Fixed vs. Folding Props: How Much Difference?
The boat we're having surveyed mid-week has a folding prop on it. (The PO raced the boat.) He said he still had the fixed prop and he'd give it to us. I'm considering asking him if the fixed prop could go on while the boat's up in the sling for the haul-out survey, if the initial report from the surveyor doesn't contain any show-stoppers. We'd still have the sea trials to go, but I strongly suspect that if neither the stuctural survey or the haul-out survey stops the deal, the sea trials aren't likely to, either.
But before I ask so bold a question of the PO...
From a standpoint of sailing: How much difference in boat speed does a folding prop make? (The boat's a 30' Pearson P30.)
From a standpoint of motoring: What are the performance implications of a folding prop vs. a fixed prop? For example: When we finally get to cruising, there are times we'll have to go up-river against 2-4 kt. surface currents for 32-40 miles. What about in dockside maneuvering?
The point is: If the folding prop isn't going to hurt motoring and (under power) maneuvering "much," but will noticeably improve performance under sail: I'd prefer to keep it. But if the performance under sail wouldn't be all that much improved, and motoring performance and maneuvering will be significantly negatively impacted: Perhaps I ought to go ahead and ask.