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Old 17-11-2014, 09:30   #1
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Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

Hello Fellow Cruisers:

Just bought a Leopard 39 that is a year old. It currently has the factory standard fixed 2 blade props. The Factory does offer a Gori two blade folding prop and in talking with AB Marine, they suggest a three blade (of course it is more money). Any experience or comments on which way to go? I can imagine that you get substantially less drag with a folding prop, but is it worth the money? Thanks john
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Old 17-11-2014, 11:22   #2
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Re: Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

A fixed prop will cost you ~1/2 knot each - so you are probably a full knot slower under sail with them. If you motor a lot (ICW, coastal sailing), stay with the fixed props. Otherwise, folding props are worth the money.


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Old 17-11-2014, 14:53   #3
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Re: Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

Ditto Mark. But your boat will motor on one prop better with folding/feathering because the rudders won't have to compensate even more for the idle prop drag.

Generally speaking, when compared to a 2-blade, the 3-blade will give you better performance when powering against a head sea and while maneuvering in both forward and reverse.

In your calculus, if you go with folders, give yourself the worth of having two spare fixed props.

To compare props, see the Yachting Monthly tests here:

Good luck,
2 Hulls Dave
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Old 18-11-2014, 01:58   #4
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Re: Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

I've owned 3 blade Gori props and still have one as a spare. I now have Bruntons. I think Gori props are better backing up but they are a maintenance headache and very complex. You have to replace 3 zincs on each prop and the collar zincs are not easy to do underwater. There is also a soft inner bushing that almost has to be replaced every time you haul. Most if not all of the folding props on sail drives have rubber bushings. The question is how often and how expensive it is to replace them.

Having said that Gori props are as gorgeous to behold as they are expensive and AB Marine provides good service.

One last word of caution regarding Gori props. Their Overdrive feature in my opinion puts undue stress on the dampening plate when going into it. To activate Overdrive you put the engine in reverse and then shift rapidly to forward. The rapid shifting keeps the prop blades from reorienting themselves and you end up with a different pitch going forward. The problem is this that by not pausing in neutral there is undue stress put on the dampening plate to absorb the shock of shifting rapidly. I had a dampening plate fail at 400hrs by shearing off all of the rivets holding it together. With a sail drive it is a major job to replace and I believe the failure was probably directly related to using the Overdrive feature.

In addition to the Yachting Monthly article, there are a number of other articles comparing props. Unfortunately they are too large to upload but here is some information that may help searching for them:

Folding Prop gear test by Nigel Calder Australian Yachting May/June 2011
Prop Art - Segeln (German) Magazine 2008 - English translation available
12 folding props - Voile Magazine Aprl 2009 - not translated but graphics make it easy to understand.

If you send me a private message with your email address, I will email them to you.

Good luck.
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Old 18-11-2014, 02:35   #5
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Re: Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

try a Kiwi Prop - feathering, not folding, 3 blade, work great and good price! :-)
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Old 18-11-2014, 09:14   #6
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Re: Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

Just upgraded from 2-blade fixed to 2-blade folding.

The Volvo saildrive fixed 2-blade props have very small blades. The folding 2-blade has bigger blades, the prop looks more what you find on motorboats, and actually works slightly better forward. Reverse, not sure. Perhaps the same.

3-blade will as stated above be better under motor. No clue how much.

Maybe this might be a good way of thinking. If you're happy how your boat performs with the engines, go for the 2-blade folding. If not, go for the 3-blade.
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Old 18-11-2014, 23:18   #7
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Re: Leopard 39 Exchange 2 blade fixed for Gori 3 blade

Before going out and purchasing some nice new folding props, check with your engine manufacturer which folding prop and size they recommend. There were a number of cases where the owners had changed from fixed two blade props to three blade folding props, which resulted in gearbox and SD damage. When warrantee claims were instituted, the engine manufacturer repudiated the claims as the props were not recommended and put excess stress on the SD's. If I remember correctly, the manufactures do not recommend three blade folding props on the L39 engines - however, I may be wrong in this, so check first.
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2 blade, 3 blade, leopard

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