I have had a three bladed Autostream bought through Martec here in the US on my Tartan 37 and have about 1500 hours on it and have motored a few thousand miles (from San Francisco
to Panama) in the 6 years or so I have had it. I cannot say enough good about it. Compared to others, I think it is superior:
All stainless construction: some will say that bronze is better-- but I have had no pitting or corrosion
despite spending time in some "hot" marinas
. Stainless is stronger than bronze. Corrosion
was the concern I had when I bought it, but it was groundless. They used to say you needed a bronze shaft until that concept
was given up for strength. The construction of this prop is very very beefy when you take it apart. It also comes with replaceable delrin bearings, but I have never seen any wear and I had this apart last year.
Externally adjustable: I cannot stress enough buying
a prop that you can easily adjust externally for forward AND reverse. Max prop apparently has one you can pay extra for--I would not have a feathering prop without this feature unless I had an extra $1000 to haul the boat a couple times to get the prop pitch
matched to the engine
output. It took two or three dives to get it perfectly set up, but that is a whole lot better than hauling the whole boat and disassembling the thing to make adjustments. See David Gerr's book for prop pitch
output. Most production boats are overpitched and this is murder on your diesel
. This prop eliminated "walk" in reverse.
I picked up about .6 Knot
of sailing speed with the prop and my engine is finally running at 70% of power at cruising speed--the level a diesel
should work to ensure the longest life--with the overpitched two blade the engine gave significant black smoke and went too fast at proper RPM--something I have experienced with mosts of the production boats I have delivered (I did this many years ago for a bit).
This prop is also very easy to install and maintain, the instructions are readable and the help from Martec was excellent when I had some questions. The zincs are easy to replace and the lube can be accomplished under water
, but I have found it does not need attention between hauls.
It is one of the best investments I made in my boat. By the way, it costs a lot less than a Max prop or the others out there--at least when I priced my situation.