Join Date: Jun 2010
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Normal prop noise?
First let me state that we are still extremely new to sailing. The boat is an Irwin 39 with a fixed, 3 blade prop.
We were out this past weekend, our instructor had over 30 years of race sailing experience. Cruising along with apparent wind speeds of 9-12 knots and making roughly 6.5 knots, he turned to me and said: “Is that the prop I hear?”
Sure enough, there was a whirring noise that I hadn’t noticed before, and probably wouldn’t have noticed if it hadn’t been pointed out to me. Not overly loud in the cockpit, but I did open the engine room access to verify. There, naturally, it was much more noticeable, and was indeed prop noise. Just noise, the shaft seemed to be spinning true, no apparent vibrations.
The fact that our instructor questioned me about it suggests that it’s not something every boat experiences, the amount of noise, that is. Perhaps he is more used to sailing on boats with folding props? He showed no concern once the noise was identified, but now, after a few days, I can’t help thinking about it.
So, those of you with fixed blade props, can you routinely hear the prop spinning while under sail?
Call it paranoia on my part, last thing I want to do is lose the prop, so I’ll be giving everything above water a good looking at here in the next day or two, and we’ll anchor off next time out and have a look below water. I’ll be looking at anything a rookie like me would consider obvious, but would appreciate some advice on checking things less obvious.
What would be considered a “normal” amount of noise is irrelevant, we all hear things differently and it would be too hard to convey in text anyway. For now, I’m going to assume something is bad until I can prove otherwise.