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post #18 of Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Fixed vs folding prop

Even for cruising there is no question that a folding or feathering prop is a massive increase in speed while sailing. Probably the single best thing you can do to increase the performance of a boat.

Yachting Monthly did a really nice right up of a number of different folding/feathering props, and what they found was pretty surprising.
1) the drag from a fixed prop is roughly the same as HALF the drag from the entire rest of the boat.
2) backing characteristics of the good folding/feathering props was actually better than that for a fixed three bladed prop
3) feathering/folding props has less prop walk than a fixed generally
4) forward thrust from the feathering/folding props was within 5% of a fixed prop.

Based on this study I actually just replaced my fixed with an auto stream, and couldn't be happier. I wanted the flex-o-fold but couldn't find a US distributor. The results have been exacally what I expected. Similar forward speed and control, much better control in revers with less prop walk, and greatly increased speed while sailing.

A reprint of the study

Last edited by Stumble; 05-24-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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