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Johansail 02-16-2004 08:58 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
Iím planning to purchase a feathering prop for my Catalina 380. Looking at the different web pages, the Kiwi prop seems very interesting (performance, design, price). Does anyone have any experience with the Kiwi prop? Iím living in California, and Iím a little concerned with service and support, as they donít appear to have a US distributor.

Thanks, Johan

WHOOSH 02-17-2004 01:00 AM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
Johan, are you asking about the Autostream prop (built in Oz, not NZ, but distributed exclusively by Martec within the U.S.)? If so, I can offer a bit of info.


928frenzy 02-17-2004 02:55 AM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
I think he is asking about Kiwi props, made in NZ. "Blue Water Sailing" magazine had an article in last month''s issue about various folding and feathering props. The Kiwi prop was one of them.

From the testamonials I''ve read, folks like them. They funtion very well and are about half the cost of other feathering or folding props.

My friend is about to buy one, and I''m considering doing so as well.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~

Johansail 02-17-2004 04:30 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
Yes, I''m asking if any have any experiance with the Kiwi Prop, made in NZ. It has free floating composite blades, in contrast to Autostream made in Australia all made in stainless. The Kiwi Prop seems to be a nice simple design, and i wonder how it holds up in the long run.

Thanks, Johan

dpboatnut 02-17-2004 08:09 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
I was in Martec''s office two weeks ago picking up my reconditioned prop, and saw the kiwi-prop literature sitting on the office desk. I asked about it, and the gal said that they had sold one, and were considering becoming a distributor. There was some disagreement between her and one of the other folks that work there about the durability of the prop, and the potential for breakage by impact with debris. I told her I couldn''t imagine an impact that would shatter the flexible kiwi-blades that wouldn''t bend a metal blade. And the kiwi-props come with a spare blade, just in case, anyway.

If you want one, I believe Martec will sell you one, and although they may give you a pitch toward their own product, I think they''re a pretty honest bunch.


gdavids 02-17-2004 08:11 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
We installed a Kiwiprop on our new (to us)Ericson 39B about a month ago. We are quite pleased with it. Seems well made and is simple to adjust the degree of pitch. Auto rotation of the prop was completely eliminated. That was actually the number one reason that made us want to get a feathering prop. Our transmission would not lock the shaft in place when the engine was off. Power in reverse was substantially improved over the original fixed three blade prop. We have not really had the boat long enough to get a fair sense of how much speed we gained under sail, but I would guess it is a half knot or so in lighter conditions. The price was definitely right, and they included a spare blade at no extra charge. Delivery was within a week of placing an order. I believe the cost was $1,250 including air shipment from Kiwiland.

Johansail 02-19-2004 07:54 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
Thanks for your inputs. I will give the Kiwi Prop a go.

Sasha_V 02-28-2004 04:13 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
I can help you with this one.
I live here with them!

The Kiwiprop website is unfortunately the very best part of the kiwiprop.

I was all set to buy one sight unseen when I was finally talked out of it by a couple of knowledgeable sailing friends and the guy at the boatyard. I finally manged to find one to look at, and while they are a nice idea...they really do seem to be FRAGILE...and that is not a word I want to attch to my feathering prop.

The independent swing of the blades is a nice sounding idea..until I saw how they achieved it. By the time I had stopped twiddling with one I was ready to buy the poeple that had stopped me from sending my check a drink.

A week later I went with the Autostream, all stainless, feathering prop. This thing is bloody amazing.

The price is higher (though not that much), but the longevity and reliability is miles ahead.

The most relevent issue though, was the weight difference. The kiwiprop is a lightweight! a 24inch prop weigh less then 2kg...there is a lot of plastic in it (also, to gie it some credit, a lot of Vesconite...which is an incredibly tough plastic that outlasts steel in some applications). The Autostream that we bought for our boat weigs in at 7 1/2 kg before it is pumped fuul of grease and such. It is CHUNKY.

But it is also a lot more efficient. The kiwi uses thin plastic blades and needs to broaden them to allow the steel rod that attaches them to the prop hub. The Autostream uses all stainless contruction and has optimised blade shape.

The other prop you may want to look at is the Tri-stream...a folding three blader that is pretty amazing.

Hope that helps.

By the way, our boat is a 2.6 ton 27 footer...and the kiwi still felt too fragile...


Sasha_V 02-28-2004 04:16 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering


They retail locally for $1100Australian Dollars....Given the exchange rate, that is a hell of a markup just for shipping it to the US....

(and the fact that no one buys retail, you can always get 15-20% off)

Yikes. Still, glad it is working for you.

paulmcquillan 03-03-2004 06:49 PM

Kiwi prop --- feathering
We have a Kiwi Feathering Prop on our 41 foot boat here in California (about 22,000 pounds)

Love the prop. No problems & great control. Easy to work with the mfg

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