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Evaluating feathering Prop on 37 ft. Hunter

Oct 23, 2019
5
Hunter 376 Tarrytown
Has anyone recently jumped up to a feathering prop? I have a standard 3 blade one connected to my 35 hp Yanmar.
Did you observe light air improvement?
Also were there transmission gearing changes required?
 
Jul 12, 2011
881
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Same size boat and engine, but Catalina (also the same spinnaker profile post!). We switched from a 3-blade Michigan Wheel sail prop to a Maxprop feathering prop. We noticed improved light-air sailing in conditions where hull speed could not be sustained. There is no advantage in sailing after about 10 knots of wind as you have more power than you need. We noticed improved backing/braking ability as the prop is much more efficient than a reversing fixed blade. It still seems to have the same amount of prop-walk, unfortunately. There are no changes in transmission as the proper sizing and pitch was obtained from the new prop (Maxprops are adjustable, and PYI gives great guidance on sizing - PYI Inc. | Max-Prop Automatic Feathering Propellers ). We motor at about the same RPMs to hull speed and have not noticed decreased, although I am told that we are less efficient. All-in-all a good investment if you sail. In addition to the cost of the prop, we replaced our old bronze shaft with stainless (recommended), and did the cutlass bearing at the same time, so it added up to about 5 boat-bucks as I did not do this myself.

Be aware that you should maintain this prop annually (or so) by greasing with a grease gun. People have ruined their investment by not taking the 15 min to apply grease. It's not hard, but is definitely an out-of-water job.
 
Apr 12, 2007
121
Hunter 420 Herrington Harbor South
I put a 3 blade folding prop on my H 386 and what a difference in sailing and motoring. Gained about a knot in light <10 winds. Went from 5.5 kts @ 2500 RPM to 7. I purchased a Gore folding prop, had it for 8 years before moving up to my current H420. First item ordered was a Gore for the H420. Very little prop walk, obvious benefits mentioned above, overdrive feature is GREAT! Same power forward or reverse. Now I hit hull speed @ 2200RPM
Yes I like mine. May want to look into it but $$$
 
Jul 12, 2011
881
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
I've not had weed or line fouls (but then again I'm incredibly lucky). I know that folding props absolutely suck at motoring, and are near worthless in reverse. It's all a compromise. If you maximize sailing performance, say racers or LONG distance sailors, then its worth maximizing sail performance through a folding. I motor or motor-sail occasionally, and demand that the boat stop when I hit reverse.
 
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Apr 11, 2010
807
Hunter 38 Whitehall MI
Has anyone recently jumped up to a feathering prop? I have a standard 3 blade one connected to my 35 hp Yanmar.
Did you observe light air improvement?
Also were there transmission gearing changes required?
you might want to do a search in the archives on this subject. There are dozens of posts and I think you will get some really valuable information. I switched to a feathering prop 10 years ago and I’d never go back.
 
Jan 12, 2016
255
Hunter 410 Ladysmith, BC
We have a max prop on our boat and love it. Great power, reverse and forwards, feathered to near zero drag sailing.

If replacing though I would likely look at a Bruntons Auto-Prop as it will give you even better performance by load adjusting the pitch while the prop is turning. Much better performance will happen at lower RPM's.
 
Jun 1, 2009
1,304
Hunter 49 toronto
Has anyone recently jumped up to a feathering prop? I have a standard 3 blade one connected to my 35 hp Yanmar.
Did you observe light air improvement?
Also were there transmission gearing changes required?
Going to save you a lot of time, head scratching, soul searching
Buy a 3 bladed Max prop
Had it on my 40.5, and realized in 5 minutes that I made the absoutey right choice.
If your boat was bigger, I’d say 4 blade Vari.
Respectfully, auto prop , and Gori folding are better than a fixed prop, but for your boat you will get optimum performance from the max
You will have zero reverse prop walk, and be able to stop from full speed to zero in one boat length.
But it from Defender., best prices
Max prop needs to know your engjne & transmission
They’ll figure out the rest.
Auto prop is cheaper. There is a reason why, And won’t get into it.
There are only 2 viable feathering pros
Max prop & vari prop.
You can spend less, but in that case I’d reccomend keeping your fixed prop.

this is an important decision. The reviews all overwhelmingly echo what I’m telling you

good luck
 
May 31, 2020
2
Hunter 37 C San Diego
I switched to a Flex-O-Fold 2 blade on my H37C last year, what a great prop it is! It opens in BOTH fwd & rev while at idle and provides at least as much thrust as the old 3 blade prop. Prop walking is a little less, but still there.
 
Jul 12, 2011
881
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
How the hell ... ? I've dropped those little grease fittings working at eye-level on the hard with a tarp under me, and spent a half-hour searching the tarp for the little bugger. I'd never think about doing it under those circumstances. Kudos.
 
Feb 26, 2011
1,198
Achilles SD-130 Alameda, CA
How the hell ... ? I've dropped those little grease fittings working at eye-level on the hard with a tarp under me, and spent a half-hour searching the tarp for the little bugger. I'd never think about doing it under those circumstances. Kudos.
Practice makes perfect. And having spare zerk fittings doesn't hurt either. :biggrin:
 
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