Improved Comfort and Safety with Sharrow Propeller on Grady-White 251 CE

11 MPH FASTER at 3000 RPM

It’s all about fishing with a Grady-White, and the venerable builder describes its center console 251 Coastal Explorer as a bay or inshore boat, aimed at anglers who want a shallow water fishing boat that can also handle offshore waters and day cruising in the right conditions.

Given that fiberglass center consoles are one of the most popular and widely sold types of boat on the market, whenever Sharrow Marine test their props on a vessel in this category, it is worth paying close attention.

At just 24’7’’ center-line length, the G-W 251 CE is one of the smallest boats we have seen in these tests, so we were curious whether it would match the major performance benefits obtained in larger, offshore vessels. The test results did not disappoint.

Performance in the 2,000 to 4,000 RPM Range

The Grady White 251 CE was tested with a single Yamaha 300 HP engine, comparing a stock Yamaha 15.25 x 18 and a 15.2 x 18 Sharrow prop with True Advance. While BoatTEST did not do the testing, and the performance data was supplied by Sharrow Marine, we believe the test data to be accurate as it was confirmed by a 3rd party.

In what has proved to be a reliable pattern across our own and Sharrow Marine’s testing of their props, mph by RPM performance was very similar at low revs, but the Sharrow came into its own and vastly outperformed the stock props in the crucial 2,000 to 4,000 RPM window.

At 2,500 RPM the Sharrow was over 4 MPH faster than the standard prop, and by the time it hit 3,000 RPM it had outpaced the stock propeller by 11 MPH, a full 79 percent faster. At 3,500 RPM, the Sharrow was still outpacing the standard propeller by a healthy 2.7 mph, or 10 percent. AT 4000 RPM the boat was 2.4 mph faster, and 2.5 mph faster at 4500 RPM with Sharrow props.

The 251 CE’s rapid increase in speed above 2,000 RPM, which allows the boat to get on plane that much faster, not only improves the comfort of the ride but also its safety. As the chart above clearly shows, the Grady- White was solidly on plane at about 2750 RPM, going 20 mph, while with the standard-issue props could only muster 12-13 mph, a long way from getting over the bow wave.

16% More Fuel-Efficient at 25 MPH

Unsurprisingly, higher speed at lower RPM also means increased fuel efficiency. While impressive across the board, was most pronounced in the window from 15 to 30 mph, with 14 percent more miles per gallon at 15 mph, and 16 percent better fuel efficiency at 25 mph.

As we have seen in previous tests, the Sharrow props’ benefits in the Grady-White 251 CE are concentrated in the core range of cruising speed and RPM where most boating takes place, and where they will prove most beneficial to an inshore, center-console fishing boat.

Prop Efficiency and Advance Rate

We see a similar pattern in terms of propeller efficiency. While the Sharrow prop is 9 percent more efficient than the stock prop at around 550 RPM, efficiency readings between the two level out slightly on the lower end of the throttle, but once again, the difference grows exponentially above 2,000 RPM. By 2,500, the Sharrow is already 41 percent more efficient than the stock prop, and at 3,000 RPM it is an impressive 79 percent more efficient.

Where does this improved efficiency and performance come from? Answer: From the Sharrows’ advance rate, which is consistently better than the stock propellers virtually across the board, but once again leaves the standard props in its wake in the window from 2,000 to 4,000 RPM. Thus, at 2,500 RPM the Sharrow’s advance rate in inches is 54 percent better than the stock props, while at 3,000 it is a full 79 percent better.

In the chart above, we can see that the 18” Sharrow prop was advancing 15.4” at 3000 RPM and 16.1” at 4000 RPM, where the standard conventional 18” pitch prop advanced from 8.62” to 14.68” at from 3500 to 4000 RPM, respectively. As we have seen in larger offshore boats, Sharrow Marine’s tests prove that their props also provide consistently better performance and efficiency in a smaller, inshore fishing boat. Particularly in the key 2,000 to 4,000 RPM range.


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