximize your speed? You want a good hole shot to pull a water skier up quickly will take an entirely different prop that just getting the boat up on top of the water.

If you get a prop that will get the boat up quickly when fishing, and you'll find that when you add the drag of trying to get a skier up, that prop will be less than ideal.

Throw in two or three more passengers along while towing a skier, and you've tossed another factor into the equation.

Will the boat be used mainly for fishing, for cruising with friends, or water sking? When you gain something here with a prop, you lose something else.

You might look into getting your prop "reconditioned". and buying a second prop that will be better for another activity. The prop should allow the engine to run at the maximum rpm range at full throttle. Too much prop that does not allow the engine to rev properly will result in more fuel consumption. A prop that allows an engine to over rev can cause expensive problems.

While props don't come cheaply, saving 25 or 30 gallons per season will about cover the cost of a new aluminum prop. Over a few seasons, trying to do it all with one prop will not turn out to be more expensive than having a couple of props. Another upside to having a second prop is that you have a spare if you happen to mangle one of them.

There are members who can give you a better answer, provided they have the correct info about the boat, and the various ways you intend to use it.

I'd go to a reputable prop dealer and pay a few bucks extra for the prop, compared to buying online. They will ask the appropriate questions, and give you the pros and cons of various props based on your hull and horsepower.

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