Home  |  BBC Boards  |  Setups Library Home


97 Bullet 20XDC  Q: Two months ago I bought my first Bullet - it was worth the wait! I'm running
97 225+ Mariner 83.4 (gps) with me, 6'1" 290#, 10 rods, 1/4 tank of fuel and approx 50# of tackle.
              Super Mag Adding my partner (250#) and with 1/2 fuel (still have empty livewells), drops my
  speed down to 77.4 gps. I also have a 28 Mazco RE3 but haven't gps'd it yet......
29 Spinelli I don't think it's as fast as my Spinelli is.  My motor has a new powerhead, Brucato
14" jackplate SVS and, I'm told by the previous owner, Boyesen reeds.  
1" above the pad Getting an exhaust tuner in Feb. Would a 26 Trophy be a better prop than my
83.4 mph @ 6500 Spinelli for the load I'm always carrying, would it be faster than 77.4 loaded?
13# psi What else can I do to my 225 SuperMag - besides major engine work - to increase
  my performance?  Thanks!
      A: I'd guess this about the 26 compared to the 29 Spinelli....where you're losing
  6 mph with the load....you may only lose 3 mph with the 26 Trophy...the problem
  is that you may lose 2-3 mph with the Trophy compared to the 29 Spinelli.....so
  you may top out at 81 mph with the Trophy but turn it to 78 mph with the load....
  so it may not seem to be an overall improvement....but....low speed performance
  and mid range cruise would be better.
  If the Spinelli is a DR4 4 blade it should still give a good amount of lift with a 

moderate load....lowering the engine to 1/2" above instead of 1" above could cost
  a little on top with the 29 but may make it much better with a load due to a cut in 
  I'm not sure if your '97 has a CLE or a Sportmaster.....but a J&J cone will give you
  2 more mph over the CLE and be much more stable.....it will give some over the 
  Sportmaster also, but not as much at 84 as at 94.  I'd definitely recommend trying
  some different props....including the 27 Trophy if you get the 26 into the limiter.
00 Bullet 20XDC  Q: When I first got my Bullet, new in 2000, it had a "factory finished" 25.5" (?)
00 200 Merc EFI Trophy.  Over the first year I got some nicks in it.  Top speed (gps) at that time
  was 82 mph.  Sent prop back to dealer for repair.  Was told that for min. fee,
25" Trophy ($175), I could get up into mid 80's, (modified by Roch Boger).  First prop came
12" jackplate back a 26" thin blade.  Rpm 6750 wot, 6000 holeshot, 76-77 mph gps. 
1 1/4" below pad Second prop came in a 26" (I think). Best rpm on holeshot 5600, top speed 75-76.
76 @ 6-6100 rpm Was a dog out of the hole even with all the PVS plugs out.  Bought a 25 Trophy
15# psi Plus.  RPM on holeshot 58-5900, top speed 74-76 mph (gps). Tried plugging top
  3 water pickup holes and taking up until loss of water pressure, did not pick up any
  speed, just rpm (6300). Unplugged water pickup holes, lowered back to 1 1/4"
  below pad.  I guess my question is, how can I get my speed in the 80+ range?


