3 Blade or 4 Blade?

So I currently running a 4 blade on my 2017 SN 200. Unfortunately we hit a shallow rock at idle and prop now needs repair and/or replacement. The question is "Does a 3 blade prop or a 4 blade prop make for a softer wake to cross?" or is it just so minimal that I should just stick with the 4 blade? Also, what comes stock on Nautique 200's and MasterCraft ski boats? 3 or 4 blade? I would imagine the both companies test their boats and put the best prop on (3 or 4 blade) for best performance.
Any advice would be awesome! Don't want to miss another weekend of skiing since this time of year is my favorite time...dawn that wetsuit and go!!
Thanks all.


  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,307 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    Stick with what you have been using, propellers are more about getting out of the hole and torque, the propeller you are using, assuming it is the one Nautique shipped it with, is the one to use, unless you have other requirements.
    The 2017 is a Good Boat with a good setup and wakes that are as good as it gets ( Carbon Pro Maybe a Little Better), I wouldn't mess with it, regarding wakes that comes down to Hull design and Boat Speed.

    Addicted To Carbon Fibre

  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,346 Mega Baller
    Years ago we put a 4-blade on a Hydrodyne and it improved the hole shot and rooster tail vs the stock 3-blade that it came with.
  • Kevin89MCKevin89MC Posts: 29 Baller
    I actually like my 3 blade better than my 4 blade prop for slalom. The wake with my 4 blade is a bit bigger and firmer. Not by much, but it is noticeable. Granted my boat is a 1989 Prostar so the change in prop might be more noticeable on my relatively small & light boat. I recall skiing behind a 1992 Prostar, excited to ski behind one of the best hulls created for skiing. I still remember the 22 off pass, that rooster tail was huge! That boat had the powerslot trans (and the prop is much bigger) so I attributed it to that. Mine is 1:1 trans. Never skied behind a '91-'94 with 1:1, or a '87-'90 with the slot, so not really comparing apples to apples. But I'd recommend trying a 3 blade if you can get your hands on one easily, you might be surprised. Or it might not make hardly any difference, but then you'd know. Good luck.
  • pcmcon729pcmcon729 Posts: 95 Baller
    kevin89mc Not even close to being apples to apples. Paradiseskier54 Run that boat exactly as designed, CC spent more time researching than all of us combined, taking all things into consideration.
  • Thank you Stevie Boy. Appreciate the input.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 481 Baller
    for some reason I always see a 4 blade on a SN 200 - either the 654 or 422
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,492 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Shut up and ski
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,310 Mega Baller
    Big engines (6.0L and 6.2L) are running the 668 (its a 422 with more cup) and the smaller engines (5.7 and 5.3) are running the 654. Big time jumpers are running a 3 blade with a lower pitch. My son was running the 3 blade on a 6.0L engine for awhile for both slalom and jumping, then went to a tournament where they had he 4 blade 668. The 3 blade was a noticeably firmer pull. We switched back to the 668 be consistent with tournament boats.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • I have the 5.3.....think I will go with the 654. Keep it what it was designed for. Thanks for all the input from everyone. Now to find one close by to get back on the water by this weekend!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    @ParadiseSkier54 - for the most part I recommend people who ask to ignore the 3 vs 4 and just go for recommendations from OJ or ACME for their boat and engine. On our two boats I have both an OJ and an ACME and both do great - I tend to lean towards recommending OJ because when you do damage a prop he historically will repair your old one free when you buy your new one. Which is good value.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,406 Mega Baller
    One might want to look at the design criteria v use and the OP question on best prop for wake performance. The manufacurer's have to include boat performance characteristics so the boat(s) in question will meet the performance criteria set by AWSA. That may lead to a different answer than the specific question posed by the OP aimed specifically at wake.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,643 Mega Baller
    edited February 2020
    Call Eric at OJ. He was very helpful when I had this question - how can I soften the wakes on our 92 MC190 w/ powerslot? He recommended going from the original 3 blade to an OJ 454 cnc’d 4 blade. It softened the wake and lowered the rpms about 150 so we saved some fuel too.
  • HMan66HMan66 Posts: 88 Baller
    Anyone ever heard of Bronson props? There’s a 13x13.5 4 blade stainless on my boat. Pull out of the hole is excellent, but I wonder if the wake would be better with a 3 blade brass? I left a message with Acme. Curious to hear what they have to say.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 481 Baller
    Bronson Hill props were out of California. I had one that was tuned by them back in the outboard days.
  • RAWSkiRAWSki Posts: 900 Mega Baller
    The guys at ACME really know their stuff, they can provide a lot good data based on your boat and your needs. It is almost information overload.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    @HMan66 - there is a bit of a limit to what the props will improve on the wakes. Somewhat turbulence can change, somewhat firmness can change, but I think the number one thing that a prop change can do is shift the 22 off bump which is essentially where the disturbed water reaches its maximum surface disruption behind most boats.
  • HMan66HMan66 Posts: 88 Baller
    Just got off the phone with Brayton from Acme. He recommended the 541 which is a 13x12 3 blade. When I bought my boat I noticed the wake was pretty hard. He said the 541 is the most popular for my boat, and should soften the wake up a bit. After I order it I'll have 30 days to give it a go and if I don't like it they'll swap it out for something else. Hey @eleeski , what prop is on your 2011?
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,001 Infinite Pandas
    @HMan66 I'm not sure. I've been lucky and am still on the stock prop that came with the boat. Nice trick wake but a little weak out of the hole.

    Sorry I'm not more helpful.

  • blakeyatesblakeyates Posts: 191 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    The 654 is the prop to get and I would get your damaged prop re-conditioned for a back-up.
    Blake Yates
    Nautique Promo Rep, GA
  • gavskigavski Posts: 244 Baller
    edited March 2020
    Skied with great skier and respected coach and judge a few weeks back, and he talked about putting a 196 prop on a 200...he said you would be a pass up, but for some reason it wasn’t allowed/ sanctioned? Not sure why or by whom, but he said defo give it a go, you will be amazed...
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    @gavski at a certain point a prop won't hold speed. I suspect if you under prop a ZO boat enough it can still up RPM to speed but wouldn't hold tolerance.
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,385 Mega Baller
    @gavski He's probably talking about the ACME 422 prop that was standard on the 196. If I remember correctly it quieted the SN 200 cockpit noise and reduced the RPMs a bit. Also gave a more forgiving pull to ZO. Wasn't tested with the boat at the Boat test so was not a sanctioned boat/prop combo. Saw it on a lot of boats through 2010-2013 or so.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 548 Crazy Baller
    @HMan66 Have you tried the 541 on your 200 yet?
  • HMan66HMan66 Posts: 88 Baller
    @KRoundy not yet. I want to make sure I can test it in that 30 day exchange window from Acme. The weather is not cooperating here in So Cal!
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 548 Crazy Baller
    OK. Please do report back. My 200 (H5 powered) has the stock prop and I'd like to hear if you think the 541 makes a difference. The hole shot of the current prop is not awesome in that if you hammer the throttle hard it feels like it struggles. I love how it feels at speed. If you roll the throttle forward it feels great - which makes me wonder if the engine can overpower the prop when trying to accelerate it hard?
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