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Fold or feather?

Apr 5, 2009
1,547
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
Now you done it! That is like asking which anchor holds best! :badbad::biggrin:
I have an AutoProp on my C30 and really like it. That said, I have never had any other prop on my boat and have not been on any other C30's so have no way of saying if it is better or worse than other props.
 
May 17, 2004
3,374
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
We have a 3 bladed Flexofold and really like it. We replaced our OEM fixed prop with it. Reverse thrust is less than with the fixed, but still plenty. Forward thrust is the same or better than the fixed.

In general folding props have the least drag and most forward thrust. Feathering props have the most reverse thrust. Folding props also generally require less maintenance.

Yachting Monthly did a pretty comprehensive test at Folding and feathering propeller test
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,884
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I Ditto HW. I have a Gori twin blade folder. It was installed prior to me purchasing Bella.
In my mind, I would think a folding prop would be faster since there's less blade in the flow of water. Control is anyone's guess.
 

Johnb

.
Jan 22, 2008
1,286
Hunter 37-cutter Richmond CA
Happy with a flex-o-fold for 17 years now. No experience with any other. Performance aside it is very nice that the whole question of in/out gear while sailing goes away.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
My experience with Flexofold (4 boats?) mirrors that test. I totally trust them to open. And to work like a prop should. Then go away after you turn off the motor.

They come as standard on Bene First and J-boats, if that matters.
 
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Likes: Mikem
Dec 7, 2018
163
C&C 27 Mk V Vancouver
Now you done it! That is like asking which anchor holds best!
Bring it!
I have to replace a fixed this fall and only want to do it one time. Was leaning feathering for moar positive reverse but they tell me all folders open all the time?
Guy should buy a proper drift.......
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,547
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
Stopping is never a problem with my AutoProp. I can stop the boat in 1 boat length from full cruise speed if I really get after it. And yes, they do normally look like a dead duck when not turning.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Bring it!
I have to replace a fixed this fall and only want to do it one time. Was leaning feathering for moar positive reverse but they tell me all folders open all the time?
Guy should buy a proper drift.......
something is totally wrong with that FoF. They open and stop immediately.
 
Aug 2, 2010
433
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
My FoF has worked flawlessly to the point that I don't even think about it until I make a harder push and you can hear it clank open.
 
May 17, 2004
3,374
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Tell us more.....got a dealer for these local.

From Boating Scandinavia who posted above vids...
Sounds like a quality control issue at F'oF.
I have heard about vibration issues with the 2 blade from time to time. Maine Sail has written about problems with that himself a few years ago. The 3 blade doesn’t seem to have any reports of such problems, and ours is as smooth as the fixed prop was.
 
May 1, 2011
2,268
Pearson 37 Lusby MD
Tell us more.....got a dealer for these local.
Not much to tell. My 3-blade fixed prop got nicked when I caught a string of crab pots:facepalm:. Gave me an excuse to go with a feathering prop. Boatyard recommended 3-blade MaxProp. With a clean bottom, boat is half a knot faster under sail. I noticed a little more prop walk to port in reverse, but have really learned how to use it to my advantage. Just make sure the prop is lubed every season and replace its anode.
 
May 17, 2004
3,374
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
By the way, here’s the plot of my upwind boat speed during a couple years worth of races with the fixed and folding props. Orange dots are fixed prop, blue dots are 3 blade FOF. Lines are the best fit polynomials.
1604055533825.jpg


At low wind speeds the difference is as much as a knot. The difference closes when approaching hull speed. As wind increases more the FOF pulls ahead again, because the fixed prop was causing turbulence that stalled our rudder.

Only caveat is that since I had a couple years experience with the boat before switching to the FOF, some of the speed improvement might be from increased skill vice the prop.
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,123
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
I'm reading those are maintenance intensive.
Max Prop IMHO is not maintenance intensive. Needs to be cleaned and greased every Spring. The only difficulty is initially finding the proper pitch setting. You will have to partially disassemble and reassemble the prop (without removing it from the shaft) to change the pitch setting. You probably will have to use trial and error to find the right pitch setting for your boat. Set it too steep and your engine will not reach full speed. Set it too shallow and your boat will not reach full speed. Once you have found the right pitch you will not have to do that again. Mine has been working flawlessly with just annual cleaning (barnacle removing) and a squirt of grease for the last sixteen years. A typical year for me is 100 hours of motoring. Do not believe claims that you will not have prop walk in reverse with the Max Prop. You will, but it is manageable.
 
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Likes: Sandy Stone
Dec 7, 2018
163
C&C 27 Mk V Vancouver
I have had my boat for 21 years and it is still within spec. I have not needed to rebuild or do any maintenance other than clean it.
Glad it's working for you. I've now read enough threads elsewhere about both versions of that prop, water lubed and the newer one with greased seals throwing blades that I'm not risking it. Not on my budget. Shame 'cause it sounds like they're the shizzle when they work.
 
Dec 7, 2018
163
C&C 27 Mk V Vancouver
So it sounds like yearly maintenance for feathering props.
How often do you guys w/F'oF's need to do it?