Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

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Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:48 am

I recently purchased an incredibly beautiful and clean 1995 Caravelle 1900 Bowrider 4.3LX Alpha 1 1.84 gear ratio. Everything is stock, with the exception of some newly installed Smart Tabs to help with planing manuverability. They helped with that and I do not appear to have lost any top speed with my before/after testing. I was looking forward to more top end speed with this boat that what it has. Upon my testing, here is what I have with the Stiletto Advantage II (14.25"/15p) prop that came with the boat. On an nearly smooth lake I can top out about 42mph (iPhone SpeedBox GPS) at 5,300rpm (timing light verified, my dash tach is accurate to this).

This is with one rider/driver (I weigh 160lbs) and probably a couple of hundred pounds of additional gear. The engine runs fantastic and the previous owner appears to have taken good care of this boat mechanically.

I honestly expected closer to 50mph when I bought the boat. In heavier lake chop, with 3 adults (about 400lbs total) she topped out around 38mph at around 5K (I wasn't driving, but looking over the shoulder of the driver).

By my reading, I should be getting more top end. The boat seems to have decent "get up and go". I can pull skiers/tubes with no problem and would like to keep this similar. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated! Thank you all for your time and I look forward to spending more time on the forum...when not on the boat of course!!

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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby AndrewT » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:47 am

4.3 190 HP carb mercruiser the WOT revs should be between 4400-4800 ,I think the prop you are running is to low in the pitch department.
A 14.25 x 19P 3B prop should be a better choice. Max revs of 5300 are way to high for this set up.Try to borrow a prop and do some testing.
May be the previous owner was towing 3 250lb water skiers?
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:15 pm

Haha, maybe...

I did find a friend with 3 props that he said I could try. I don't know anything about them, but if they're similar to recommended sizes, I'll experiment before I purchase a more permanent one, as you suggested.

I appreciate the input and will do my best to update as I find out more information.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby buyfire » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:35 am

Each additional 1" in pitch will bring you down about 200 RPM. My first try would be a 19P. You may find that you don't gain a lot of top end though, seeing as your motor is capable of turning that 15P to 5300.

But there's a big problem. When you put the numbers you gave for your current setup into a prop slip calculator, it shows you're currently getting -2.65% slip. Which is not possible, for obvious reasons. You've already verified your RPM, what about the GPS? You should be shooting for around +10% slip when all your figures are correct.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:07 pm

buyfire wrote:But there's a big problem. When you put the numbers you gave for your current setup into a prop slip calculator, it shows you're currently getting -2.65% slip. Which is not possible, for obvious reasons. You've already verified your RPM, what about the GPS? You should be shooting for around +10% slip when all your figures are correct.


I do not understand the discrepancy. I will try to confirm with a different app and a different phone altogether and will provide updates this weekend if possible. I do not have any stand alone GPS device, currently.

I'm grateful for the additional wisdom and information you all are providing.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby buyfire » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:13 am

If your outdrive were a 1.5 ratio your slip would be around 14%, which is well within the normal expected range. Let us know what you come up with.

Shaun Of The Dead is one of my favorite movies, BTW.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:01 am

buyfire wrote:If your outdrive were a 1.5 ratio your slip would be around 14%, which is well within the normal expected range. Let us know what you come up with.


It has a stamp on the side of 1.84.

buyfire wrote:Shaun Of The Dead is one of my favorite movies, BTW.


MINE, TOO!! Hilarious, stupid and emotional all at the same time....with zombies, hahaha

I'm still waiting on my "friend of a friend" and his props. It may not happen. Know where I could get some cheap props for testers? I guess I could just keeps a spare (or spares) or just flip them on CL or eBay when I'm done. I'd prefer not to spend more than $50 for a tester prop. I don't really mind what I spend on more permanent ones. I had expected $200-300 retail.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:52 pm

Ok, so for $100 a friend gave me 3 props. I haven't paid him, yet. He said he'd let me try them out.
They are:
Merc Bravo 3 30p SS
Solas Rubex 4 14x21 Alum (damaged)
QuickSilver Laser II 14x21 SS

Locally that will run about $75ish to repair the Solas at B&B Propeller here in Fort Worth, but it seems I can pick one up for $95-$115 new and could get a better pitch for my application. Few bucks more than that would buy a SS version, if I wanted to go that route. But in the end I was looking for more top speed, right??

