Join Date: Oct 2010
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Installation and other notes
Installation: The installation instructions are very good, very clear. The Flexofold comes in a bunch of pieces, and you install it piece by piece onto the shaft/saildrive. That is to say, you do NOT assemble the prop into one piece and then screw the entire assembly onto the saildrive, the way you might with a fixed prop. Out of the water, it's easy: 10 minutes. We did it out of the water, since the boat was already hauled. A diver who's changed props before should be able to do it underwater, but it would probably take a little longer, and would definitely be a good idea to have a helper reading instructions and handing parts and tools to the diver. You definitely want someone doing it who is careful about reading instructions, including the note to save the spacer ring from the prior prop. Though a zinc was included with the prop, I ordered a couple spares from the dealer (North Harbor Propeller, aka GetAProp.Com, very nice and helpful folks). The zincs were about $40 apiece, and various other notes on the net say that they go away pretty quickly, with various alternatives offered.
Drag: The prop folds into a pretty compact piece, and my diver says the prop seems to fold freely at the dock. The prop isn't spinning when under sail, which I take to indicate that it's folding (during our brief period with a fixed prop, we definitely had to shift into reverse to stop the prop spinning when under sail, so I would be able to detect if the prop were spinning). Now, Flex-o-Fold makes a racing prop, which creates less drag than than their regular folders. It also costs more. It's also a 2-blade, and would presumably require more pitch. I don't know when more pitch starts not to make sense. I cared enough about drag to pay for a good folding prop in the end, but not enough to care about the difference between the regular and racing folders, which I can't imagine results in a difference of even 1/4 second per mile. If I were racing in a very large, competitive one-design fleet, I might care about it. I certainly don't notice any performance issues under sail, but that may just be me.
Finally: I remain happy with the prop. At near full throttle, we are definitely going hull speed, with an enormous amount of water being pushed astern. Harbor maneuvering is great, with rapid starts and stops and reverses. None of that was true with the original prop.