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Question about prop

May 20, 2019
S2 9.2 Will Ingram In Northeast
I just bought my first sail boat, it’s a 1981 S2 9.2 with the 15hp yanmar (2GM). It’s in great shape overall, I’ve been extremely lucky for her age. I have been told by a few people that the only issue is that it’s under powered...(can’t fix that now) but also was told that the 2 blade prop is not as effective as a 3 blade. I’ve found that the YGM can have either the 14x11 or the 15x9 on 3 blade. I guess my question is mostly about practicality, I was told that the 3 blade makes it more manageable and maneuverable under power. Does it make a difference really? If it does is the shaft 1”? Or 1 1/8” I didn’t have my caliper when I was at her last, but to my eye it’s at least 1”. I would be able to do this on my own but my tools at school are in Rhode Island, I live in Mass, and the boat is on the hard in Conn, and I drive a 2 seater...so it’s hard to have everything I need when I’m going between all of that. Any info I can receive would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited:
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
@Will423 It appears that you are Thinking about a propeller change.
The first question is how do you want to use your boat?
  • If sailing perhaps racing is the dominate use then a 2 blade prop is going to give you improved sailing experience. With the blade in line with the keel you got reduced prop drag which means improved sailing speed.
  • If you are doing a lot of power cruising with conditions of high currents or expecting to frequently be in heavy weather conditions under power then perhaps a 3 bladed prop can provide a little improvement under power but you will sacrifice sailing speed.
Boats are a series of compromises. Only you can decide which side to favor and which to give up.

An additional option is a folding or feathering prop. This will mitigate some of the limits of the fixed blade prop. These come with a price tag.

It is your boat and your choice. Choose wisely.
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Likes: Justin_NSA
May 20, 2019
S2 9.2 Will Ingram In Northeast
Thank you for the input. The boat has a fixed 2 blade prop already. So from what I’ve been told there shouldn’t be much more drag with the 3 vs the 2. A feathered prop is not an option for me right now, but a 3 blade is for nothing. I will be doing quite a bit of motoring when I take her from Newport down the Eastern Seaboard. I may change it later but I’m thinking the extra control during my trip down will be worth it. Again thank you for the input.
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Likes: jssailem
Nov 10, 2018
S2 9.2a Marblehead, Massachusetts
Congrats on the boat. I am in Marblehead and there are not too many S2s around...Mine is my first boat too. Would love to know how you make out with the prop.
May 20, 2019
S2 9.2 Will Ingram In Northeast
I went to her a few days ago, the prop I was given would’ve worked, but I just didn’t have the materials I needed to get it off, it’s launching in 2 weeks so I’m concentrating on other things. My problem is that I’m Newport, Rhode Island going to IYRS, I currently live aboard a boat in Massachusetts, and my boat is at a Marina in Connecticut. I have a small 2 seater car so it’s difficult to get everything I need when I’m driving 2 hours to get to her. Once she’s launched she will be right in the harbor next to my school so I’ll have all my tools and more close. I love the boat though. Thanks
Jun 10, 2004
S2 9.2A Winthrop, MA
Been there and got that tee shirt. My boat was in Milford CT when I bought it. I trucked back and forth for weeks doing a bunch of stuff that people "thought I should do", but at least I had a pickup truck!
May 20, 2019
S2 9.2 Will Ingram In Northeast
When I get settled in Mobile I’ll be buying a truck for work..but right now I’m just trying to “stay afloat” figuratively...and hopefully never literally
Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I have had the 2GM20F Yanmar in my last 2 boats...1990 Hunter 280 and my current 1988 O’Day 322.

I am on Lake Michigan, so I don’t have to fight any currents, but I find the engine pushes the boat ok. I run a fixed 2-blade prop and it pushes the boat at 6+ knots pretty easily.