One note, about mid year I pulled two Deka batteries and put in Trojan 225 sc.
  Did not see any difference after this.  Can you help me out any??  Thanks........
       A: All the non modified 200's on 20's I've had dealings with were mid 70 boats...
  I've not seen one here run into the 80's in stock trim....so I don't really have any
  advice other than to put your hands back on a prop like the factory supplied.
  The battery swap and no added performance tells me you had a pretty good setup
  before reducing the weight....if total topend was what's desired, I'd recommend
  at least 2 more inches of set, a J&J nosecone and a 26 Trophy....A45 preferably.
  If you keep the 200 over 6K I'd keep Klotz oil in it and seriously consider oil 
  pump disconnect and pre mix along with Boyesen's for 6500+ operation.
  I know I've not been a big help but you've alread surpassed most Bullet owners'
  best speed.....I'd try to return to where I was.
94 Bullet 20XD  Q: This is not truly a setup question as we are pretty happy with what we are doing
00 225 Merc ProMax now.  Recently broke the skeg of the Sportmaster and am going back with 
  Torquemaster and JC's nosecone, plus a little exhause work, including a Mod VP 
28" Drag 4 tuner.  I live in Gallatin, and am close enough to get work on my boat from you but
12" jackplate did not know you existed.  Exactly where is your place in Mt.Juliet and we will bring
1 1/4" above pad the boat over and visit.  We are running the Drag 4 and a Spinelli 30 DR4 - they are
86.6 mph @ 6500 about the same except holeshot may be a little better with the Drag 4.
25# psi I don't understand all the Bullet owners that run the Trophy prop - I tried the 28"
  (my boat is a light '94 model) but hated it.  Slow acceleration through mid-range and 
  could not hold plane if turning around in the river.  Is the 26" better?  I know I'd be
  into the rev limiters.  Anyway, can't find a thick bladed prop I like and the Drag 4
  carries load wonderfully.  What are your thoughts on my rig?
  The 86.6 mph was with me by myself and unbalanced.  It ran up on its side and was
  no fun.  With my son with me the boat runs 85 mph and nice and level!.
    A: Those are good numbers for the Promax....if the surfacing props will carry your 
  load well and give good holeshot there is no hurry to find a Trophy....or HP4.
  I have an A45 26" Trophy I use when heavily loaded.....it does have a better
  holeshot and blinding acceleration.....but day in and day out I stay with the DR4
  28" Spinelli.......it's a solid 4 mph faster and is no slouch on holeshot.
  I sold the marine biz about 3 months ago.....we mainly serviced yachts at Cedar 
  Creek and Cherokee....but I still setup a couple of new Tritons a month.....
  Back to your Bullet.....the 27" Trophy may be a good choice to experiment with.....
  most PM's aren't getting mid-80's.....as a matter of fact most barely see 80....that's
  why they run the 26".....the 6750 limiter puts them to about 82.  
  I'd like to see you try my 26" Trophy.....it's a nice piece.....I spin it 7400 and my 
  28" does 7200.......I also have a 29" SRX and a 29" Mazco RE3 that you're 
  welcome to try......
  I think 2 more inches of setback would boost you some more on top also.
01 Bullet 21XD  Q: Todd, I have read in your tips that I should expect 85 mph with the XB. I 
01 Merc 250XB cannot get near that, even empty.  I don't know the prop height in relation to the pad, 
  but it is 3 clicks up on the RapidJack. Any higher and I cavitate as I rollover on the
26" Powertech holeshot and water pressure drops to 12 psi. Loaded to fish with 2 guys (500# total), 
14" jackplate tackle (about 100#), and fuel will only get around 78 mph.
80.2 mph @ 6000 The Powertech was supposed to be modified to handle the heavier load.  I am 700 
15# psi miles from the dealer, so trying a lot of props is very difficult. I also have a tough
