Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: St. Margaret's Bay
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Re: sab motor with varable pitch prop
I had a 27' Albin Vega with a similar setup - 10HP Volvo Penta with a variable pitch prop. I liked it. Mine had just one lever to control the boat's direction and speed -it was nice. That said, marine mechanics in North America seem to be unfamiliar with these systems and are sometimes reluctant to take them on. I learned how to service it myself and it was no big deal. Most of the parts are generic metric bearings and oil seals available at any good bearing supply house. Then there was the hoodoo about what grease to use in the stuffing box (the stuffing box is really just a couple of oilseals with grease in between to alow the outer control shaft to slide back and forth to adjust the pitch...) - any thic, sticky, waterproof grease seemed to work. The boat had some bad behavior in reverse (what sailboat doesn't?) but I think that was more due to the prop being located above and aft of the rudder than the variable pitch. Its good to note that tug boats and other large vessels use variable pitch propellors a lot. I would go with one again.
As to Sabb, never had one but I used to see them quite a bit as lifeboat engines - possibly a good endorsement.