2 blade or 3 blade propeller
Hi Jack and Jeff,
It is great to chat with both of you again. I appreciate your points, all good ones.
I too am surprised at the Campbell pitch and diam recommendation and so was wondering if anyone had made this specific change and had comparable numbers. Apparently though, Campbell says that they have a lot of experience with the engine, displacement and tranny in this range and likes these numbers best. Still, I would like to hear from anyone who has actually made this change.
I do think the campbell prop will have much less drag than a similar three blade and more than likely less drag than the existing 2 blade prop (it has broad blade surfaces). I am not that concerned with drag, it is a fact of life. I cannot afford and otherwise do not wish to have a folding or feathering prop. I want a fixed prop as it is simpler, cheaper and more reliable.
Jack, completely agree with your points about using prop walk (and do not have a bow thruster). I do use it and there are situations in which it is great. But...invariably, there are more situations in which I would like to have much less. If need be, we could use a spring line to accomplish much the same as the walk.
My cruising plans have changed a little bit due to family reasons. I have to stay closer to FLA and the east coast (so that I could hop a plane to FLA to take care of my folks if the need arises). So, I will be in FLA and the islands. Probably much of the caribbean and cruise up and down the east coast. Perhaps the Med later, that was my goal, but it will have to wait. Marina stays are likely and so backing into or out of a slip will be nicer with less walk.
The bottom line really is that my existing prop was dinged by the previous owner and is probably out of tune as well as chipped. It has been ok, but I have budgeted a change at this point. Since a Campbell or MW sailor prop is so cheap, why not go that route. And 2 vs 3....all the experts I talk with suggest 3 blades as they run smoother so less stress on the trans. These new "sailor" props should have less drag than my existing prop. I do not have any speed or performance issues with the boat so I will be satisfied. I know that a feathering prop would likely be better, but it is just not in the budget and as stated, I feel a fixed is more robust and reliable. But really, cost is the greater driver.
Appreciate your thoughts always.