  time hitting the rev limiter under any conditions. Any advice?
    A: I hope I'm not going over something you've already done...but....the XB will pull
  strong up to 6400....you need more r's.  I don't know what Merc props you've run
  but I'd look at the 25" Trophy to give some more rpms.....I have run Powertechs
  in the past but I don't have broad knowledge on what they should do....plus I've 
  never seen a speed report involving one.
  You need to go ahead and straight edge your pad to lower unit and see exactly 
  where you are height wise.....you should be about 1/2" above pad.   Plus....I wouldn't
  let on plane venting control my final setup where speed is concerned....let the thing
  slip if it will gain 3-4 mph on the top.....plus 12 psi is norm for the XB.....the scoops
  on the torquemaster will keep water fed to it.
  The one thing on your side is that 70% of all big bassboats have Merc props.....
  start borrowing.....take your propwrench to the lake and borrow all you want....if 
  you're too low now the 26" might work....1/2" above pad.....measure now!
  And don't let holeshot dictate your top end.
96 Bullet 21XDC  Q: I need some help.  I have a '96 Bullet 21XDC, Mariner Mag III 200hp with a 
96 Mariner Mag III JC's nosecone and solid motor mounts.  12" RapidJack, motor mounted in the top
  hole (as low as it can go) and jacked up about half way (best speed, light load). 
26" Trophy The prop's a Trophy 26" large hub, good shape, been worked by a well-known 
Large Hub prop guy, altitude is ~ 500 feet, air temp 75-80 degrees. Driver and gear 300 lbs 
12" RapidJack + trolling motor, 3 batteries, 36 gal. gas.  Empty livewells.  Hole shot is fine, but top
1.5" above the pad speed is only 69.2 mph (gps) at 6200 rpm. Not much rooster tail (ranges from none
69.2 mph @ 6200 to cowl high). My question; why amy I getting so much prop slip?  Do I need
20# psi additional setback, different prop or ???  John Webb's setups lead me to believe I 
  should be up around 74 mph. Local dealer just wants to sell me a bigger motor, and
  I won't do that except as a last resort.  Any help is very much appreciate, thanks.
    A: My first recommendation is to get your hands on a stock unworked or modified
  prop and establish a baseline for your current setup.  I would recommend the 
  25" Tempest for your rig....but try to get another 26" large hub Trophy so you'll 
  know exactly what's going on.
  The nosecone is hurting you as far as lift is concerned at that speed....you probably
  need it for h2o intake tho.  Lowering the engine if the new prop runs the same speed
  is not a bad thing.....it will counter what the cone is hurting to some extent.
  I don't have a lot of 21XD experience.....but the 200 should have it at 72+ pretty
  easy.....we just need to get the setup more efficient and I think a factory prop will
  show improvement right away.
Bullet 20XDC  Q: I plan on ordering my first Bullet soon, a 20XDC with a 2.5 280 Merc.
280 Merc What setup do you recommend including jackplate brand, size, height, etc.
  Thank you for your time.
   A: This one will be easy! 14" RapidJack set at 1.5" over pad....you'll need a 
  26" Trophy for fishing and my favorite speed/fish prop....the 28" Spinelli DR.....
  maybe a 27" to keep it consistently in the 7500 rpm range.
  When it comes to fast props....there are tons of offerings.....the SRX done by DAH
  is good, the Mazco's are very good and affordable and the plain ol' Merc choppers
  do well.  You'll spend lots ot time just experimenting with performance props but 
  the 26" small hub Trophy will be hard to beat for a TX loaded go fast prop.
02 Bullet 20 XDC  Q: I'm thinking about buying this dream boat in the spring.  Todd, what do you 
02 225 Yamaha think about putting the 3.1 225 Yamaha on it.  I know it's a little heavier than the 
  2.5 Mercs but I like Yamaha.  What do you think about this option and what type

