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Folding Prop

Discussion in 'Catalina 310' started by KZW, Nov 17, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. KZW

    KZW

    Joined May 17, 2014
    563 posts, 36 likes
    Catalina 310 #307
    US Bluewater Bay, FL
    I'm looking into a folding prop to replace the fixed three-blade 15x9 currently on the boat. Engine is a Universal M25 XPB (25 hp), Hurth ZF 5M transmission with 2.05 and 1.86 gear ratios.

    I was surprised that Flex-0-Fold recommendation was their two-blade 15x11 prop.

    Are any of you folks using this prop?
     


    Alansails likes this.
  2. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    1,204 posts, 220 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    I'm not, but if I hadn't installed a two bladed Max Prop, I would have used the Flex-O-Fold.

    It was rated VERY highly in reverse (beyond what it does so well in forward). That's amazing for a folding prop.

    It was the standard install for J/Boats.
     


  3. Captain Larry-DH

    Captain Larry-DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    443 posts, 168 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    I had a Flexofold about 10 years back and it was good. I’ve been using a Volvo Penta 3 blade folding prop since then, and very satisfied also. I think they’re about equal in performance and quality, but the VP was much less expensive last time I priced it.
     


  4. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    My friend has a Cal 31 and switched out his 2 blade fixed prop for a flexOfold about 6 months ago.

    He is upset.

    He should have done it 6 years ago.
    He gets great speed/control in reverse. Thinks he runs 1/2 knot increase while under power and 1 full knot under Sail.

    The improvement in control has given him new confidence in boat handling.
     


    Alansails likes this.
  5. SBinNSB

    SBinNSB

    Joined Dec 5, 2010
    67 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 310 310
    222 US Niceville FL
    As you know I really like the Kiwi prop...I plan to pull ours off this winter for servicing if you want to see it. I think it may have more drag then some of the folding props but it motors well in forward and reverse and sailing is improved vs. the stock fixed props. I think it was around $1700, I can double check that
     


  6. Alansails

    Alansails

    Joined Oct 3, 2011
    578 posts, 67 likes
    Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155
    US Lake Erie/Catawba Island
    KZW can't wait to hear about your deceision and how easy or not, it is to install.
    Does anyone know if this adds to resale?, we are NOT selling but interested to know if it helps or not.
     


  7. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    “Does this add to resale?”
    Alan, interesting question. My answer... Yes.. No.. Maybe.
    Will buying and installing a $2,000 prop add to the resale value of your boat?
    1. Yes... I you have no prop or a damage prop then your boat will be worth less than if you have a prop.
    2. No.. If you have a fully functioning prop and you buy that new Folder can you add the cost of the folder to the price and get all your money or a little more back.
    3. Maybe.. Well on one hand when you are listing the various features of your boat you can specify the special prop. This may attract a buyer interested in racing and choose your boat over a competing boat. But will you get all your money back on the cost of the prop. Not likely.
    My view is that my boat is a choice similar to a car, a dune buggy, a hobby racer, a horse. I am going to spend money/time on a thing I enjoy and when I am finished it will more than likely be worth less than the day I bought it. Yet I will have enjoyed the experience and have the memories. So my investment of money is really a payment for my memories.
    What are yours worth?
     


    Alansails likes this.
  8. Alansails

    Alansails

    Joined Oct 3, 2011
    578 posts, 67 likes
    Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155
    US Lake Erie/Catawba Island
    Thanks John, As always sage advice!, And I agree with you! also good morning Laugh!
    What did you do with the prop you replaced, Sell it, hold it in case the folder goes bad?
    Based on what I know I would go with the FlexoFold at this point.
     


  9. FastOlson

    FastOlson

    Joined Apr 8, 2010
    987 posts, 99 likes
    Ericson Yachts Olson 34
    US Portland OR
    One quibble about a prop factor that has appeared in this (and the majority of previous) prop thread:
    Comments about gains in speed with the "new" prop. This seems to happen with any change, whether a different fixed, feathering, or folding prop.
    Remember.... IF the pitch is optimum for your particular boat, you will motor at an optimum speed.
    Your boat has a potential speed under power - presuming flat water and a clean bottom - and most (!) boats do not have the correct pitch prop installed when new. Oh, it may be close, but the factory first looks to their wholesale price and then spec's out a prop for a given family of similar-length designs. Then they (typically) offer different keels.
    I have documented our progress over many years to get to the best sustainable speed under power, over on the EY.o site. I have used a fixed 2 blade, a feathering two blade for a decade, and after some careful fitting the 3 blade fixed we have now. We were never slow, motoring along at 6.5 kts..... but with the three blade we motor at 7 kts all day long.
    While it's axiomatic that we are fast under sail, we have to also do a lot of miles - sometimes all day- in the NW under power. I dislike the loss of a knot under sail, but would hate to give up any forward power when going up the WA coast against the summer winds, or down the Columbia River 90 miles to Astoria in no wind.
    So, whatever type of prop you go with, always be sure that it really gives you all the speed you are entitled to.
    Remember that pitch is important, but so is total blade area, and so is shape.
    Finding the pitch is part science.... and part learned intuition. That's my opinion, and worth about $.02 on a good day. :)
     


    Alansails likes this.
  10. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Alan. The folding prop experience is from sailing/racing my friend Steve’s Cal31. He changed to the Denmark made folding prop 2 years ago. It made a difference in his boat handling. He kept the old prop, though he may be selling it at the next club garage sale.

