Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Florence, Oregon
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The Catalina 470 we bought two years ago came with an Autoprop and has served us very well. As stated, there is no propwalk. I couldn't tell you if it is port or starboard. Also, when the blades swing around, they give full thrust in reverse.
But to me the biggest advantage to the Autoprop is its ability to self pitch. This was discussed at some length on our C470 forum. This can result in fuel savings, especially when motorsailing. As the sails add speed to the boat, the blades dig in deeper, keeping the engine under a more proper load and RPMs lower.
For reference, we usually cruise at 2200 RPM at 7.2 kts in flat water, burning 1.08 GPH with a 28,000 lb boat (Yanmar 75 horsepower).
So far, we have had no maintenance issues, just grease and change zincs.