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Old 12-04-2018, 01:01   #1
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Folding Props a must have?

I have been kicking around putting on folding props (flexfold). wondering what the thoughts are from those that are using them on the 450. $4,000US just wondering if it is dollars well spent?
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:25   #2
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

I expect that they are well worth it. We have the flexifold and we motor at 7kts one engine and 8kts 2 engines at 6 ltrs per hours per engine at 2800rpm. However the point is what effect is there on the speed when sailing and folded vs fixed pitch? We nearly always sail at about half the wind speed. We max out at 9-10kts but can easily surf with a following sea in the 12-16kt range.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:04   #3
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

The idea of folding props on a production cruising boat to increase speed or fuel economy is a total waste of money. Now as equipment on a race boat I can see the need to squeeze out the extra knot or two any way possible..
Folding props very expensive, finicky, and have a tendency to lock up at exactly the wrong time. Most production cruising boats are relatively slow and so the extra knot or two will make little difference on a passage, and there is no science that I have seen that definitively proves any cost saving. Just another complicated piece of equipment to go wrong with no real benefit. But it sure is nice to tell everyone at the dock about your fancy xyzzy folding props and all the perceived benefits. I remember fondly trying to dock a friends FP 60' when one of his expensive folding props locked up in the wrong direction and all we could do is go around in circles and loose control of the boat. The owner had to send the props back to the manufacturer at great expense and they fixed the problem at further great expense shipped them back half way around the world and when we put them back on the boat they locked up again and we got to do more circles around the dock.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:23   #4
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Absolutely worth it.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:27   #5
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Absolutely worth it X 2
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:47   #6
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Fixed props make an annoying thrum/whirring noise when sailing. When running one engine the other fixed prop causes higher resistance and increases the turning moment. Folding / feathering props can allow a boat to sail more efficiently even if it is only 1/2 knot - divided by 6 that is 8%. Some claim over 1 knot improvement. Some folding props do not work as well as fixed props in reverse.

Having the props spin continuously means the sail drive gears, shafts, bearings and seals are being worked a lot more. Yanmar does not recommend leaving them in gear.

Whether you think lower noise, increased service time and/or costs, better sailing efficiency are worth the money - is a judgement call.

When it comes time to sell you boat one of the first things a prospective buyer who has previously had folding props (even on a mono hull) will discount is the cost of adding folding props, will also consider the sail drive to be more worn. So why not put them on yourself and enjoy the benefits - they rarely wear out if properly maintained.

Keep one of your fixed props as a spare.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:48   #7
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Had a Maxi-prop on our monohull and made a world of difference, no problems locking up but had to be rebuilt every so often.
Now that we have a Lipari with new 30hp engines which VP folding prop is recommended or other brand?
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:55   #8
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

The real answer is....it depends. If you do a lot of motor sailing, which many do, it's pretty hard to justify the expense. If on the other hand your a very dedicated sailor that avoids motoring then a folder is going to help you achieve higher cruise speeds.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:09   #9
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

I have a monohull and I have a Flexifold. My sail speed increased by about half a knot.
Motoring, I can not detect and difference, forward or reverse. Snagging line
(Especially crap pots) had dropped to zero (I have a full keel). My boat had been a bear to back in to a slip, terrible prop walk. With the flexifold, I would guesstimate the prop walk has been reduced by about 75%.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:52   #10
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Easy Answer. : YES
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:07   #11
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Folding Props a must have?

Why? To decrease drag? Just tilt the motor up so the prop’s out of the water.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:14   #12
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Bit of a thread drift perhaps, but do folding propellers actually open and more importantly close under water?

The basis for the question is a fortnight ago I walked the dog around the boat yard one evening. Early spring in the UK means lots of boats still sat on the hard waiting to be craned back in, which gives everyone an opportunity to see what sort of prop each boat is using. Those with feathering props seemed to vary between blades that could easily be turned with light finger pressure to some which required a good grip and a twist of the arm to move. Clearly some would have no problem feathering once the speed exceeded a couple of knots, others, well I had my doubt if they would ever completely feather on a 30ft yacht despite most showing lots of recent effort at polishing and maintenance.

The folding props seems to be more consistent and varied from easily to fold with finger pressure to light hand pressure.

So are there folk merrily sailing around with a feathering or folding prop that is doing nothing of the sort or perhaps just half an attempt in blissful ignorance?

Examining a dozen difference models prepared ready to back in the water didn't fill me with confidence as a potential buyer.

The YT video of the Flex-o-fold which fails to open doesn't help.

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Old 12-04-2018, 07:14   #13
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krabimike View Post
I have been kicking around putting on folding props (flexfold). wondering what the thoughts are from those that are using them on the 450. $4,000US just wondering if it is dollars well spent?
Going for folding props is -to me- worth some money. Reduced wear on the saildrive, less noise and vibration, more sailing in light winds.

If it needs to be a flexfold for 4000 USD is a different question.
For example Eliche Radice propellers are 500-700 Euro each, so roughly half the cost. I think these are sold under the Volvo Penta brand name as well.

See here for prices in Germany:
segelladen.de , scroll down half way to get to the two blade folding props for saildrives

I bet they are even cheaper in Italy where they are produced.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:12   #14
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

I am considering a feathering rather than folding due to the improved reverse ability.......
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:39   #15
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Re: Folding Props a must have?

.......and less efficient in forward, more likely to snag lines, and more complex.
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