Dan - I would dearly love to get another max prop, but with the Aust $$ very low to the US $$ it puts up to over $3K here, so I will probably be looking at a slipstream or autostream which are made in Aust, or a Kiwi prop.
We used an Autostream on our previous boat and found it to be a good piece of kit. Had around 2K hours on it when we sold her, and to my knowledge it is still in good nick now some five years later. Besides being a LOT cheaper than a Max Prop, we liked the ability to easily change the pitch
while the boat is in the water
. (Can be done free diving
with a ring spanner and a screwdriver -- way easy!) Their newer stainless steel
model seems even better.
The one thing that many fail to realize about feathering props of any brand is their relative inefficiency. This is an inherent feature, and is due to there being no twist in the prop blades. In our case, we went from a good (Martec Elliptical) folding prop to the 3 blade
Autostream. As expected, the new prop had lots of static thrust in both directions, but we suffered a 25% loss in fuel
in those days, but it meant a 25% reduction in motoring range, which was an issue for us (old race
boat, small tanks). So, on Insatiable II we chose to go with a good (Flex-O-Fold) 3-blade folder, and are happy with it. Not as much grunt in reverse, but lower drag sailing, and good efficiency going forwards!
Hope that you can come to a good resolution...
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone, Qld, Oz