Thanks to all for the feedback and the info. The price
came in on the 30 at $10k, a savings of one boat unit when compared to the 38. I also received a price
for a 16" feathering prop that Beta sells at around $2,500.
At this point the decision goes on the back burner for a month. Dimensionally, the 30 and the 38 are the same height and width and differ only in length by 6" for one being a three banger and the other a four.
What is interesting to me is that my Universal 5444, also built on a Kubota block, is only slightly larger (1/2" in any direction) than the Beta 38 but weighs 170 lbs more. I am not sure where they are hiding it.
With regards to props, I have spent pretty much all my life, with the exception of a handfull of deliveries or a couple of occasions going cruising with friends, sailing racing
boats that all had folding props so fixed props are kind of a new thing to me.
I confess I haven't ever given that much thought to props in general. The Flexofold has my eye, btw. Anyone have experience with the 2 blade
I think Andrew's prop sounds like a great idea that has a lot of things going for it, even for someone who doesn't have the option for retracting their drive. Seems like anchors, or engines, or like many things on boats, what's available is often arbitrary when the particular needs of are not.
Andrew's design, based off of two simple parts
, allows for a truly one-sized-fits-all system. Granted, the draw-back for most people is the huge PIA factor in the fine-tuning but once accomplished the benefits would be forever.
On the execution side of things, ceramic shell investment casting is capable of of very high definition and accuracy and is at the same time a relatively low tech process that is fairly common worldwide. 3D printing, while being high tech, is become more available and by it's nature is inherently well suited for local manufacture.
I have some experience casting bronze and aluminum
, but never steel
. Without seeing the part, I would be cautious about balancing the required mass of the tapered shank against the fineness of the blade with concern for shrink back, but would otherwise estimate the project as having a very high probability of success.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing some pictures of the finished product!