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Old 06-01-2010, 16:59   #46
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So you'd want something less than 10 inches ( assuming it goes right home on your shaft). Have you looked at Kiwi props? New Zealand. They're not metal, they're made of the synthetic stuff outboard props are made from. ( Pupont Zytel) They are certainly lighter and given the problems that people have with bearing and cones etc on sail drives. (Although, a 16" blade is a 16" blade. We might be trying to defy the laws of physics here) They sure are less expensive. There is a distributor in town here. I'll give him a call and see if I can find out the length of a folded 16inch prop.

Question ? If you were going to survey a Belize 43 which areas would yo look at carefully for defects, given your experience? (Other than the ones mentioned in previous posts)
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Old 06-01-2010, 17:52   #47
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Kiwi Folding Props

I rang up the bloke at Solas Marine here in town. They are the Australian distributers of the Kiwi prop. Made in New Zealand from some synthetic stuff ( Pupont Zytel).
He got out a 16" prop and measured it over the phone. He says it is 7 3/4 inches long when completely feathered.(sounds do-able). Price A$1975 and the blades can be replaced at A$110 each. I looked at these when I tried to put one on my tri (smallest is 15" -I needed 14"). They don't look and feel as chunky,sleek or solid as the others. But I'm thinking maybe that is a good thing, if it means less weight and then fewer problems with the sail drive (bearings/cone wear).
He says that Yanmar have told him that they prefer Kiwi props for this reason but they've got a contract with Gori and thats that. He got very passionate when I suggested there would be a problem if the prop hit something. I won't repeat the language but he basically says it is cow manure. The only problem he says they have seen are props getting caught in shark nets etc and getting grooves in the blades. I stiil don't know how they would go if you struck something in the water (log etc) and how this would compare with a metal prop.
HTML Code:
www.kiwiprops.co.nz
(Did I do that right ?)

I don't know if you can get one through Australia, or if you have to go through an International distributor but if you want any more help with it just let me know. The bloke here was very helpful and enthusiastic. He said that they have all the information on most production boats (so it might be easy to do) Otherwise they would need all sorts of hub/ shaft information to get the fit right.

They have been operating for 14 years so there must be a few yachties out there with them on. It would be great to here from people who have actually used them.

weight v's strength v's performance v's reliability v's maintenance

Everything is a compromise.

Jim
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Old 07-01-2010, 14:48   #48
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Kiwi Props

Jim,

Thanks for the research. At the end of my quest for folding props, and becoming somewhat disappointed, I did not research feathering props enough. I do remember when Kiwi came out with their 'composite' prop, but had lost track of it. They seem to have a lot of them out there, and a lot of people quite happy with them. It looks like a good choice.

Now, back to ground zero. My fixed props are ~$200 each, the Kiwi feathering, which is the lowest cost in a feathering prop that I can find, is $1300 in the US. For my situation, is it worth the $2200 up-charge to have feathering props? Decisions, Decisions.

Thanks again for the help! You created a topic for conversation between my wife and I!
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Old 07-01-2010, 15:21   #49
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Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
Question ? If you were going to survey a Belize 43 which areas would yo look at carefully for defects, given your experience? (Other than the ones mentioned in previous posts)
Noisy cabin soles and cabinets are a source of irritation, but I'm not sure how much $$ I'd spend on a surveyor to find such things. If you can 'test sail' the boat in any sea with 2+ foot waves, you'll be able to hear the moaning and groaning for yourself. Then you have to decide if the boat with it's moans and groans are worth the value.

I'd be more interested, due to high cost to fix, in a surveyor to perform the normal hull sounding tests, examine the structure everywhere you can get access to it and look for manufacturing flaws (voids under gelcoat, etc.) and possible fiberglass repairs that can be seen from the inside but are not seen on the outside. This obviously takes a 'hang' on a lift, but can be done in an hour or so. Structure includes bulkheads, and of course on a cat, the main bulkheads that connect the hulls. On the Belize there are 3, the one under the mast, the one at the salon door, and aft of the cockpit seat locker. You don't want to see any cracks in those structures.

