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old-sailer 10-02-2011 10:06 PM

Folding prop question

Faster 10-02-2011 10:55 PM

Huge advantage to sailing performance... with a higher cost (to buy) to go with it. Depending on the type, side effects can include reduced effectiveness in reverse, vibration, occasional failure to fully open for some.

Feathering props are generally more costly than folders, but perform better all around, esp in reverse. They can range from Kiwi props at around $1600 to Max props at $3K+.

Geared folders are better because they prevent the 'shake-your-boat-apart-single-blade-opening" syndrome.

Overall they are worth the expense unless you REALLY don't care about sailing speeds. For us even though we don't race we do like to keep the boat moving at the optimum speed for the conditions. A fixed prop compromises the ability to do that, esp in light air.

HUGOSALT 10-03-2011 01:50 AM

Very happy with folding prop all around but especially in
light air as is the case in our cruising grounds on western
Long Island Sound in summer months.
Advantage varies...I do not race but would approximate as much as 1/2 knot at times.
I have a 15" 2 blade Flex o Fold on my 30 fter, prop is geared so
blades open together every time...can stop on a dime if I have to
and reverse is excellant.
Design is simple, I understand that it has become standard equipement on some very high end yachts.
Mine is attached to a saildrive and cost $1000. 4-5 years ago,
understand a shaft prop would be less than a saildrive version
but then I'm sure prices have increased.
Can not compare to a feathering prop.
There should be other threads on folding/feathering props on the

Faster 10-04-2011 09:59 PM


Originally Posted by old-sailer (Post 782715)
Umm... $1,000 to go 1/2 knot faster doesn't seem to me a huge advantage.

I think of all the other things I could spend $1,000 on like a rigid vang, new lines, solar battery charger to mention a few.

It's true, there are always priorities... but a .5-.75 knot gain in boat speed against 5 or 6 knots is a considerable advantage.. 10% or so. If you've already got the other things on the list, it's just another option...

Plumbean 10-05-2011 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by old-sailer (Post 781976)
Is there a big advantage to a folding or feathering prop? Do you really get much of an advantage in using either? Is one better than the other?

What kind of boat and what sort of usage?

I have the same setup as Hugosalt-- 2 blade geared flex-o-fold on a saildrive. 34 footer. Probably gain a half a knot in speed. Works great in reverse. Price has gone up a bit (I think it was about $1,300 three years ago) but it looks like a piece of art work. Very happy with the product. By way of comparison, a feathering prop like a MaxProp would be close to three times more expensive. Boats are so economical ...

sck5 10-05-2011 05:23 PM

If you are cruising full time in a place like the caribbean where growth on your prop can happen pretty fast in the warm water it is a pain to clean a max prop. Sure, I would rather go half a knot faster but I also would like to be able to easily clean my prop with a couple of dives under the boat with my flippers. Really hard to do that with fancy gears and moving parts. Really easy to do that with an old fashioned prop.

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