Our 1995 PS37 has an 18" 3-bladed feathering prop made by Prowell driven by a YanMar 4JH2e (50 hp @ 3600 rpm) with a 2.62:1 transmission. Prowell is long gone now but apparently their technology was acquired and refined by Variprop. To make a long story short, the stops in the hub of this thing wear and need to be built up every other season, pitch is not easily adjustable (requires welding or filing the stops) and there are some cracks in the blade root of one blade.... so, it is time for a replacement. At this point we are considering going to a 16" 4-blade feathering Variprop. With input from Dave Gerr's Propeller Handbook I am thinking the smaller diameter might well ease some of the prop walk and the extra blade area will let us get more thrust in the water in rough weather. Plus, the hub on the Variprop is short enough that we can get it on the shaft without taking off the rudder.
Has anyone else gone the route of a 4-blade Variprop and, if so, do you know the pitch settings that work best? These things are expensive
and it would be a great comfort to find some who through experience can validate this approach as a viable solution before we commit.
Dave and Sherry