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  #1  
Old 10-26-2004
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propeller - 2 or 3 blade

Hi,
I need help deciding between getting a 2 blade or 3 blade propeller on a new Catalina 36 with a wing keel. I have very little experience with docking. Since I am mooring the boat for the most part, I am not sure how often I will need to dock? And how often do I need to go backwards when docking?
Thank You
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Old 10-29-2004
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propeller - 2 or 3 blade

Get a three-blade prop. Anyone asking that question is novice enough to appreciate a boat that backs down when docking, which is probably the single best reason for a three-blade. As far as prop drag and racing, the only time prop drag has a significant effect is when you don''t have enough wind to make hull speed. Of course, lightweights sacrifice a bit while planing as well, but then you enter an area where there is absolutely no comparative testing to estimate the effect of a three-blade versus two-blade prop while surfing on wave faces. Put it out of your mind and learn sail shape, rig trim, tactics, right-of-way, and a hundred details of sailing and racing, then replace the fatty with something that''ll help you beat someone you really need to.
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Old 10-30-2004
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propeller - 2 or 3 blade

Most boats go forwards most of the time. Even when they''re sailing. Having the drag of a three-bladed prop ALWAYS slowing you down, always making it take longer to get up to hull speed, always growing more barnacles, seems a heavy price to pay for the .000004% of the time that you go backwards. It may be worth it to you, but it might be worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons more carefully.

In another thread on this topic, Hamiam suggested knowing more about your boat - size and type - before making any suggestion. For example, if you put a 3-blade prop on the wrong kind of boat -- such as a J/30 - and then want to sell it, the prop makes it look like you didn''t know what you were doing. Any prospective buyer will then question anything else you did with the boat, and it will inevitably lower the price you get. So this $100 investment can cost you a couple of thou'' , if you''re not careful.

Perhaps a 3-bladed prop is the right one for you.
But you need more than a one-size-fits-all reason for it. Nothing in boats is that simple.
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Old 10-31-2004
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propeller - 2 or 3 blade

Hi FalconEddie and PaulK
I have very little experience with docking. Since I am mooring the boat for the most part, I am not sure how often I will need to dock? And how often do I need to go backwards when docking?
Thank You
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Old 10-31-2004
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propeller - 2 or 3 blade

Well, the thing is this. I''ve worked in yacht service, (repair and maintanence) for the past 19 years, and here is the real truth about two bladed props ..... they don''t back down. Now, folks can crack wise about that all they want, but the truth is, 95% of light, minor but annoying bow damage, happens when you are trying to dock and when you put it in reverse, the damn boat won''t slow down or stop unless you race the crap out of the engine. Now, I''m only saying this because it''s my experience. I realize that folks on a mooring don''t dock, because I''ve kept my boat on moorings for years, but you still have to slow and stop to pick up the mooring. Also, unless marinas are different in places I don''t know about, you either back into, or back out of your slip every time you use your boat. These are not idle speculations of how things might be in a fantasy world. It''s how they are. There are many people who are completely sold on two bladed props and have no sense of shortage of their lack of performance. Some even love the folding type and swear they back down fine. They don''t. In all these years of yacht service I have delivered and moved thousands of boats of all different configurations. Two bladed props don''t back down, but that doesn''t mean you can''t adjust and be happy with it. And they do have less propwalk than three bladed. My boat weighs 20,000 pounds and I like a prop that stops it when I''m docking.
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