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blt2ski 06-16-2010 06:38 PM

sab motor with varable pitch prop
Any body have any experience with a saab motor, with a manual control varable pitch prop? My step dad has one on a boat he spent 30 yrs building. it does not have an idle per say, ie prop is ALWAYS turning, idle is when the blades are neither forward or reverse. To go forward or into reverse, you feather/pitch the prop. Kind of a weird way of doing things.

anyway, trying to find easy ways of getting into and out of the slip. With a single lever system, you push forward prop and motor accelerate, move to middle prop quits turning.. this thing it will not seem to coast as the prop is always turning. You can sort of control the speed with the motor at x rpm and feather the prop, but it is not as simple as it sounds any how........


olson34 06-16-2010 09:57 PM

Sabb 2JHVP Marine Diesel Engine

I found this with a short search. Have not heard much about these since the 60's and 70's.


blt2ski 06-17-2010 09:59 AM

THanks lauren

Now that I am spelling "Sabb" correctly...... they do not make the motor in step dads boat any more, have not since 1980! must not have been a big seller, considering how hard it is to handle without more than three on boat, I can see why.

I'll keep digging, trying to see if I can find some info on how to go in and out of a slip easy enough. I'm better off than yesterday any how! Wonder if ralph knows anything about these critters........


hellosailor 06-17-2010 03:07 PM

Saab are infamous for having marvelous engineering concepts, that fall down short on practical durability and cost.

Everything I've come across about their variable pitch prop systems says the same thing. Great concept, if you can afford to keep it in repair and finctioning over the years. Otherwise it falls into the category of "moving parts located where you can't access them, in a corrosive environment with no spares to be found within a thousand miles".

If you've got it, enjoy it. And if you've got lots of money, call Saab and ask them to sell you a kit of spares if they are still available.

sailingbud 07-06-2010 01:46 PM

Not Saab
Don't confuse Saab with Sabb. The Sabb diesel engine is one of the most simple and dependable diesel ever built. They were used as lifeboat engines as they could be started on the davits and let run for a long time before ever getting dropped in the water. They usually have either hand start or electric and do not suffer the same reversing problems as most feathering prop systems. They usually don't have much power and weigh a lot so can make a great contribution to ballast. If you like the sound of the African Queen then you will like the sound of the Sabb.

klem 07-06-2010 08:05 PM

The Sabb that I have experience with is a very good engine and I have not had issues with trying to coast. You can keep taking pitch off as the boat slows down or you can pitch it for less than the boat speed. This was in a relatively heavy boat so that may have been the reason that we never had any problems. In my mind, the real key is to make sure that the pitch lever is very easily accessible.

blt2ski 07-07-2010 04:49 PM

Yes it is a "Sabb"

The pitch part is not to bad to work with, the rpm lever tho. PITA! move it 2-3 degree's, and the motor goes from 700-1200 or higher rpm!

I have gone out with step sister a few times, think we have it down, or at least a "HOW" to back out etc. Seems to work best if the motor is 800-1000 rpm, slowly engage the blades in reverse, then as she is 90 to the dock or just a bit before to move blades into the forward and away one goes out of the marina, with some upping of rpm or just engaging the prop into a higher pitch mode.

This boat, maybe being a V bottom plywood full keel, about 5500 lbs does not coast real well, not does it turn super sharp, as one can not get the rudder/tiller to go as far as one would like, which also makes backing out a pita along with trying to get the motor/prop etc in a correct mode so it will idle out per say.


tmac965626 06-19-2012 09:05 PM

Re: sab motor with varable pitch prop
I have a rebuilt Sabb 2G (18hp) variable prop in my boat. I seem to have forward down just fine, but reverse seems to be a little elusive (or maybe just plain weak). So far I've settled for walking the boat out of the slip, rather than using the engine. If anyone has any suggestions on how to switch gears properly on an engine that has no transmission...please let me know.

hellosailor 06-19-2012 10:10 PM

Re: sab motor with varable pitch prop
I'm guessing you idle the engine and then reverse the pitch on the prop blades.

blt2ski 06-20-2012 01:44 AM

Re: sab motor with varable pitch prop
As HS says, you need to reverse the prop pitch to go backwards.

At least on my step dads boat, he has a engine throttle, and a pitch control throttle that are in the same control unit. Generally speaking, we put the engine at 1200 or so rpm, then work the pitch to go backwards at the speed we want to go. Seems to work reasonably well, not something I would want on my boat. I can see how rescue style boats a system like this would work really well.


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