27" Yamaha Pro

of speed should I expect?

12" RapidJack

  A: The 3.1 would be better suited to the 21 XDC......while not the optimum engine
  for the 20, it will still do very well....it's at low speed that you will encounter any 
  problems.....not at top end....at least not as much.
  I think you'll be over-revving the 225 with a 27"....you will need to look at the 
  28" Trophy by Merc to get it within tolerable limits.  A nosecone would be 
  advisable also since I think 80-82 will be the speed......expect to spend $450. with 
  JC's.....the only cone to have!
95 Bullet 20XD  Q: I was wondering about an all around speed and fishing prop?  So far I've ran a 
93 2.5 280 Merc 26" Trophy at 90 mph @ 8000 rpm, also a 28 Chopper II at 7500 @ 93 mph.
  All my runs were with a load.  But someone told me I should be running better.  

14" jackplate

A guy told me to change my 1.87 gears to 1.75 and get a 28 Chopper modified to
  an ET cut by JC's Prop Shop.  He told me his friend has the same setup as me and
  runs 102 with that prop and gears with 2 people on board.  Chris Bond at Crown
  Leisure Marine told me to run a 30" ET Lightning prop, the only thing is the load
  carrying ability.  Like I said, I need an all around prop.  Should I be running better
  than I am with my setup?  Also, what about a Spinelli?  The only thing is Paul Nichols
  always runs 31's and 32's and hauls ass.  What about rpms, I should be at 7500-
  8000 at speed.  Your help would help...thanks.
    A: My 28" DR Spinelli carries a load very well.  My 26" Trophy carries a load 
  better. My 29" Mazco is fast but has virtually no carrying ability at all.
  I'd like to see you try a 28" Trophy....it has triple digit capability along with the load
  carry capacity also.  There are tons of options here...the 29 SRX by DAH will run
  the speed and carry a load...the Mazco RE4 will do the deal also. My personal all
  time fave is the 28" DR Spinelli....my stock 2.5 EFI will spin it 7400 rigged to fish....
  good for low-mid 90's.  There are numerous gear and case combo's to try, but all
  are very costly.  The 1.75's will make it long legged...but will hurt on hi rev holeshot.
  What case do you have now?
99 Bullet 21XD  Q: Tried to raise the engine, boat lost speed.  I am running a set of 1:75 gears in 
99 225 Merc EFI the lower unit and with a loaded boat it runs like a dog.  For some reason I tried a
  22" Trophy and I got the same rpm and only 70 mph.  I don't know what to do.

25" Tempest

People have said that I need to change the gears in the lower unit to get more rpm

14" jackplate

which in turn means more speed in some cases.  Please help - the boat has seen

1" below ? the pad

81 mph with this setup and no fishing rods and boxes.  The 225 has been worked on.

75 mph @ 5800 

 A: 75 mph is exactly what speed you should get with the 25" Tempest at 5800......

22# psi

but you should be spinning a 26" to about 6000.
  The 1:75 ratio in the 3 liter gearcase is a very good set of gears for the 21'....not the
  problem.  True, a 1:87 ratio would turn more rpms, but all things being equal, the
  1:75 is longer legged and will spin less at higher speeds.  What has been done to the
  case?  22# psi is more h20 than I've ever seen on a 3 liter....has it been coned?
  If it were mine, I'd be running a 26" Trophy, not the 25" Tempest.....tell me about 
  the gearcase and if the 1" is above or below the pad, not exactly sure because of the
  way that you filled out the form. 
01 Bullet 21XDC  Q: Todd, I have recently sold my Triton TR22 with 300 Merc.  In a very few weeks
01 250XB Merc my 2001 Bullet 21XDC with a 2001 Merc 250 XB will be here.  Could you give me
  some info for top performance setup, what prop to use and what I should expect

14" jackplate

out of the boat.  I love to be in front of this bunch of N.GA boys. Thanks for 
  everything you have to offer.
   A: Now that's a BOAT !!  The props to run will be the 27" Tempest and 28" 
  Trophy.....most depends on the load and driving style.  Expect 85 loaded to fish
  and almost 90 when light and ready to run....
  I assume you have a torquemaster on the XB....if you have a choice, go with the 
  sportmaster....you'll be fast enough to need it.  Set the propshaft at 1" under the pad
  with a TM and 1/2" above with a SM. The torquemaster can do OK to low 80's, 
  but for comfort over long hi speed runs I recommend a cone....actually a JC's cone
  job on a torquemaster is one of the best combos there is to be had.
  The 21' can take the roughest water and the 250 will put you in front of everything
  on the water except 2.5 liter ultra bassboats......kiss the Toons goodbye!!
93 Bullet 20XD  Q: Recently added low water pickup and 2" more setback, now 12".  I now get a
93 200 Mariner EFI great deal of cavitation before boat breaks over on plane.  Would removing the
  2" set back blocks help?  Would a 26" Trophy PVS prop help or possibly a 

26" Predator Eagle

26" Powertech.  I'm happy with top end and handling but would like to eliminate

4 blade

some of the cavitation.