The only one that I tried (obviously) was the QuickSilver . As you would expect with having too much prop, we had 7 people on board and the boat had to go nearly WOT to plane (when it planed), but then it was awesome!! hahaha. Seemed like a great cruising prop, if only my wife and I were out for the day. My rpm's were about 1K lower around 35ish/mph. With nearly an extra 1,000lbs of people in my boat, on a pretty choppy lake I achieved 43mph at 4,500 rpm but that's a terrible analysis vs the single load I originally posted with using the Stiletto on a mostly calm day.

I need to go back out by myself on a calm evening and get more readings that will accurately compare the 2. You all seem to be right on the money with the 19, though. I kind of want to fix the Solas just for the experience, but will most likely just try to sell it as is or chunk it for scrap. I figured I would go ahead and pay him the $100 because it looks like I could sell the B3 prop for more than that and could keep the QS just for kicks.

Not much of an update, but it is what it is for the moment.

Hope to have a better update soon!
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:28 pm

So I realized, I'm doing all of this wrong. I'm doing "light loaded" testing, when our boat is ALWAYS loaded down.

Before I realized that, I did a final test on the 14x21 just for fun. This is me only, fairly calm water, with little gear and I removed 2 HEAVY marine batteries (for charging and testing [the previous owner had 3 batteries on board]). Also using 2 different GPS apps (on the same phone, though. May not be any different) and again had my test light to confirm engine speed. It's beautiful to see how accurate my dash tach is.

I achieved 47mph at 4,700rpm. The fastest I've had it. It's funny how much of a difference 6-7mph makes!! haha

I definitely want to hang onto this prop (especially for the price) for a spare, and a time when it may just be my wife and I out on a cruise.

I guess I need to retest my original 14x15 with a bunch of people and gear (which is what we bought the boat for, and use it for).

I have a new question for you gents, I want to purchase a 14x19ish prop to play with, would like to stay around $100 until I (if I) find a favorite that will be the primary "keeper". I don't mind spending a few hundred on that one, but would like to stay around a hundredish until then. I can buy brand new aluminum props for that or a few SS props. Here are a couple I was looking at and would like y'alls input:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STILETTO-STAINL ... 2188658162

http://boatpropellers.iboats.com/Mercru ... (All_Years)_19.00-Pitch_Amita_1511-145-19_Propeller/765/18148/?cart_id=373556446

I would have no problem purchasing either of these with you all's "green light". Let me know!
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:41 pm

I probably shouldn't spend the $70ish to repair the Rubex, should I. If I did, and sold it I wouldn't make any money. It would just be for the experience. I would expect (correct me if I'm wrong) that if the 14x21 3 blade wasn't all that great, the 14x21 4 blade would be worse. I noticed most people go down a couple of pitches for a 3 to 4 blade swap. You all are already recommending a 14x19 3 blade, so I'm already 2" over the recommendation, and then I would in theory kind of be like 4" over with the 4 blade. Maybe?
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:10 pm

Ordered a used 14x19 Stiletto II SS (same as my 14x15). Took a little bit of negotiation, but got him down to $105 shipped. I think it's a pretty fair deal. I look forward to the trial.
I've come to the conclusion that I won't hit the 50mph with my current setup. I don't have to, but I sure would like to.
I have a non "prop talk" related question. I've read some debate on how much clearance is needed at the front of the engine to go to a small block from a 4.3. Some say as little as 4.5", some say as much as 8". I have exactly 4.5" from the edge of the front pulleys to the back of my back seat (edge of the bilge/engine compartment). I can make more by moving my front seat forward, but then I would have to extend or modify the sundeck/bilge access. What to y'all think?
I'm not in a position to do a swap like that this season (if ever). But if I did get in that position, I was interested in what you all have to say in addition to the hours and hours of (mostly) great info all over the internet.
I'll update you all on the 15x19 results and try to get some better numbers with the boat loaded down.
Have a great week!
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby rward182 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:39 am

