Seeking Bravo drive opinions

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Unwroolie, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Unwroolie

    Unwroolie New Member

    Sep 25, 2017
    1985 SRV 250 "Project"
    Mercruiser 260R Alpha
    I just acquired a beautiful 1996 SRV270DA Sundancer. Beautiful boat with almost every option available including the 7.4 liter with a Bravo III drive. The drive experienced a major "OOPS" during trailering when the drive "somehow" went to the full-down position (that's the story I was told, anyway). Everything below the lower bevel gear was ground off.

    My dilemma: Used Bravo III lower units are hard to find, and new ones are $$$. New and used Bravo I lower units are everywhere and can be had for less than $1000.

    My question to everyone is - what are the pros and cons of spending the money to keep the Bravo III vs. saving the bucks and installing a Bravo I?
  2. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    A couple of things......the BIII will provide far better lift to plane that heavy boat - it will also provide much better control in reverse and at slow speeds - most importantly, the gear ratio of the upper would need to be changed if you go to a BI or II - this would add expense and likely give you a higher cruise RPM depending on how it was propped.......while it may be theoretically possible to get close with a 4 blade (BI) prop of the correct pitch and the existing gear ratio I doubt you would be as happy as you would be with the BIII
  3. Unwroolie

    Unwroolie New Member

    Sep 25, 2017
    1985 SRV 250 "Project"
    Mercruiser 260R Alpha
    Thank you both. I know that the Bravo I came standard on this boat and the BIII was an option. I know the Bravo drives can handle way more horsepower and weight than what this boat has. I'm aware of the performance/handling improvements with the comtra-
  4. Unwroolie

    Unwroolie New Member

    Sep 25, 2017
    1985 SRV 250 "Project"
    Mercruiser 260R Alpha
    Contra-rotating props. The choice is really if the added cost is worth those gains.

    It would be nice to actually test drive two identical boats with the different drives, but that's what I have all of you out there for.
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    There's a reason you don't even see the Bravo I as an option so much, any more, on boats like this. I've ran the same model boat with both drives - you definitely notice the difference. I wouldn't even consider, for a second, to go backwards and put a BI on that boat.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  6. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    like said, you need the b3.. at least a dozen of them locally used ones on craigs list to me anyways. swfl
  7. Curtis

    Curtis Member

    Feb 6, 2013
    San Antonio, Texas
    320 Sundancer 2004
    Previous 280 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 (496 Mags) w Bravo III drives
    I just had a similar dilemma. A Bravo 1 was not an option but new vs reman vs used vs having a shop look at mine... I sprang for a new Bravo 3 from Mercury and I am glad I did. While I don’t enjoy the expense, the peace of mind from knowing what I have back there is worth the cost. Just my thoughts. Love the Bravo 3.

Share This Page

Show Sidebar