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Old 21-11-2012, 15:11   #16
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post

I hope that this helps clarify your thinking!

Cheers,

Jim
Jim, very good relay of information.

Thanks for sharing.

James L
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Old 21-11-2012, 15:22   #17
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Hi Don
Two questions, if I may-
Does the Flex-O-Fold not need any maintenance at all, no greasing or anything?
How have you found performance in reverse?
Thanks

The only maintenance is to replace the zincs.

Performace has beet excellent and I motor at 5 knots at about 1800-2000 rpm using about .65 gph. I can not tell the difference in reverse between my last boats Max-prop (that is suppose to be "best" in reverse) and my Flex-O-Fold.

I motor faster on my curent boat with the FlexOFold if I push the rpms up, but that may be the larger engine.

The Flex-O Fold was around $1000 less than a new Max-Prop.

I will second Jim's comment about getting your sailboat prop for performace sailing!! But My folding prop has better better performance tan my feathering one, both in speed and lower fuel use.

PS - I started a thread about this back when I was last looking. Should be sometime around Jan-Mar 2011
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Old 21-11-2012, 15:26   #18
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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The only maintenance is to replace the zincs.

Performace has beet excellent and I motor at 5 knots at about 1800-2000 rpm using about .65 gph. I can not tell the difference in reverse between my last boats Max-prop (that is suppose to be "best" in reverse) and my Flex-O-Fold.

I motor faster on my curent boat with the FlexOFold if I push the rpms up, but that may be the larger engine.

The Flex-O Fold was around $1000 less than a new Max-Prop.

I will second Jim's comment about getting your sailboat prop for performace sailing!! But My folding prop has better better performance tan my feathering one, both in speed and lower fuel use.

PS - I started a thread about this back when I was last looking. Should be sometime around Jan-Mar 2011
Jim's and your posts may have changed my mind about folding props.

FWIW, I did search, but didn't come up with your thread. Interesting........but I didn't go through all the pages.....I was surprised at the shear number of threads.

James L
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Old 21-11-2012, 15:31   #19
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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FWIW, I did search, but didn't come up with your thread.
Feathering Prop Choices / Manufacturers
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Old 21-11-2012, 15:48   #20
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

We're cruisers. 36-ft fin keel, spade rudder, 27-hp diesel with a regular shaft drive (not saildrive). Fractional rig, 12,800 lbs empty, 16,000 lbs fully loaded for cruising.

On our first major cruise of 6-years, we left England and eventually crossed the Atlantic with a fixed 3 blade. We would leave the gearbox in neutral so the prop could free wheel. We found free wheeling gave more speed - abt 1/2-kt - than leaving the transmission in gear. It did make a "rumbling" sound when turning.

Starting the 4th year of the cruise, we bought a Prowell (German) 3-blade feathering prop. At the time, Prowell was slightly cheaper than a Max-prop. However, you could not adjust the pitch on a Prowell, while you could on the Max. In the following years, Prowell DID add the external pitch adjustment feature.

Prowell is an extremely simple design, built like a tank out of naval bronze, and has a fitting so the prop can be greased underwater.

When we ordered the prop they had a form to fill out about your boat and then ran it through a computer to determine the best diameter and pitch to use, and made the prop to those specs for your boat.

We could still leave the transmission in neutral and the prop would not turn. Our "top speed" in normal trade wind passages picked up about 1/2-knot. In extremely light airs, we picked up 1 to 1-1/2 knots - a huge plus!!

Under power, we were able to run about 300 less rpm's and still get 5-knots (5/8 gallon an hour). If we run at 4-knots, our fuel consumation dropped down to 1/2 gal an hour.

It produces more thrust in reverse than forward (110% reverse vs 100% forward) and has gotten us off many a sand bar!

The hub zinc is expensive but we have found another cheaper source. Since we have a naval bronze propshaft, we can just add on an extra zinc to the shaft if we are missing our hub zinc and still get full protection.

Overall, extremely please with the Prowell. Still on the boat, it's 20-years old now and still works just fine. It is the single BEST piece of equipment that we ever installed on the boat to increase speed and reduce fuel useage.
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Old 21-11-2012, 16:01   #21
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Ah, but you were not looking at this from a cruising perspective. Just as a comparison to the differences and prices.

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Old 21-11-2012, 17:22   #22
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Ah, but you were not looking at this from a cruising perspective. Just as a comparison to the differences and prices.

James L

How does that change my decision any? Cruising/sailing if it is the right part for the job it's right choice?

Is there a choice/answer you looking to have confirmed?
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Old 21-11-2012, 17:36   #23
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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How does that change my decision any? Cruising/sailing if it is the right part for the job it's right choice?

Is there a choice/answer you looking to have confirmed?
Hush, Don. If you tell him you're one of those guys who pulls his boat out of the water in the winter, you'll be permanently disqualified as a cruiser.

As we all know, you may have purchased the right prop, but it doesn't count if you purchased it for the wrong reasons.
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Old 22-11-2012, 09:23   #24
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
How does that change my decision any? Cruising/sailing if it is the right part for the job it's right choice?

Is there a choice/answer you looking to have confirmed?
The choice was yours to make. It was right for you. That doesn't mean it will be right for me.

People who do not cruise, have a better opportunity to put their boat on the hard to clean and maintain below the waterline. They also typically stay in water which is pretty consistent to temperature, which equates the growth is at a certain speed.

Many who do not cruise do not dive their boat every month to clean the bottom. Cruisers tend to do things more cheaply, and do clean their own bottom on a periodic basis while in the water.

There are many shades of "right", when it concerns sailing and sailboats.

James L
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Old 22-11-2012, 09:25   #25
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Hush, Don. If you tell him you're one of those guys who pulls his boat out of the water in the winter, you'll be permanently disqualified as a cruiser.

As we all know, you may have purchased the right prop, but it doesn't count if you purchased it for the wrong reasons.
I don't find you to be helpful.

This is not about his right or wrong, but the style of maintenance does play a part.

Bash, why don't you go be helpful somewhere else.

James L
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Old 22-11-2012, 09:36   #26
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

I too have a Flex-O-fold 3 bladed prop on my 38ft cruiser. Unless you want a shaft driven generator, I don't see the point of having a fixed bladed prop. Why lose boatspeed under sail when you don't have to?
OK, performance astern isn't sparkling, but it's good enough - I spend a lot more time going forward under sail than I do going astern under power.
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Old 22-11-2012, 15:45   #27
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Re: Folding/Feathering Props for Cruisers?

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
The choice was yours to make. It was right for you. That doesn't mean it will be right for me.

People who do not cruise, have a better opportunity to put their boat on the hard to clean and maintain below the waterline. They also typically stay in water which is pretty consistent to temperature, which equates the growth is at a certain speed.

Many who do not cruise do not dive their boat every month to clean the bottom. Cruisers tend to do things more cheaply, and do clean their own bottom on a periodic basis while in the water.

There are many shades of "right", when it concerns sailing and sailboats.

James L
I still don't understand what this all matters to a prop choice. I cruise my boat, that's all I do on it. Everything I do on my boat is about cruising and reliably.

Are you setting up some special cruiser class that only applies to some narrow view you want to promote?

I don't understand why you would ask for input and then start bad mouthing that input! If you don't like what you get then just don't follow it, but don't start posting how the input wasn't of value! Get whatever prop yo want to as it definitely doesn't matter to me. You probably wouldn't have to worry about any confusing inputs to your questions anymore.
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