I know surveyors will test engines to see if they'll run at redline rpm for 30 seconds and things like that, but most surveyors I've met don't/can't understand the nuances of every engine model. I don't think you can expect them to. The obvious idle speed in gear, *almost* redline in gear underway, etc. Check engine oils for sign of foaming which means coolant in the oil, look for large amounts steam out the exhaust, foam on the underside of the oil filler cap, etc. Check for milky oil in the saildrive or any evidence of metal shavings floating around. None of these are show stoppers, but to give you an indication of how soon you'll be performing some work.

I hope this helps!
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Old 07-01-2010, 19:02   #50
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Thanks for that info re:the survey. Hull soundings, bulkheads,past repairs, engine, saildrives- these aren't minor issues, so thanks for the heads up. My aim is to fly over to the US or Europe sometime early next year and buy a boat to cruise and sail back to OZ. ( like you I have to consult the Admiral on the timing) In my initial contacts with the boat owner/broker I will enquire about some of these issues and as things move on I can get the surveyer to focus on them. So if you can think of any others let me know, no rush. I really like the idea of hull soundings.

I tell you what, if I could have fit a Kiwi prop on my Tri, I would have. Mind you I only had to buy one. I cringe at the drag caused buy that 3 blade fixed prop. I have never owned a boat with saildrives. So I don't have any first hand experience. But given the number of complaints I have read about them, the cost and difficulty of repairs and maintenance, if I could buy the boat I want with shaft drive I would. So if (any evidence ?)experience has shown that Kiwi props reduce wear on saildrives its got to be worth it in the long run.
Try this strategy. Take your wife out to dinner (flowers,champagne,soft lighting, prop buying music). This must be done a week before your birthday. Then spend the next week dropping hints.

Happy Birthday
Jim
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Old 08-01-2010, 17:07   #51
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Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
I have never owned a boat with saildrives. So I don't have any first hand experience. But given the number of complaints I have read about them, the cost and difficulty of repairs and maintenance, if I could buy the boat I want with shaft drive I would. So if (any evidence ?)experience has shown that Kiwi props reduce wear on saildrives its got to be worth it in the long run.
Yes, saildrives are scary, one of those 'compromises'. I cringed when I bought, but as stated my criteria that forced a saildrive outweighed my fears. Saildrives allow the designer to move the engine way aft compared to shaft drives. My consolation was, 'they been out there since 1978(?), they certainly have the kinks worked out by now'. I have to keep telling myself that when I'm in the water unfouling a crap pot line (I could have have a skeg, I could have had a skeg.)

My experience has been positive. The boat is 7 years old, I've maintained the lower seals at haulout, changed 1/2 the oil at every engine oil change and so far so good. No milky oil, no clutch chattering, and ~1400 hours.

Why only 1/2 the oil? The SD20 saildrive, unlike the SD40/50, has to be drained from the lower plug. Kind of hard to do in the water. But I've been able to wiggle the hose on my oil suction pump to a place that gets ~1/2 the oil out. It holds 2.2L and I get a little over a liter out. Hence I run the drives for 30 minutes or so, then suck out half the oil. I can't tell whether this helps, but it gives me comfort in knowing I have met about 1/2 of Yanmar's suggested maintenance. Something is better than nothing. It is interesting to me why Yanmar suggests 100 or 150 hours oil change on these drives. It's 90w gear oil, it can't be an 'oil worn out' issue, it has to do with possible metal shavings or water penetration. I'll keep doing it this way as my oil looks clean and no milkiness (and I have no other choice).

