Should I Get A Stainless Prop or Stay with Aluminum?

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by Tulcat, May 24, 2006.

  1. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Well for the last year or so I've been wanting to get a stainless steel prop for my Merc 4 stroke EFI Bigfoot 50HP. My boating buddy dropped off the boat/motor for a repair, and quized the maintenance manager at a very large Merc dealer and he told us to stay with aluminum, as the stainless prop will eventually tear up our gears on such a small motor (note the Bigfoot has beefed up drive-train components for its size).

    The majority of the junk we hit is timber, as we fish very few places where rocks are an issue.

    So, I am asking what Bob and Bubba think, as well as my other BOC brothers.
     
  2. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Interesting,but a SS prop should not have any effect on the motor by itself.What he may mean is that if you hit something it would be "better" if it were Alum,because it would give or break quicker.I have heard that theory before and it makes a certain amount of sense.Mercury has a new prop out made of an alloy that is stronger than SS so it can be lighter.Their claim is it will increase RPM and top speed.Not sure if they have it in the smaller props yet.It sounds as though you guys do hit things on a frequent basis so maybe Alum would be better in the long run.SS will not damage as easy as Alum and last longer and might give a little more speed but you don't say what type of boat you have.I would guess pontoon since it is a bigfoot.Again if SS would damge an engine just through use they wouldn't make them or sell them to you as they would void the warranty.Hope this helps.:smile2:
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    The outboard mechanic at the local Yamaha dealer told me that I definitely should not get a SS prop for my Yamaha 25hp 4-stroke. He said that it transferred too much shock to the engine. I have a composition prop on it right now, but I'm not sure just how well it's going to hold up.
     
  4. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    The greatest benefit that I have found in SS over aluminum props is erosion by sand.Sand will get to anything,but the ss seems to be worth the x-tra money.I think it is cost effective where this is your major enemy.On the smallest motors where available,the plastic props seemed to last longer than aluminum or ss around sand in both fresh and salt water.You use to be able to order aluminum props for trolling motors.In sandy conditions,the plastic seemed to last longer here too.Fishing in the southern cypress swamps with the soft wood snags,a ss prop will last forever on small motors.You can keep having it re booted forever,and keep on using it on your new motors with the right brand.peewee-williams
     
  5. Tulcat

    Tulcat New Member

    Jim,
    You are correct that the mechanic was talking about the added stress of the SS being able to deliver more of that energy to the gears as it chops through the timber instead of the metal giving way as with AL.

    My boat is a Fisher 1754 Jon boat (same as a BPS 1754 Grizzly). We put a Bigfoot on it as the dealer had one in stock and cut us a better deal on it to move it. Before sealing the deal, I placed a call with Merc and they said there was no reason the Bigfoot would not perform as well or better than their normal 50HP on the Jon boat.
     
  6. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    ok thats cool never had seen a big foot on a regular boat but it doesn't matter.The choice remains the same if you are going to frequently hit wood.The Alum will stress the gears less but the SS will last longer and sustain less damage.If you can stay off the wood then the SS is the way to go.:smile2:
     
  7. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    It is a well known fact that you will gain more performance with a SS prop. Alluminum props flex where as SS props do not You will get better fuel economy and performance from your motor.
     
  8. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    Just As Others Have Mentioned, The Alum. Props Are Easier On The Lower Unit. According To Prop Repair Guy I use, He Says That You Only Really Start To See The Flexation With The Alum. Props With The Larger Horsepower Engines, Say 90Hp & Above.

    Since The Two Strokes Turn Up RPM's Much faster Than A 4 cycle It Would be More Noticeable. For What It's Worth All The Offshore Charter Boats Use The Stainless Props For The Durability; However All The Commercial Bait Guys That Fish INSHORE Use The Alum. Props Because Of The Proximity To The Rocks.

    HTH, Elliot
     
  9. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I would think the Bigfoot would be great as it would be a far stronger foot.The draw back would be the length from the cavitation plate to the prop,to the tip of the skeg.With everything larger and longer,it would have to hit more in normal use.My old 40 Mariner takes the same prop as a 70 Merc.of the same year.Big foot has been around under the name of "Commercial or work"motors for years.It do make a difference in the draft of your boat.The bigger prop is also more expensive when replacing.Few good things are perfect.A Jon boat is a shallow draft boat made for shallow water.It Also is a very stable fishing platform.Just take care in water that is shallow or has obstructions.Commercial fishermen have been using motors with "big feet" on large to huge Jon boats for years.I have been well satisfied with my 30+ year old saltwater commercially used big foot.It is still a great running motor and the few problems with it have been created by me.Hope you are as satisfied with yours as I am with mine.I totally ran aluminum props.from 9 to 13 1/2 pitch,according to the use at the time.Nice rig.Let us know how you like it.peewee-williams
     
  10. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    If you are going to fish rivers where you are going to come in contact with under water timber I would stay with the aluminum prop.

    Granted the SS will have less slip but I don't think you will be racing to the holes to get to cat fish.

    I have been using aluminum props for about 40 years now and will stay with them.
     
  11. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    I have to go along with Bubba on this and the rest that say stay with the aluminum.
     
  12. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,688
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    I fish the missouri river all the time and it has alot of wood and timber floting down it all the time. after repairing my aluminum prop about three times I switcher to stainless steel and havent had any more problems since. I know that merc. recomends you stay with aluminum because of the stress factor but it has worked for me now 7 years. I run a 30hp. 2 stroke mercury tiller on an 18ft. lund Alasken. Bigcatman0816