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nicksj

220 ssi with Bravo 3 high altitude

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Hello,

I am brand new to this forum.  Our family has been renting boats at Lake Tahoe for years (elevation 6250).  Most boats that are rented up there are already propped for that elevation.  We recently purchased our first boat (preowned).  It is a 2001 Chaparral 220 SSI with 350 MAG MPI and Bravo 3 with 26' props.  The boat had 240 hours on it.  We've have been running it on the California Delta near sea level for the last few months with no issues.  With a full tank of fuel (58 gallons) and a couple adults, WOT seems to peak at about 4600 RPM at 56 MPG (per GPS).  And it gets on plane relatively fast (under 5 seconds for sure).  The previous owner stated that this is the stock propeller and original gear ratio.  We are looking to keep this boat on Lake Tahoe next summer and would like to get it ready in the off season.  We would have a maximum of 7 people on it (4 adults and 3 kids).  Has anyone else run a 220 ssi with the same engine and drive on Lake Tahoe?  And if yes, which propeller pitch did you select and what how was the performance of the boat at that elevation?  I'm not interested too much in speed, but rather performance and quick plaining.  We never really exceed 40 MPH on that lake.  Any information would be helpful.

Thanks,
Nick

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I run 24s on my 220/B3 with 350 in KY.  Based on your usage and current rpms, I'm thinking 22s.

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Call several Lake Tahoe marinas...….. They should all know the makes & props needed.

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Futzin ... What elevation are you running your's in KY?  I too think 22s might work (dropping by 4 inches), but at the cost of a bravo 3 prop, I want to get it right (or at least close enough so that I can live with it).  I've driven boats in Tahoe that are not propped right and it's very difficult to get them on plane.

Cyclops2 ... I did call a couple Tahoe marinas.  They both suggested that I make an appointment so that they can run the boat on the lake to figure it out as it might require some trial and error.  Our challenge is the we live 250 miles from the lake (and the boat is with us here, not at the lake).  We go up there over the summer and spend a week at a time up there.  If someone has a 220 SSI with same motor and drive who has spent time at that lake, they might have already figured it out.  If I can order the prop set locally I can have it installed before I go up.  Up at the lake I might lose a couple precious days of boating.

Below is our 220 SSI docked on the Sacramento River.

ssi on sac river.jpg

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I've been to Tahoe many times with my boat.  Even though I'm running twin engines with twin B3 drives, there is no difference in planing performance.  I've had 10 on the boat with no change in planing performance.  I'm sure with I would lose some top end speed at WOT, but I never gave it a shot.  

You'll be fine with the original setup.  

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Boat is too nice to waste money, props & time on vacation up there. 

The boat shapes do not vary enough to really change the load on the engine.  I will see if I can find some places that were good years ago & are still in business selecting props.

I called Power Tech Props.  3186881970  They have a good prop tech support group to assist you. open till 5 central time.  Good luck

 

They used to do a loaner system. I found it terrific in that I always had a prop & boat running while testing.

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I needed 2 test props. 1st one gave them the boat base line to pin point the 2nd prop perfectly. The  prop series I selected is  a brute on straight ahead dead stop WOT launches. There is zero climb up / bow lifting.......... It just picks up speed while staying level.. Pinned in the seats & risk of head snap back on older people. ME  Mind is going. It is a PTC4 series 4 blade SS Fantastic for yanking skiers up .  Prop never " blows out " in any sharp  turns.  I ordered  a 2 nd one for my 2nd 186 SSI 5.0L boat. I changed the props standing in shallow water.  Alpha drive

I gave up 4 mph

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I also use 24’s on my 2005 220 SSi 350MAG-B3/2.0. In 2001, Chaparral typically used a 2.0 drive ratio. Check yours. You are on the lower end of the WOT RPM range with the 26’s. At a minimum, drop to 24’s.  I would drop to 22’s for the higher elevation. 

brick

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My .02.... 

When we were in Lake Powell, mine was a little sluggish with the 26's I had put on. It came with 28s' as stock and I had picked up a almost new set of 26's on Ebay for half the price as new, for  a spare set. When we were in Powell I had the 26s' on it. So I would suggest you shop for a set of 22s' over the winter on Ebay. A brand new set will set you back 1600 bucks or more. You have the winter to shop, just be patient.

 

 

.

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Hill Marine offers a very nice set of 4-blade B3 props in your choice of pitch for around $1K. And they are polished...

brick

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Brick ... I was looking at the 3 and 4 blade props at Hill Marine as an option. I will also look for props in the off season.  Perhaps a 24 for sea level to bring my RPM's up.  And a 22 for Lake Tahoe.  I'll look on eBay first because if I find a good deal on eBay but need to switch to a different pitch prop later (to fine tune it), I can probably sell it for the same as what I purchase it for with nothing out of pocket.

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My boat came with 26’s. It runs much better with 24’s. Quicker to plane, lower minimum plane speed (14 mph ) and it just feels better. I boat at 635 ft ASL.

brick

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Thanks Brick.  I too think it will run better on 24s vs the stock 26s.  It still planes pretty good but does feel like it needs a little more kick out of the hole.  We’ll try 24s for lower elevations (usually at near sea level or other local lakes up to 800 ASL) for most of the year...in California we occasionally find times to boat in the off season when we get a warm weekend.  Tahoe at elevation 6300 ASL we only boat in July and August...so I have time to find those 22s.   By the way, my 220 SS is a 2002, not a 2001 (mistyped it earlier).

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My first 220 SSi was a 2002, with a 5.7 EFI B3/2.0. It came with 28’s, which was probably a mistake. I swapped to 24’s. 

My current 220 SSi is a 2005, 350 MAG with 24’s

brick

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On 11/10/2018 at 5:02 PM, nicksj said:

Thanks Brick.  I too think it will run better on 24s vs the stock 26s.  It still planes pretty good but does feel like it needs a little more kick out of the hole.  We’ll try 24s for lower elevations (usually at near sea level or other local lakes up to 800 ASL) for most of the year...in California we occasionally find times to boat in the off season when we get a warm weekend.  Tahoe at elevation 6300 ASL we only boat in July and August...so I have time to find those 22s.   By the way, my 220 SS is a 2002, not a 2001 (mistyped it earlier).

I think somewhere around 2005 or so Chaparral switched over to the 2.20 gear ratio as factory default from the 2.00 gear ratio on the 220 SSi with MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI power.

 

Besides dropping down 4" of pitch, the other thing I would recommend is putting your drive in the 'Bravo 1 position' to aid in faster planing with less bow rise. I have never found any adverse handling on that hull from doing so; one of the very best hulls out there IMHO even against new makes and models of that size range.

NOTE: will require you to recalibrate the trim sender on the STBD side of the gimbal ring to allow the trim gauge to read accurately if going from Bravo 3 to Bravo 1 position.

 

Image result for mercruiser bravo 1 position

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On 11/16/2018 at 7:14 AM, Shepherd1 said:

I think somewhere around 2005 or so Chaparral switched over to the 2.20 gear ratio as factory default from the 2.00 gear ratio on the 220 SSi with MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI power.

 

 

 

I believe the change to a 2.2 drive ratio was made by Chaparral in 2006. 26’s with a 2.2 ratio is the same “net pitch” as 24’s with a 2.0 ratio. 

brick

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