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Old 16-07-2013, 22:35   #1
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Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

I've been thinking for the past couple years about getting a 27-30 foot Catalina or possibly a Hunter. I've been searching Yachtworld and sailboat listings and it seems most of them have the fixed two blade. If I bought one I would put a Michigan Wheel fixed 3 blade on it. My real question is about the propeller shafts. I know they come in 3/4, 7/8 1, 1 1/8, 1 3/4 etc but i'm wondering if the prop shafts on these boats are standardized in DIA/key way etc? I know the lengths of them aren't. I really don't want an odd size/ un common shaft.

Now heres the issue. I've never sailed before and common sense would dictate to learn on a dinghy sailboat, which I plan on doing, but it would be nice to have a back up plan to live in. But i'm really not worried about that part. The boat would stay in a small reservoir for at least two seasons and the rental slips are crowded and tight so I like the idea of having a fixed 3 blade for maneuverability/control/power. At this point i'm not concerned about the exponential drag of a fixed 3 blade.

I do have some experience operating boats but never a sailboat.
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Old 16-07-2013, 22:41   #2
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

Relax.

There's nothing wrong with the stock prop that comes with the boat. Catalina is a long established company. You'll be fine. I had one for 21 years. Maybe a bit more difficult to maneuver than a power boat, but I wouldn't know since I've never had a power boat. Catalinas are fin-keeled boats....they turn on a dime. Backing is an issue, but you get out there and practice and see how the boat performs for you. You need to do that with any boat, any engine, any shaft and prop.

Get your boat and get out there. Enjoy!
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Old 16-07-2013, 23:21   #3
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

Thank you for your response but lets say no anodes were put on it and the electrolysis ate it to ____ and I had to replace the prop and shaft, are the shafts DIA standardized? a lot of them that ive looked at appear to have had no anodes.
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Old 16-07-2013, 23:29   #4
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

I don't know what DIA standardized means. If you are knowledgeable, replace as needed. If not, find the local experts......or contact Catalina or their forums. Lots of Catalinas out there, lots of support.

Here in So Cal, Wilmington Propellor is the place to go. Fill out their form and they'll spec the prop.
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Old 17-07-2013, 00:17   #5
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

Short answer: Yes, they are standardized.

Longer, snarkier answer: The number of blades on a prop and availability of replacements for a production boat falls into the category of stuff to worry about when there is absolutely nothing left to worry about. Hunter and Catalina hired an engineer to calculate the prop size along with everything else on the boat. Buying the boat and learning how to sail it are a little closer to the top of the list of things to worry about.

Good luck in your hunt.
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Old 17-07-2013, 20:59   #6
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

Thank you guys for your answers, I did find that there are SAE standards for prop shafts, key ways etc.
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Old 17-07-2013, 21:07   #7
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

The shaft should be a standard. And you are right, a 3 blade will be far better for maneuvering!
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Old 17-07-2013, 22:06   #8
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The shaft should be a standard. And you are right, a 3 blade will be far better for maneuvering!

You mean SAE standard taper? is there any other shaft design for a sailboat that isn't standard taper? Thank you guys so much for you replies!
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Old 17-07-2013, 22:15   #9
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

There. Now you can worry about the proper shaft length and aligning the propeller coupling. ;-)
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Old 17-07-2013, 23:01   #10
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There are, as you already found, SAE standards. There are also other sizes and taper that may have been used on some odd stuff. Don't lose any sleep over it, if the shaft and prop are shot you can put whatever standard you want back on.
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Old 18-07-2013, 11:43   #11
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Re: Switching fixed 2 blade pro to fixed 3 blade

and a Catalina will likely have something real common....
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