Will the Kiwi prop be easier on the saildrive than a fixed prop? I would think only because it's not trying to spin the drive while sailing. Which I would say is a lot lighter load than motoring at speed. There's enough slip in water that the fixed vs. Kiwi wouldn't matter simply shifting in and out of gear.
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Old 08-01-2010, 17:55   #52
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DotDun

Your experience with the saildrive is very reassuring.You've got some good hours out of them without problems.(touch wood)

Quote:
I can't tell whether this helps, but it gives me comfort in knowing I have met about 1/2 of Yanmar's suggested maintenance.
I laughed out loud. What a great tip !

Quote:
Noisy cabin soles and cabinets are a source of irritation, but I'm not sure how much $$ I'd spend on a surveyor to find such things.
I suppose cats as a structure have to flex but (iyo) does the Belize have more of an issue in this area ?

There's a Belize for sail in town. I'm going to email the broker and try to organise a sail.

Really appreciate your responses.
Jim
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Old 08-01-2010, 20:49   #53
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I suppose cats as a structure have to flex but (iyo) does the Belize have more of an issue in this area ?
To be honest, I don't have enough experience on various cats to answer that question. My previous experience chartering was a few days to a week on any particular model and I wasn't paying attention to 'flex'. My experience includes Lagoon and Manta, both of which are good sailing boats.

I like to think there is zero flex, but I know nothing is absolute. If one studies the design, there are 3 major bulkheads that sit vertically tying the hulls together. Then you have the enormous salon top that lays horizontally sitting on the top of 2 of the bulkheads with the bridgedeck 7' below tying all 3 bulkheads together. There has to be flex, but nothing I've ever been able to sense. If there is noise, it's not any of these structures, it's interior stuff, galley, seating, nav station, etc.
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Old 08-01-2010, 22:42   #54
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Maybe its just noise then. My tri has 3 hulls; its very stiff, no flexing that I've noticed but it still makes some creaking sounds that I've got used to. It's the unusual noise that gets me out of my bunk.

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When it comes to changing oil in the saildrive, I agree the 38hp w/SD40 would be nice. But when it comes to motoring, the smaller lighter engine that drinks less fuel is also nice. It's a trade off!
With regard to engines. There is a Belize for sail in the Carribean with 50 hp engines (yanmar). Nice power but as you say more fuel and I don't know how much weight that would add to the ends of the boat. What sort of performance do you get with your smaller engines when the boat's loaded ?

Jim
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Old 08-01-2010, 23:08   #55
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BTW I looked at a Lagoon 410 1999 a couple of months back. The owner told me that the boat flexed a lot but that he got used to it. He claimed all cats flexed.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:06   #56
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With regard to engines. There is a Belize for sail in the Carribean with 50 hp engines (yanmar). Nice power but as you say more fuel and I don't know how much weight that would add to the ends of the boat. What sort of performance do you get with your smaller engines when the boat's loaded ?

Jim
I would be skeptical of a broker's claim of 50hp engines. My first thought is, 'You can't fit a 50hp Yanmar in that engine room.' If I remember correctly, after the 38hp, you'd have at least 3-4" inch longer engine. The water pump and alternator would be into the forward bulkhead. Or it would take major redesign of the saildrive pod.

Remember the disclaimer at the bottom of all broker listings that state the words above are simple claims by a simple broker who most likely doesn't know what he's talking about.

Prior to purchase, I queried the engineers at FP about the engine choices. Their response to the 38hp was, "You'll use more fuel and not go any faster." I assumed they were referring to hull speed, which is a complete mystery to me on multihulls. Yes, the 38hp/SD40 saildrive allows for sucking all the oil out of the top, that has value. The 38hp model is 3jh2e and weighs 403lbs. The 27hp model is 3gm30 and weighs 304lbs. 198lbs more for the bigger engines. More tradeoffs! (Oh yeah, btw, at the time the 38hp option was $5000)

I burn 2L per hour per engine making 7kts at 2700rpm (top of the torque curve). Of course I can't get 7kts with the nose into a 30kt wind. I'm sure the 38hp would push the boat faster into a 30kt wind, at the expense of more fuel. More tradeoffs!

If I run at 3000rpm, I'll make 7.5kts and have seen 8kts if the wind cooperates. Of course, if there's wind, why am I motoring?