Doing an engine swap like that would be a labor of love, I'm not sure that I love my boat enough to take something like that on...
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:38 am

rward182 wrote:Doing an engine swap like that would be a labor of love, I'm not sure that I love my boat enough to take something like that on...


I'm not sure I do either. I really like quite a bit about the boat, it's just the ONLY v6 boat we looked at. All others were V8's. This boat however was nearly $3K less than the next one we were looking at and I liked the layout, storage and sunpad vs the others that didn't have these things in abundance, if at all.

Then there's this:
http://forums.iboats.com/forum/engine-r ... ser-4-3mpi
Keep everything where it is, add 40-50% more power. When little 6 blows up, replace and strengthen. Would be cheaper than SBC when you factor in additional interior mods and upholstery. I sure would like that V8 sound, though.

The way I figure, we RARELY get back out of a personal boat what we put it. If you buy one to clean up, repair and flip, that's one thing. But if you buy it to keep for several years and personalize it the way you want, plus keeping it maintained and repaired, one pretty much always loses financially.

I was talking with my wife about it and told her that we could put another $10K in this boat and give it the power, tower, stereo, mechanical improvements, new wood flooring, etc and have a $15K boat that is reliable and just the way we want it. Or we can spend $15K on a boat and it have very little of the personalization that we want, may still need other repairs and then we have a $20K+ boat.

I'm not "sold" either way. But at this point in my life, I DO have too many other things that need my financial attention before I put $20-30K in a boat.

Nickel and diming (meaning a thousand here, a thousand there, lol) my way up to $5/10/15K is a little more do-able for me, though.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby buyfire » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:41 am

Here's what I'd do. Keep your current boat as is. Buy a boat with the engine you want this late Fall when prices take their Autumn dip. If you're going to be unhappy with the performance of this boat once you get it propped right, that unhappiness will only grow with time. And this isn't even factoring in the 2-foot-itis that's bound to set in soon.

When I was about 25 I bought my first boat, a 17' Larson for about $5K. At the time I couldn't imagine spending more for a Summertime hobby. Just 2 years later I dropped around $20K for a new 18' Crownline and thought "this is it, I'm done". Soon after, I saw an Interceptor for the first time. About a year after that, I bought a new 2005 212. I did pretty good with that one, I think I had it about 4 years. I sold it when I thought my business was in trouble financially. Turns out it wasn't and about 7 months after I sold the 212, I ran across a killer deal on a 232 with a big block 496MAG and had to have it. My point is, if you're serious about boating and love speed, you should buy the boat you think you'll be ready for 10 years from now. It'll save you the hassle of driving cross country every couple years to upgrade. This is all assuming that your pocketbook can handle a little extra stress. It would be stupid to buy a boat that you couldn't see yourself paying off in 5-8 years time. Man, this may be one of my longest posts. I don't usually go past a couple sentences.
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Re: Prop recommendations for new (old) '95 1900BR

Postby Shaun of the Dead » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:17 pm

buyfire wrote:Here's what I'd do. Keep your current boat as is. Buy a boat with the engine you want this late Fall when prices take their Autumn dip. If you're going to be unhappy with the performance of this boat once you get it propped right, that unhappiness will only grow with time. And this isn't even factoring in the 2-foot-itis that's bound to set in soon.


Funny you said that. That's what my wife pretty much told me 2 nights ago. "Let's just enjoy it for a year or 2. We do like the boat a lot, so let's enjoy it while we have it, keep it up we'll replace it".
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