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Thread: folding/feathering props

  1. #1

    Default folding/feathering props

    Hi All,

    We were considering a folding or feathering prop for our Voyage 500 but they are so expensive. Are they worth it?

    Pam

  2. #2

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 View Post
    Hi All,

    We were considering a folding or feathering prop for our Voyage 500 but they are so expensive. Are they worth it?

    Pam
    Yes and No. If you intend to sail far and wide then yes, if you plan to motor a lot then yes. But it really depends how much.

    Compared to a fixed prop f&f props will enable you to sail faster (^0.5-1.5 knots) and motor on one engine more economically (^2/3rds the fuel burn). If you don't sail much and always motor on both engines then "No". You have to weigh up sailing faster and/or the cost of diesel with the cost of the props.

    IMO feathering is better than folding. Sizing props is still a black art and getting the pitch right is not always easy, with a feathering prop you can adjust the pitch to suit your conditions.

    I would recommend speaking to John Blundell at Kiwi-props he is very helpful.

    Peter

  3. #3
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 View Post
    Hi All,

    We were considering a folding or feathering prop for our Voyage 500 but they are so expensive. Are they worth it?

    Pam
    That will depend on whether you are frustrated racers who want to go faster and faster the whole time. Or if you are cruisers who are happy with your boat and the last 1/2 knot of speed is irrelevant to you.

    If speed is your thing, then the cost won't be important. It depends on your objectives.

    IMHO of course.

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    We have 3 bladed MaxProps and they are great - and deliver full thrust in reverse. They are adjustable pitch (at disassembly/haulout), and like other said above, getting it right is tricky and important. Fred at PYI (MaxProp manufacturer) is a great contact and based on the specs of your boat can calculate the right pitch. The MaxProp is a lot of things, but inexpensive isn't one of them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    I don't consider gaining a full knot of sailing speed, particularly in light wind, the realm of a frustrated racer. And saving diesel when motoring is OK with us.

    On our boat, the difference between fixed and folding props was 0.5kt per prop - 1kt overall.

    Sometimes they do not fold right away when shutting down the engines. When shifted into reverse to lock the shaft and make them fold, the boat noticeably surges ahead.

    Mark
    Mark Cole
    Manta 40 "Reach"
    www.svreach.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    True Colemj, but the OP's question was "is it worth it?"

    If the props are going to cost say 1000 to buy and fit then it is a different equation to if he can get them second hand for 50 and fit them himself. (I don't suggest either of those figures are realistic.)

    It also makes a difference whether he is considering going a 1000 miles, when 1 knot faster would certainly be desirable. Or pottering around coastal waters doing short distances.

    It depends on his objectives as to whether 'it is worth it'.

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 View Post
    Hi All,

    We were considering a folding or feathering prop for our Voyage 500 but they are so expensive. Are they worth it?

    Pam
    I have had two catamarans with folding props.
    Both had problems sticking closed.
    And, both were replaced with feathering Max Props.
    Infinitely better IMO, and experience.
    never a problem - instant "on".
    I have the new type that can be pitch adjusted in water. (although installers couldn't do it)...
    PYI are great info etc...

    However, question is are they worth it?
    For half a knot extra? And thousands more??? Doesn't seem like it....
    Then there is the issue of maintenance, and another moving part that can fail...

  8. #8
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    Aug 2013
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    Fremantle, Western Australia
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Hi Pam,

    We too have a Voyage 500 with 56hp Yanmars. We fitted 3 bladed folding Seahawk Slipstream stainless steel props, 18.5 x 11.5. Much smaller than the equivalent in Gori props. This pushes us along at 11kn at max, but we cruise at 9kn at about 2500rpm. These are an Australian designed prop, but I have found them in the US around FL in the shops. These are a fantastic prop and they are adjustable if you want more or less pitch. However we have set ours at recommend pitch from the supplier and have had no problem.

    Compared to the very small 2 bladed aluminium props that she came with, yes without a doubt it was worth changing. Also, If you can get folding props they are better than feathering props. Less drag and nothing to catch a stray line with, like a cray/crab pot for example. We negotiated a deal with a local supplier and cost us about $4,200US for the 2 propellers fitted, plus one carton of beer for the guy doing the job

    Hope this helps, I've had both feathering and folding props, and folding props are a better deal. See if you can find the stainless steel props I've mentioned, you won't go wrong with these.

    L&N

  9. #9
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    We have installed many types of props over the years, have had good feedback with volvo, Gori, Flexofold folding over the years.
    Our favourite by all counts are the Maxprops, at the top end of the price bracket but worth it.
    The feathering provide more power astern as other have noted. The new units are pretty easy to install underwater and adjustments can be made to pitch underwater in less than ten minutes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by LouisAndNatasha View Post
    Hi Pam,

    We too have a Voyage 500 with 56hp Yanmars. We fitted 3 bladed folding Seahawk Slipstream stainless steel props, 18.5 x 11.5. Much smaller than the equivalent in Gori props. This pushes us along at 11kn at max, but we cruise at 9kn at about 2500rpm. These are an Australian designed prop, but I have found them in the US around FL in the shops. These are a fantastic prop and they are adjustable if you want more or less pitch. However we have set ours at recommend pitch from the supplier and have had no problem.

    Compared to the very small 2 bladed aluminium props that she came with, yes without a doubt it was worth changing. Also, If you can get folding props they are better than feathering props. Less drag and nothing to catch a stray line with, like a cray/crab pot for example. We negotiated a deal with a local supplier and cost us about $4,200US for the 2 propellers fitted, plus one carton of beer for the guy doing the job

    Hope this helps, I've had both feathering and folding props, and folding props are a better deal. See if you can find the stainless steel props I've mentioned, you won't go wrong with these.

