Re: 3 blade prop or two blade folder
IMO it's all about the absolutely worst situation you could ever be in.
Are you willing to risk your boat to an inferior prop? Folding props without gearing could leave you with no prop in an emergency, if it doesn't open. A geared prop will always open, even if terribly fouled, which is a nice feature. I also prefer a feathering prop to a folding one.
Two blade fixed props are fine if you have a shaft brake and can line up the prop vertically when sailing, a real pain.
Our 3 blade MaxProp has been fine, low drag and no noise from spinning while sailing. However they do require occasional greasing and service after a lot of use.
We are also sailing the West Indies and I doubt we've used the engine 15 hours over the last year, so it's wonderful not to have all that drag.We carry a 2 blade fixed prop for emergencies; they are easier than a 3 to stow.
One item I really recommend is a cutter; a real lifesaver for sure, especially with all the traps down here. Without a cutter I wouldn't run any of the the lees after dark under power. There are numerous cutters of many designs, but I'd go with the Spurs Cutter; great company support and a well rated cutter.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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