Yanmar 3gm30 specs call for continuous rating at 3400rpm, with 1 hour rating at 3600 rpm, and a redline at 3850 rpm. So we're running well below the capabilities at the bottom of the fuel comsumption curve.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2010, 18:47   #57
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I would be skeptical of a broker's claim of 50hp engines. My first thought is, 'You can't fit a 50hp Yanmar in that engine room.' If I remember correctly, after the 38hp, you'd have at least 3-4" inch longer engine. The water pump and alternator would be into the forward bulkhead. Or it would take major redesign of the saildrive pod..............Prior to purchase, I queried the engineers at FP about the engine choices. Their response to the 38hp was, "You'll use more fuel and not go any faster."
Yep ! This all sounds pretty logical to me. The Belize I looked at had a 38 h.p in it and it looked pretty cramped in that space. The alternator seemed difficult to get at. You must reach a point of diminishing returns with H.P after a while your just digging a whole for yourself.

Another boat I am looking at is the Bahia 46, similar price. I am just not sure how difficult it would be to sail a boat this big shorthanded.
What is the Belize like to sail short or single handed ?

Jim

P.s I really appreciate the time your taking to answer my questions. Feel free to take a break if it starts to get tiresome.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:47   #58
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Surveying Belize

Hi Jim,

It's worth checking the hull sides above the waterline all the way up to where the hull curves in at the top. If you carefully look alongside both from freward and backwards to see if the are any dents. If there are dents check by knocking with your fist, if there is a dull sound that's a sign that the outer fiberglass layer has slipped from the foam material.

I found this on my boat when I bought it but as a condition of purchase i got the sellers to use their insurance to repair the damage. This entailed removing the outer fibreglass layer on the dents and replace. The person who did this repair on our boat was very competent and had a deal with another person specialising in gelcoat mixing. When finished with job I could not identify the areas of repair, fantastic workmanship!

Also check that vthe winches runs smoothly without any play. If their worn replacement is expensive.

Flexing is not prominent on the Belize, but in general all boats must flex to a certain degree otherwise they would simply break apart. Ref the Liberty ships built after the war. They had both longutudinal and atwartship stringers. This design made the ships so rigid that they broke up like crisp bread and a lot of sailors lost their life.

The Belize do not flex much which can be seen when there is high load on the rig and the leward staybstill is tight.

The Admiral is calling! Have to go now.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:19   #59
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Quote:
If there are dents check by knocking with your fist, if there is a dull sound that's a sign that the outer fiberglass layer has slipped from the foam material.
Great tip
Quote:
winches
Great tip.
Quote:
The Belize do not flex much which can be seen when there is high load on the rig and the leward staybstill is tight.
That's all you can ask for.

When I find my boat I will use this information to make a checklist for myself and the surveyor. Hopefully what I end up with is a great boat with only a few minor issues to deal with.

Thanks again
Jim
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:13   #60
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Another boat I am looking at is the Bahia 46, similar price. I am just not sure how difficult it would be to sail a boat this big shorthanded.
What is the Belize like to sail short or single handed ?
I have never single handed my Belize. Not that it couldn't be done, just never 'had' to. Given normal circumstances, sure it would be easy. Afterall, the autopilot can replace a helmsperson in the proper conditions. You would have to accept the obvious sails luffing due to one person running around the boat during a furl out or tack. And those big stiff sails make a lot noise when flapping in the breeze.

What scares me when I think about it is how fast 'normal circumstances' can change. I know the autopilot won't keep the boat in the wind with 35kts and 8ft seas, at least not good enough to keep the wind out of the main. If I had to lower the main in those conditions, it certainly wouldn't be all nice, flaked and 'in the bag'. It would be laying all over the bimini in a big mess because I'd be standing at the mast with a free halyard pulling on the sail like mad.

So, single hand on a day sail with good weather, sure! On a bluewater crossing, not me.
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