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Thread: folding/feathering props

  1. #21

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    I have a Voyage 440...since 2002. 5500 hours on her engines and over 100,000 miles on her bottom. Chose Flex-O-Fold two blade for our 3GM30 / SD20 . Nice propeller when new, but very limited reverse (with many added grey hair incidents wondering if we were going to be able to stop in time, etc).

    We found that we were wearing out the blade casting at the stainless hinge pin, resulting in a bit of slop in the hinge, which would cause the blades to get stuck on the folded position and not open in reverse. The fix offered after much complaining was two new sets of blades at cost - still a very expensive event. This happened at 1000 hours on the wheels, and again at the next 1000 hours. By that time the hubs too, had worn beyond tolerances. The answer being a whole new set - no discount this time.

    Here is the problem: motor sailing at anything less than 2500 rpm will cause the blades to fold briefly during the random boat accelerations from wave surfing and wind gusts. Under partial power this puts a lot of strain on the hinge pins, and since the ss pin is harder than the bronze casting, well you know the result.

    Flex-O-Fold suggested that the next size larger (3 bladed) wheel would handle the wear better - but of course, no discount nor promise outside of the warrantee period.

    All of these props are very heavy and expensive, but I feel necessary for a cruising boat. My next investment will probably be a Gori or what Rob has on the previous post. Another consideration if you chose to stay with the fixed blade props is the wear from tens of thousands of rpm from your props freewheeling while sailing, not to mention the drag from it as well.

  2. #22

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    Have a pair of Gori props. One doesn't have a collar zinc, and when I was at the Miami boat show, asked the Gori rep about that. He seemed to think that the zinc-less prop may be original to the boat (20 years old, and she's an ex-charter boat). AFAIC, that's impressive.

    I've been real pleased with the performance of the Gori props. Boat handling under power is excellent. Powers better than I expected both into wind and current, and I've asked a fair bit of her on several occasions.

    Gori has an Internet rep for dropping off, but I suspect that is due to poor installation and maintenance. They must be installed according to the directions, and that includes threadlock.

    Under sail I do put the gears into reverse, which ensures the props fold up

  3. #23

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    We shut down and start in forward gear. Found that reverse was too much strain on the drivetrain, and with the props folded there isn't enough torque to turn the engines.

  4. #24

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    I don't refer to motorsailing, when of course the engines would be in forward and on.

    I always shut down and start in neutral. Only after the engines are off and I'm underway under sail do I put the gears in reverse, which closes the props, thus nothing turns.

    When I first got the boat I tried leaving the gears in neutral when sailing (engines off, that is) and the props didn't close, thus the drives were obviously turning. I then shifted to reverse, the props closed, and I've done that ever since

    hope this clarifies
    Last edited by tamicatana; 20th July 2014 at 03:31 PM.

  5. #25

    Default Re: folding/feathering props

    We have the Flex o Fold 3 blade props and have been very satisfied with them. The main reason for the folding vs. feathering is 'crab pots'. They fold quickly when put into neutral while motoring and its just one less thing to snag a line when you get too close.. The performance is at least as good or a bit better than the stock props. They seem to use less RPM to maintain the same speed which is just a result of a bit more pitch. Don't have any problem going to rated engine rpm when the boat is light. Great thrust in reverse and probably better in bigger seas. The factory says that the 2 blades are a bit faster in smooth conditions. Have about 1200 hours on them and just had them serviced and cleaned at Marine Pro in Cocoa Beach, FL. No cracks or issues at that time......


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