    L&N
    I'm confused - are these folding or feathering props? I don't think folding props can have adjustable pitch.

    Mark
    Mark Cole
    Manta 40 "Reach"
    www.svreach.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by colemj View Post
    I'm confused - are these folding or feathering props? I don't think folding props can have adjustable pitch.

    Mark
    Seahawk in Australia make feathering props designated "Auto Stream" and folding props designated "Slip Stream".

    Be aware that stainless props although fine in salt water are susceptible to corrosion in fresh or brackish water.

  12. #12
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    currently Columbia/Panama
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    The poster mentioned that their Slipstream folding prop pitch could be adjusted. That is new for me.

    Mark
    Mark Cole
    Manta 40 "Reach"
    www.svreach.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by colemj View Post
    The poster mentioned that their Slipstream folding prop pitch could be adjusted. That is new for me.

    Mark
    Sounds like a typo or a distributor who got confused.

  14. #14
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    Fremantle, Western Australia
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Guys, that put me back in my box. And rightly so. No typo error, just a mistake. reading up on the manual on these props, no adjustment! Thanks guys, you are right. I possibly got my wires crossed as my old Beneteau I fitted a feathering prop, which was adjustable. Should of checked my facts. No worries, I'll get back in my shell and be quiet now.
    L&N
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by LouisAndNatasha; 15th August 2013 at 09:24 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by LouisAndNatasha View Post
    Guys, that put me back in my box. And rightly so. No typo error, just a mistake. reading up on the manual on these props, no adjustment! Thanks guys, you are right. I possibly got my wires crossed as my old Beneteau I fitted a feathering prop, which was adjustable. Should of checked my facts. No worries, I'll get back in my shell and be quiet now.
    L&N
    Hi!
    I would like you back again...for an additionbal question.
    We have a Prout 50 Quasar and have problems deciding if we should get folding or feathering props. The only major downside I can find with the folding ones, and it is an important issue though, is the reversing problem. This since we already with our fixed props, need to have a lot more rpm on reverse than on forward when turning, because of the lower gear on reverse.
    Fethering can snag stuff, but have excellent reverse.
    The major question will then be...how much a problem is the reverse issue with folding?
    Rolf

  16. #16

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    By the way, we also looked at Slipstream, but they were so much more expensive than the others.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by tolly View Post
    Hi!
    I would like you back again...for an additionbal question.
    We have a Prout 50 Quasar and have problems deciding if we should get folding or feathering props. The only major downside I can find with the folding ones, and it is an important issue though, is the reversing problem. This since we already with our fixed props, need to have a lot more rpm on reverse than on forward when turning, because of the lower gear on reverse.
    Fethering can snag stuff, but have excellent reverse.
    The major question will then be...how much a problem is the reverse issue with folding?
    Rolf
    I have Flex-o-fold 2 blade folding props and have been very happy with them for many years , no wear and fast folding .
    the reverse "problem " IMHO bears little relevance , how much time is spent going backwards !

    and this from a boat that med - moors .

    the slight reduction in reverse grip is by far outweighed by the advantage of having all the debris / lines/ nets in the water gently slipping off the props as they are mostly in the folded position and the extra .5 knt + in boat speed under sail .

    well worth the cost
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  18. #18
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    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    New Geared folding props don't seem to have the problems in reverse, that the older "non geared" props had.

    I'm going with Flex-o-fold, 2 blade, as they seem to have excellent performance in reverse, as well as forward. Even compared to the Maxprop, (in forward).

    The 2 blade flex0fold seems to have about 80% of the reverse pull of a 2 blade maxprop, and more than the maxprop in forward. But the 3 blade maxprop outshines them all in reverse, while the 3 blade flex0fold performs worse than the 2 blade!

    Cheers.
    Paul.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by svquintana; 9th May 2014 at 11:40 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Quote Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
    New Geared folding props don't seem to have the problems in reverse, that the older "non geared" props had.

    I'm going with Flex-o-fold, 2 blade, as they seem to have excellent performance in reverse, as well as forward. Even compared to the Maxprop, (in forward).

    The 2 blade flex0fold seems to have about 80% of the reverse pull of a 2 blade maxprop, and more than the maxprop in forward. But the 3 blade maxprop outshines them all in reverse, while the 3 blade flex0fold performs worse than the 2 blade!

    Cheers.
    Paul.
    I agree with you on your comment about geared folding props.

    But, be careful about what you get from comparison tests. The test you refer to was on "the" particular boat in the test and will be accurate for that boat only.

    Sizing props is often regarded as a black art, in reality it is a lucky shot. Manufacturers have a set number of propellers in certain sizes that have certain characteristic. If your boat happens to match a particular propeller then you will be very happy if it does not then you wont be so, but in a lot of cases without the ability to compare them on your boat you wont really know.

    A Flex-o-fold will be a closer match than a Max-Prop on one boat but visa versa on another. If you have a production boat then you may be able to make comparisons with other similar boats but this is still difficult given the different variables involved and the accuracy and consistency of data available from skippers and owners.

    Often a boat manufacturer will change from one brand to another, sadly because of deal that has been struck, rarely is this due to better performance.

    There are other important factors that should also be considered, durability, maintenance and cost of ownership.

    Just my 2p worth.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Cape Cod
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    4

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    I have a 2005 Voyage 440 with 40HP Yanmar SD50 sail drives. I have Variprop 3-blade feathering props. They work great and are the only prop certified by Yanmar so it will not defeat the warranty. I go two years before I remove them for rebuilding and cleaning. You can change the pitch in the water in three minutes. They feather easily and have rubber bumpers on the stops so there is no banging when switching form forward to reverse and back.

    I would highly recommend them.

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