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Prop Guidance

Posted By: dhuffman

Prop Guidance - 06/18/20 11:18 PM

Hello All,

My buddy dropped off my new boat today. This is the 2001 Champion 203 with a 2001 225 Mercury EFI motor. Along with the boat he dropped off 2 additional props.
Currently on the boat is a Mercury Tempest Plus 48-825872 24P 14 1/2" (3 blade)
The additional props were another Tempest 48-825872A47 24P 14 5/8" (4 blade) and a
Solas 1531-145-15 14 1/2" (3 blade)( I think it was an emergency spare)

At this time I have yet to take it out on the water. He made the recommendation as the boat had been in central NM and was set up for higher elevation that it might be wise to put the 4 blade Tempest back on it and go from there. Along with the props all the port plugs etc.. were also with the props.
I'm just looking for a starting place. I'm tempted to leave it as is however his recommendation makes sense as he knows the boat and how it was set up.

If any of you prop masters have any guidance I would sure appreciate it. I would like to take it and run it some this weekend and just go through it, if the 4 blade would be better at my elevation, I will change it out before I take it out.

Posted By: bronco71

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/19/20 12:03 AM

I think you might mean a 4 blade 24p Trophy Plus..... just going by my setup I think you may hit the rev limiter with the 24p except in the hot August temps....I'm guessing that a 25p or 26p Trophy Plus would be about right. Need to try it and check your WOT rpm's.
Posted By: tmd11111

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/19/20 12:11 AM

How high of an elevation was he at with it. You loose about 3% power for every 1000' above sea level. For now though I wouldn't worry about it. Just take the boat out and enjoy. Once you get the feel for it you may have to go up an inch or two in pitch.
Posted By: dhuffman

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/19/20 12:49 AM

Albuquerque is about 5250, I live in Andrews and fish Amistad, Oak Creek, Moss Creek, OH Ivie, Allen Henry, those are my closest lakes.

Posted By: Pat Goff

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/19/20 12:56 PM

25 Tempest is the right prop for that boat/motor. You can get away with the 24 while it's hot, but it's not the exact right wheel for cooler temps.
Good news, you can send to Josh at Steves prop and they can add some cup and pitch and make the 24 a 25.
Posted By: dhuffman

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/22/20 03:47 AM


Went to OH Ivie this weekend. With me, my wife, my son the first day, and my daughter additional on the 2nd and much more than tournament load, the boat would not get up on plane. The tempest 24P prop had one medium plug in it (when I did get it up on plane it would cruise at about 52.6 MPH (GPS) @ 5650rpm . If I sat and monkeyed with the with the trim while accelerating, sometimes I could get it to get up out of the hole. However I pulled the plugs just to see if that changed anything, then it would rev just to the point of fixing to dig out, and then blow out. I added 2 small plugs back in wondering how much that would change things, it got up after some struggle. I am sure that I am doing it all wrong. Water temperature was in the low 80s. Any thoughts you guys have would be appreciated it. I would like to get it all tweaked out and working right. Seems there is some stuff that I need to learn. Teach away guys, no bashing. I am open eared to your input. Motor seemed to be running well, it just seemed unable to get enough purchase in the water to push out. The HYDRO manual jack plate is set at about 2 1/4 if that adds any info. When I watched the motor start to accelerate, I noticed that it seemed to automatically drop to the lowest(my description) trim position. Also when I looked back at the motor when starting to accelerate, it appeared that the motor was sitting too low in my (very limited and uneducated) opinion. The boat attitude would be about 10 degrees nose up.

Any guidance on prop to pad adjustment on the manual jack plate might help too.

Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/22/20 07:26 AM

You're probably grossly overloaded, by your own admission, and I don't doubt the "motor looked low in the water" (because of the overload condition, the hull WILL sit lower in the water). BTW, relatives don't get a weight discount when in the boat; a 200# son is still 200#, so total weight has more bearing than how the people are related to one another. You might add up what all 4 weigh for our reference. I don't believe anyone is going to say a Tempest will work efficiently at 2 1/4 inches, if that's measuring pad to propshaft. Pat may be the best to comment on what next, but I'll guess dropping the engine a full inch for starters just to see how that runs. The high position is probably why you are blowing out.
Posted By: dhuffman

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/28/20 10:26 PM

Alright, I contacted the previous owner. I spoke to Josh at Steve's Custom Props and worked from his recommendations. I would like to add a shout out to him, he had nothing to gain but offered some solid wisdom to a person new to bass boats that was much appreciated. I will be holding on to his number, if the opportunity comes to do business with him, he seems to be the kind of person I would want to do it with.

