Sailing in gear or in neutral? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-13-2004 Thread Starter
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

Hmmm, guess my post last night got lost.
Anyway, I''m a new inboard owner and used to lifting my prop right out of the water.
I think I read somewhere that you should leave the transmission in forward gear while sailing. Yes? Or do people leave the prop freewheeling in neutral?

cheers,
jcm
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-13-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

I have seen several posts on this but here is my two cents worth. Some but not all transmissions have an engine driven pump that has to be pumping to keep the transmission lubricated.So the prop should not be spinning. Some say you have less drag with the prop spinning some say with it stopped in gear I leave mine in gear because I don''t like the noise however slight that it makes when spinning.Now that I have not givin you any information that is worth a flip have a good day.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-13-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

Ive sailed with the prop free-wheeling and with the tranny in reverse. I didn''t think it would make a difference, but the boat moved through the water a bit faster when the tranny was in gear.

I recently bought a folding prop, so the tranny will have to be in gear in order to keep the blades vertical - which prevents one of them from flopping open.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-13-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

This has come up many times before and the results came down to keeping it in reverse while sailing!

Reasons:
Less drag.
Less wear on the cutless bearing.
Less wear on the transmission.
And if you have a folding or three blade prop. Put marks on your shaft for alignment for better performance.
There were no advantages, to letting the prop run free, that I could find!

Some run a generator off their prop. so that''s going to be higher maintenance.

I don''t like the noise!............................._/)
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-13-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

It depends upon the transmission. Some transmissions should never, without the engine running, be in the same gear as the movement of the boat. My boat has a Hurth transmission and when sailing the transmission may be in neutal,the prop freewheels, or in reverse,which locks the prop, but it should never be in forward.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-21-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

A freewheeling prop is doing what it does best, operating efficiently in a stream of water. This is NOT what you want while sailing. It has a solid grip on the water and is converting energy from your sails into revolutions in the transmission. This spinning robs horsepower from forward motion but can only slow you down if there is JUST ENOUGH wind to make hull speed, or less. If you''re in twenty knot winds, drag or not, you''ll reach top speed. Then you have to concern yourself with what other posters have said: does it have a negative impact on your running gear? That is more than a little possible, but only a truely knowledgable investigation into your transmission can say for sure. For instance, it will not seriously hurt a Hurth gearbox (like mine) but it''s not really good for it, either. Spinning your output shaft, bearing, gears, etc., is just unneeded wear and tear. I leave my gearbox in gear. Reverse, only because that''s what I''ve heard, though it does seem to me that some gearboxes can rotate in gear in the direction opposite their powered drive, for some reason. Maybe ratchet clutches or something. My two cents.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-21-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

If tyour concern is this great, may I suggest a feathering prop.
End of problem.

Dennis
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-22-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

I bought a new boat in 2002. During the shakedown cruise, the dealer stated that the transmission should be in reverse when sailing.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-22-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

Depends on the engine. It will say SPECIFICALLY in the engine''s manual if the tranny shud be left in neutral, reverse, etc. When in doubt, read the directions.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-25-2004
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Sailing in gear or in neutral?

Hi FalconEddie, how are you? long time no hear..Hope you are haveing a great Christmas .. where are ya now?
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