    Me I have been looking at a 3 blade Campbell Sailor to replace the prop on my boat. It is one of my project list items as I refit my boat.

    The FlexOFold prop has a good reputation. Installed correctly and maintained you should get many years solid use from it. In all likely hood you may forget where you store the old prop by the time the FlexOFold goes “Bad”.

    Our PacificNW sailing/boating has a significant number of days when gong from place to place can only be accomplished under power. Not only can the wind becalm you but the tidal currents can take you to places you do not want to go. I am going to give up some sailing speed to improve my powering speed. That said there is nothing like a day with a breeze that is taking your boat in the direction you desire.
    3B434805-999C-4CE8-90B3-B6A9088C1977.jpeg

    66CAFFAD-BA1D-477F-A659-AC7DA3981752.jpeg
     


    Alansails likes this.
  11. KZW

    KZW

    Joined May 17, 2014
    563 posts, 36 likes
    Catalina 310 #307
    US Bluewater Bay, FL
    The price offered is a bit over $1000. However, that does not include installation. I don't think I can install it in the water. I'm sure the existing prop has not been off the boat since it was new in 2005. I imagine it will need to be hauled out and then some significant tools applied to get the existing prop off. If I guess at $750 for a haul out, plus labor to pull the old prop, and install the new, we are taking in the range of $2200. I'd really like the extra speed under sail but I just don't know if I'd like it $2.2K worth. Of course, I'd really like to beat SBinSNB's boat on the bay some day!
     


  12. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Not to throw cold water on your quest, but you might check to see if a folding prop adjusts your phrf time. Know different sails can trigger a change.
    My diver has told me that he thinks he can change a prop without a haul. If you need to pull the boat look into a “short haul”. They change the prop wile the boat is suspended in the lift. This usually has a lower cost.
     


  13. fstbttms

    fstbttms

    Joined Feb 26, 2011
    1,049 posts, 81 likes
    Achilles SD-130
    US Alameda, CA
    No prop, be it fixed, folding or feathering, requires a haulout to remove or install. If your diver only "thinks" he can do it underwater, maybe you need to hire one who actually has experience and "knows" he can do it.
     


    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  14. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    6,539 posts, 2,385 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Be sure @fstbttms if I pull into SF Bay you’ll be the first call on my list.
     


    fstbttms likes this.
  15. TFlight

    TFlight

    Joined Mar 31, 2011
    50 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 41DS
    US Pasadena, MD
    I replaced my fixed 18" x 12 3R prop on my Hunter 41 with a Flexofold 18 x14 3R and I love it. Check around to find the size that fits your boat best. Flexofold primary suggestion was a 20x13 3R for better reverse performance and that I think that would have been too large. I instead went with their second recommendation 18x14 3R. I gained boat speed under power and sail.

    http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/gear/folding-and-feathering-propeller-test-29807

    P.S. Remember when you go into idle approaching the docks she will keep on cruising as those blades fold back.
     


    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  16. LakeOntario270

    LakeOntario270

    Joined Jan 4, 2013
    160 posts, 21 likes
    Catalina 270
    US Rochester, NY
    I removed my prop on the hard over winter and it did not want to come off. There was a problem with the key and it took massive force to pull it off using a big socket wrench and solid footing. My new flex-o-fold went on with no issue.
     


  17. fstbttms

    fstbttms

    Joined Feb 26, 2011
    1,049 posts, 81 likes
    Achilles SD-130
    US Alameda, CA
    Next time, try using a prop puller. Right tool for the job and all. Just sayin'. :rolleyes:
     


    Captain Larry-DH likes this.
  18. Captain Larry-DH

    Captain Larry-DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    443 posts, 168 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    jssailem I think you would do just as well with the right folding prop and not have to give up the sailing speed. Try dragging a bucket next time you go sailing. That's what your performance would be like with a fixed 3-blade prop.

    If I allow my 3-blade folding Volvo Penta prop to spin while sailing -- and then lock the shaft to fold the blades, my boat accelerates noticeably. I have read that a free-wheeling fixed prop has almost as much drag as a locked one.
     


  19. KZW

    KZW

    Joined May 17, 2014
    563 posts, 36 likes
    Catalina 310 #307
    US Bluewater Bay, FL
    I back into the slip, so performance in reverse is important

    The "diver" on my boat is me. I anticipate the nut isn't going to want to come off and the prop isn't either. That is why I think a haul out will be needed. It will need serious tools and torque. Possibly some heat.
     


  20. Captain Larry-DH

    Captain Larry-DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    443 posts, 168 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    :thumbup: However, sometimes it can even be tough to remove with a puller. It can help to be out of the water so you can use heat to expand the hub.
     



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