He informed me that the default set up for that boat Champion 203, 225 HP Mercury, was 3 1/2" below pad. So I sent out and set up my jackplate to 3 1/2" below pad. The previous owner told me that the prop the boat had on it when he purchased it was a 4 blade prop ( Mercury Trophy). According to the box that the prop was in, it should have been a 24 Pitch prop, well, it was in the wrong box. The trophy was a 26P. So I changed it out.

So as things stood jackplate is set at 3 1/2" below pad, Mercury Trophy Prop 26p (4 large vent plugs) , full tank of gas, 2 people plus their fishing stuff.

1) Saturday morning took the boat to Champion Creek Lake
2) 7:30AM Got the boat off the trailer, got out of no wake (motor trimmed all the way down), floored it, 10 to 12 seconds to get out of the hole. It finally pushed on over accelerated, trimmed up to sweet spot, top speed 53MPH GPS @ 5400 RPM
3) fished for a bit about 2 hours, got ready to move.
4) 9:30AM, trimmed motor all the way down. Moved out to deep water, floored it again, took a longer perhaps 15 seconds to get out of the hole, same speed
5) fished a new bank until about 6:00PM
6) Decided to call it a day and thought we would just do al little experimentation.
7) Moved out to deep water again, motor trimmed all the way down, floored it, this time it did not get out of the hole. The motor would ramp up accelerate to about 14mph ( rpm right at 4000) cavitate, then blow out) It would not get out of the hole at all. No matter what I tried it would blow out.
8) Took it to shore, pulled the large vent plugs, I only had 3, one full plug (no hole in it) and 2 small plugs. So I pulled 3 of the large holed plugs, replaced them with the full plug, and two smalls. So what this gave me now was 1 large, 2 small, 1 full vent plugs. pulled the boat back out to deep water, trimmed motor all the way down, floored it, in about 10-12 seconds it came out of the hole, this time consistently ( I did this test 5 times) At least it gets out of the hole consistently now. Top speed here was about 52MPH @ 5200 RPM.


I think I have an engine problem. The previous owner told me with the 24p 3 blade prop that the boat did 65MPH and with he 4 blade 26P on it, it would do 80MPH. I think it may be temperature related. Both times I have taken the boat out, it worked in the mornings when the temperature was 70 to 80 degrees. However later in the day the temperature would be 95-105 and then the boat seemed to really struggle. In my area, currently the boat repair places are telling me that I am looking at a 2 month lead time before I can get the boat in to be serviced. I am somewhat mechanically inclined. I do not know how to check a coil pack, I can change spark plugs and all of that kind of thing but do not know where to start with this. I have called our local repair place and asked about having a leak-down test done at Josh's recommendation. (they told me they may be able to squeeze me in pretty quick) This should tell me the cylinders, valves, and rings are in good shape or at least that's what I understand. Josh stated that this boat should do 70MPH EASY!

I noticed that the RMP in the morning was 5400 but the RPM in the evening was 5200 the previous prop was 24 p 3 blade, this prop was 26p 4 blade. I was curious if the greater pitch might impact the RPM any. From talking to Josh, I had the impression the 225 EFI motor should push it just fine. His perspective was that I must have an engine problem as well.

If you guys have any ideas on what else to check I would appreciate any wisdom you might have.

I live in the Odessa, Midland area, if there is a boat place perhaps within 150 miles of me that could do things a little quicker, please PM me their information. I don't want to deal with the hassle of dishonest service/repair places.

Posted By: Pat Goff

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/29/20 12:18 AM

Some of us have setup a fleet of champs. The menu on a 203/225 is consistent.
25 Tempest is the right wheel
3 1/2” is going to be close to perfect.
It should be 3-5 second hole shot with 5,700 rpms right at 70-72 mph. Trim extenders will get you a couple more mph.
Above 67 the boat will get a little loose and light and will require your attention.

If your boat isn’t doing that then your motor needs attention.
Posted By: dhuffman

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/29/20 12:50 AM

[Linked Image]

After looking at all of the above and considering the common problem is the motor. I went out and took the cowling off the motor, this is what I found.
I believe that answers the question why I have been having such a struggle. Could I have damaged anything running the boat on only 5 cylinders? I am hoping this
resolves the problem and that nothing is damaged and this should put the motor at 100% with all 6 cylinders running. I believe this will give the additional horse
power and torque I was missing. Any thoughts you guys might have are welcome.

Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/29/20 03:15 AM

Those waterproof connectors don't come loose too easily. That's bizarre!
Posted By: steve@hydrodynamics

Re: Prop Guidance - 06/29/20 01:37 PM

i'd bet the installation of the cowling knocked that connector loose.

hope that fixes your issues.
Posted By: dhuffman

Re: Prop Guidance - 07/08/20 12:14 AM

I got it up to 65.8MPH on the GPS Sunday at Brownwood, that's fast enough for me. All is well. Thanks for walking though the frustration with me. I appreciate all the positive feed back.

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