Originally Posted by fstbttms
My mother always told me, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
So I won't.
So you finally remembered after 40 or however many years?
We will expect a radical change
I'm sure the whole forum will be jubilant.
To the OP:
There is a thread on here on Autoprops which ran to thousands of posts. It would be worth reading. You can find a lot of useful information, including strong opinions from Fstbttms, oops, maybe not intersecting sets
A thumbnail summary:
1. You will be very happy you got rid of your fixed props no matter what folding or feathering prop you choose.
2. The Autoprop is one of the most popular of these, and you can read about the practical experience of a lot of people on here, including that of yours truly, who has been using them for about 20 years on two different boats.
3. There was a run of early Autoprops which had defective locking washers which resulted in a rash of thrown blades. That was more than 10 years ago. Nevertheless, that has given them a bad reputation with some people. Since the recall
that particular problem, there is no evidence that Autoprops are less reliable than any other variable geometry prop.
4. There are a lot of reports of poor factory support. I can't vouch for that -- I've had only one contact in 20 years, just this year, and it was pleasant and efficient. Nevertheless, there are a lot
5. The Autoprop has a supreme advantage in that the pitch
varies automatically, which is a feature you can't get in any other prop for sailboats of modest size other than the new MaxProp Ecowind. This is supreme for motorsailing, and is also very good for situations like punching into strong winds or seas. It transforms motorsailing.
6. The Autoprop is the worst variable prop you can buy in terms of drag. It droops one blade when feathered due to the nature of its design (no gears or springs). This means it might not actually be the best choice for a catamaran
, where you have two of them. Of course it's still one-tenth or less the drag of a fixed prop
Still, most cat owners don't choose feathering props at all -- they go for folding ones, which have less drag.
7. The newer type of Autoprop with greased bearings requires more maintenance
than the older ones with water
lubricated bearings. I grease mine every time I lift
out (every 3 - 4 months).
8. The Autoprop has a particularly carpy anode which is proprietary, expensive, and quickly falls off because the zinc around the screws is thin. It's important to put some antifoul or prop wax on the thin parts
to keep them from being eaten away.