I have had Kiwi props on my cat for 5 years and 11,000 miles including 1100 hours of motoring on each side. They are great props but do require some periodic attention. Not only must the props be kept lubed, but the rollers must be kept free of fouling so that they can roll. Read the excellent web site carefully, especially in regards to maintenance
and auto-rotation. I have only come across one unhappy customer, but he was unaware that the props needed periodic maintenance
so was disappointed when they froze up on him and he went back to a fixed prop, which, to be honest, was probably a better choice for him.
Issues that we have had with the props include auto-rotation, wear at the base of the props where the reversing rollers contact the blades and blades falling off after removal
and re-installation. Kiwi props have addressed these issues by changing the prop geometry to discourage auto-rotation, changing the size and shape of the rollers so that wear is no longer an issue and adding a threaded retaining pin to the blades so that they cannot come off. Some of the wear issues that I've had with the blades are due to operator error, in that I painted the hubs which fouled the rollers, which in turn caused wear on the blades. Lube the props yearly, keep the rollers clean and all is good.
The blades are stronger than most people think. We have run over logs
while sailing and motoring and came away with only minor dings. We carry spare blades but another option is to carry a cheap
, fixed prop for emergencies.
I have found one of the greatest advantages to be very easy removal
. It is not difficult to lube the props and even change the pitch
while in the water
, but it is so easy to remove the props that I usually just take them off and perform maintenance in the cockpit
As mentioned above, customer service
is outstanding, from both the maker in NZ and the NA rep in Canada
. They believe in their product and will spare no effort to keep their customers happy.