I swapped from fixed to folding Volvo props on my previous Athena 38. It worked very fine and I didn't have any problems with manouverability in harbour and haven't experienced that the prop wouldn't engage when backing up.
The sailing speed gain varies and would not be an issue for anyone cruising, but the noise
and damage to the gear
is a differnt case all together! I've read somewhere that a Bahia
46 sailing down the east coats broke the saildrive clean off at high speed! With feathering or folding props that wouldn't have happened.
I always lock the props when under way, this actually gives more speed than free spinning! This sound very strange but do a simple test by pulling any type of toy with a propeller
trough the water
while free spinning and then do the same locked and you would feel the difference in pulling force is less at the latter.
With my current Belize 43
I cannot use any of the folding props on the market due to the short distance between the saioldrive and the rudderblade. I have looked at several different feathering props and after talking to several people with experience I belive the Kiwi prop from New Zealand
would be a sencible choice. This still requires more space than available for me, but I like the simplicity of the prop and it is also very light compared to the competion. It is also as far as I've managed to find, one of the best priced 3 blade feathering props - if not the best priced.
Props are like food! You always find different people that hates and love the same thing!
Don't know what make and model you have, but a check with the manufacturer should provide usful information.
I have been advise Maxprop for my Belize
, but I find the too expensive.
Happy lead free sailin!