What is the best Prop for a 50hp Mercury on a pontoon


Old 07-08-07, 08:55 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
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What is the best Prop for a 50hp Mercury on a pontoon

I have a 2002 pontoon with a mercury 50hp 3 cyl outboard. My factory prop is banged up and want to buy another one. I just want to make sure there is not something better than the factory one that I could use. thanks
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Old 07-09-07, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Typically, a motor comes with a prop that is fairly well matched to the boat. Unless you had issues that you didn't care for with the original, replacing with the original size/pitch is a good idea. Some marina supply houses will allow you to test various pitch props before settling on one specific one. Ask around to see what the possibilities are.
Old 07-11-07, 09:25 PM
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Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
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With thezster. Stay with what you had. How did it run before. Did it do what you want? Tack out to just about red line?
Old 07-12-07, 04:50 PM
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I would stay away from stainless steel props if you are running in lakes. Stainless steel resonates any impact it may hit and transfer that up the shaft and can cause sever damage.

If you are running in lakes, use a aluminum prop. Aluminum will just shatter and not transfer that energy to your shaft or motor.

Stainless steel props are ok if you are in open ocean where chances are low that your prop will hit anything.
Old 07-12-07, 07:58 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: VA
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Ed has it right when he talks about the red line. The optimum prop for the engine will allow it to run right around the engine's max rated RPM when run at full throttle. This should be checked with an average to above average load of people gear and fuel. It’s actually a bit better to run over the red line than under it. The absolute worse thing you can do to an outboard is overload the engine by over propping. The combustion temperatures will increase to the point that the engine will detonate and you will wind up with melted pistons and scored cylinders. This is especially true nowadays with the E85 fuel that you may be using.

A stainless prop may give you a bit more speed (thinner blade cross-section and less blade flex) but I agree with HotinOKC: On a pontoon boat, the extra speed is not worth the potential gear train damage that may occur if you hit a submerged log or rock.

Last edited by Bingo757; 07-12-07 at 07:58 PM. Reason: forgot to spell check
Old 07-12-07, 08:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SC
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Thank you folks. I'll stay with the OEM. It does fine for the HP. It's just chipped a bit.
Old 07-15-07, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Savannah, Ga.
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All the above advice is right on, well mostly. Going to a stainless steel prop will eat up your zincs sooner and you will have to go to a different pitch with SS because aluminum props flex much more than SS. Modern props have a rubber hub designed to take the shock that will spin if you hit something. We used to have to rely on shear pins that sometimes didn't work well enough to keep the gear case from being damaged.

I would stick with the aluminum prop. If it is chipped it could cause vibration that could lead to seal failure and other problems. Get it reworked or get a new one and just keep your current one as an emergency spare. BoatFix.com has good prices.

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