12" jackplate

 A: I'd leave the setback.  We can debate aftermarket props all day long and get

6100 rpm 

nowhere...but....the 26" Trophy is a known factor and will do exactly what you
  want.  It has the speed, load carrying ability and holeshot.  I ran a PT prop for a 
  while and wasn't really impressed....plus they're like herpes...once it's yours you'll
  always have it....no resale or desire to have it.
  6100 with a 26" Trophy comes to 80 mph less slippage....which would be about
  5 mph considering the added cup and efficient Bullet hull.  
  How's the Eagle running on top?
  You might consider giving the 27" Tempest or Yamaha a try, a box stock 200 I
  wouldn't spin over 6000...you might be a little sluggish on holeshot but the 27's
  will take you back to 5900-6000 and be a couple mph faster...just a thought.
00 Bullet 20XD  Q: Unable to get the motor to run higher than 7000 rpm.  I have ran a 26" Trophy
00 280 Merc with the same results.  I have checked compression and everything seems to be fine
  fine according to Mercury specs.  What mounting hole should the motor be mounted

29" Spinelli

 o the jackplate.  What should the distance between the plates (front/back or inner/

15" jackplate

outer) be on the jackplate.  With the boat and motor level what should the propshaft

87 mph @ 7000

be?  Someone told me that my engine may not be fully broke in.  I have ran almost
  7 gallons @ 40:1 of oil through the motor.  Is this possible?  I thought it would 
  restrict you to 6000 rpm until it was broken in. 
  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
   A: In all honesty, Paul Nichols is the man you need to speak with for your 280 info.
   The 29" Spinelli is probably going to be too much pitch for the way the 280 needs
  to function....26,27 and 28's are needed to get the 280 to 7500 where it makes its
  power.  My 260 runs a 28" for 7200.....but I want to keep the rpms down for 
  longevity.  I also have a 26" A45 Trophy I run....it doesn't allow for substantially
  higher rpm since it seems to have much less slip than the Spinelli does.  As for the 
  computer limiting your rpms like the Opti's....I don't know....I kinda doubt it.
  The first thing I'd check is to make sure you're getting WOT....I'd also put a few
  more hours on it.  As for engine height....you need to be 1" - 1.5" over pad with the
95 Bullet 20XD  Q: I have a problem when I run about 4000 rpms.  When I let off the gas my boat
94 2.5 Merc takes a hard right with no control of steering unless I hit the gas. My friend has the 
     Est. 295 HP same setup and has motor 1 3/4" above the pad and runs like a bat out of hell....
  what's my problem?

29" SRX

 A: Only a guess, but I'd say the prop is letting loose when the bow dips at throttle

14.5" jackplate

release....on the other hand, it could be slipping at 4000 and grabs the water when

1" above the pad

released.  Either could cause the nose hook. I'd lower the engine a tad and see what
94 Bullet 20XD  Q: Todd, I just purchased this boat and I get a lot of chinewalk when I trim it up.
94 150 Suzuki The man I bought it from said trim it up so the rooster tail is about the same height 
  as the motor at WOT.  So I trim it down when it starts to walk and lose approx.

24" Raker

200 rpms and no rooster tail.  I am also concerned when I read the Bullet Owners

10" jackplate

list; why does the Merc motor same hp seem to run at 68 to 70 mph on the same

63 mph @ 6000

boat.  I just can't afford a 225 ProMax yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
   A: The Bullet is a driver's boat....you're going to have to learn to drive it.
  There is no sweet spot to be had that will make the chinewalk go away where you 
  can just hold the wheel in one spot.
  Until you can control the boat, there is no sense in making top speed passes.
  You have to have total control before this can be accomplished.
  A 150 with a 24" on an XD is good for about 68-70...once you can max your speed.
  I'm not familiar with Suzuki's at all....I see no reason, other than being heavier, why 
  it would be slower on top than the Mercs.  You have some seat time ahead of you....
  ..the easiest way to learn is to get some direction from an experienced driver....
  ...learning the wheel inputs will help greatly at controlling your chinewalk problem.
  Other than that, I think you're ok.