I have a 2012 Z521 with the 250 E-Tec. I do not like the hole shot when the livewells are full and with 2 or 3 adults. It has the Raker II 26" prop. Top speed is just fine and running at ~5800 rpm. Has anyone here had the same problem and what prop change would you recommend? Would like to experiment with different prop sizes, but would like to hear some hands on recommendations before spending the money on a new prop and not be happy with the results.
I ran the Ranger Z520, including the 2012 one. The Z520 is very close in hull shot and personality to the Z521, so I will take a stab at it. First, I played with this also, and found keeping it at a 26 pitch and having a hydralic jackplate was the best option. Lift the Jackplate all the way up when getting on plane and bringing it all the way back down once you plane out. The Z520c I have found is MUUUCH better. But for the Z520 and Z521 are a little slow getting on pad, especially in the heat of the summer. One way to conteract that is going to a lower pitch, say stepping down to a 25 pitch. This will get you a quicker hull shot but not ideal for long distance running, as you will lose top end. But for all around run and gun fishing or fun fishing you may find is much better. It isn't a drastic drop in speed, say 2-4 mph, but you will be also turning more RPM and burning more gas on long runs, but saving on hull shots. When going to a 27, it will be even slower out of the hull, but the best for long distance running... not suggested for run and gun fishing. The standard 26 has always been a good compromise I thought for me. I have heard of guys playing with 4 blade props to gain hull shot, but also keep high end running. However, I have never tried this in the last few years. My experience is a 4 blade will lose top end speed typically (not always), and makes the responsiveness of the driving of the boat, as well as turning higher RPMs. Depending on the person can be good or bad. I prefer the three blades, to the point I have a 26 pitch prop that was reworked with more cup to lift the back end of the boat better on erie. It is by far the best riding prop and quickest hull shot of any prop I have, but it only goes about 54mph, which on Erie is a rarity. Hope this gives you a few more options.
One thing to check if you have a jackplate on the boat is the splash shield on the bottom. If it is damaged or missing, the water flow is disrupted and the boat will be very hard to get up on plane. Another thing is to experiment with the jackplate at higher settings for better acceleration. That oftentimes helps in certain combinations of boats and motors which are found to accelerate better if the jackplate is raised about 3" or so instead of being all the way down.
Trying a 25" prop may help but you may have to keep an eye on the WOT rpms, especially when running with a lighter load.
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