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post #11 of 33 Old 4 Days Ago
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Re: flexofold review propeller

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
When we bought ours, FOF told me that they would exchange the blades for free within 30 days, as long as the blades were like new (unpainted, not fouled, etc), and not in the water more than 8 days. This allowed for testing them out to make sure the sizing was correct. Of course, the haulouts or diver were on the customer.

Did you wait longer than the above to contact FOF?

Mark
same information we got when we put on the replacement FOF two blade but it did not matter because we were replacing like for like. boat came with FOF two blade that did not have the anodes and the salt was not kind to the prop so we replaced it with the one with the anodes on each side. they did give us a good discount on the new prop because they had built the prop with no anode. they said they would not be needed because it was all bronze. but in fact it is bronze with SS pins so it did matter.

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post #12 of 33 Old 4 Days Ago Thread Starter
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Re: flexofold review propeller

Good question. They are basing their refusal to take back the blades based on my delays. Here is the story. I live in San Francisco and the boat was in Ventura (300 miles away) at the time I purchased the Flexofold. I didn't go down to the boat immediately upon receiving the shipment in San Francisco so that took some time. Then when I did go down and install I was just there for a few days so I only got to do a short test. However, I immediately alerted them of the problem. They responded and said they did the calculation again and that it was correct and that there was potentially something wrong with the engine. The engine was fine with the old gori propeller and I motored the boat up from panama the previous year with no problems. By this time I was back in San Francisco 300 miles away from the boat. I was planning on moving the boat to San Francisco. I thought the 300 mile trip would be a perfect opportunity to completely test the propeller. On the way back to San Francisco I again noticed the smoke at the higher rpms but kept it at a safe 2500 and was fine. When I returned I again informed them of the problem and sent them specific observations at different rpms up to the 3450 max. They again said it was the correct size but they would accept a return of the entire propeller. They did not offer to provide smaller blades. Since they said that it was the correct size I still believed them and was not ready to give up. I thought it best to have the engine checked out, the bottom cleaned and give it another test. I thought that a dirty bottom might be a factor. I specifically told them that this is what I was planning. They didn't tell me that if I proceeded as planned that they would NOT accept a return. I had the engine checked out and was told it was fine. By now we are in the winter months and we experience a very raining winter for the san francisco bay area and I was trying to find a calm day on the bay while at the same time having a clean bottom. The diver was also backlogged due the constant rain. All the stars lined up and I finally tested the boat again after also checking the accuracy of the tachometer. Again, this was another thought of mine after extensive reading. I also asked an expert in the field who told me to replace the propeller blades because the test results indicated the propeller was over sized. I more or less got the same results and reported back to them and asked for a smaller blades. At this time they told me that they would sell me new smaller blades but would not accept the original ones in return. There is nothing wrong with the original blades. Not a scratch on them. I didn't paint them with anti-fouling or ruin them in any way. Personally, I think that their reasoning is just an excuse to not exchange the blades. They are now owned by Yanmar and perhaps don't have the same level of customer service as before. I told them what I was planning and they didn't tell me that if I didn't do it by a certain date that I was out of luck. That's the story. I think they should accept the blades back otherwise as you say its a 2,000 gamble each time. With the smaller blades I'm now achieving the rated 3800 rpm so I don't believe that the engine was the problem. I just needed smaller blades. If they had provided smaller blades immediately, there would have been no delays.
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Re: flexofold review propeller

No I was never told that there was a 30 day time limit during our correspondence. As I mentioned they offered to take them back. At that point they could have told me there was a 30 day time limit but remained silent when I told them my specific plans. I just looked at the warranty and its doesn't say anything about this 30 day limit. They had every opportunity to let me know. I would have returned the propeller had I known.

I agree that it would not be an issue when replacing a Flexofold of a certain size that works well with a new one of the same size.
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Re: flexofold review propeller

DM, sounds to me like they should help, I put a Max-prop on 18 mo ago and choose it for the ability to repitch, followed their instructions and got it right first time but its a good feature to make adjustments if needed. Just launching without prop protection to keep it new in case it had to go back would do it for me. Sorry for your troubles, I don't mean to be too critical. BTW we love Ventura, my son lives there, Beautiful place.
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Re: flexofold review propeller

Crappy situation. Sounds like you may have far exceeded their return policy dates. You've not said exactly how long the prop was installed and in the water. There is a valid argument that a deal is a deal. However, given the situation, FOF should stand up and make this right. They did make a mistake, so standing on their return policy sounds like a low level, clerk, by the book, decision to me. Try to get to someone further up the food chain. DO NOT HANDLE THIS BY EMAIL.

Perhaps it will cost them more to accept a return a few months later, rather than weeks (or was this even longer?). This return is due to their error, not the customer's satisfaction. I'm guessing there is an amount of time they can accept having had them installed and still put them back in inventory, while yours may be considered scrap by now. Perhaps offer to meet half way and accept some of the responsibility.

If you're getting no satisfaction and your story is exactly as you say, I would suggest to FOF that you plan to document your experience on social media. You haven't technically documented anything, so this has to be a threat that you can actually back up. Written invoices, estimates, boat specs, pictures, etc, etc, so show their mistake. Let them know where you plan to do that, so they can defend themselves. If they realize there is no defense, they'll make good. If there is still more to their point of view than we know, this won't be effective. Good luck.


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Re: flexofold review propeller

Some years ago there was a thread discussing Flex-o-fold on SailNet. One of the most constant comment related to poor customer service and poor warranty support. Some of that was during the Ole Jensen era at Flexofold so I am not sure that the poor service is still true.

That aside a properly propped the engine should be able to reach hullspeed in flat water at the ideal cruising RPM for the engine, and it should also be able to reach the governor limited RPM. If it can't, then the pitch is wrong for the combination of the engine, transmission and boat. If over-propped then the engine is turning at too low an RPM at cruising speed and that is very hard on a diesel. If under-propped and the engine is running at a higher RPM than ideal to achieve hullspeed and that means higher fuel consumption and a bit more wear and tear.

In my mind,even looking beyond Felxofold's poor customer service reputation, the lack of ability to adjust the pitch on the Flexofold without buying new blades would be a deal killer for me.

Jeff


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Re: flexofold review propeller

I deal killer because you can't change the pitch???????? Guess that means all those fixed props out there are useless.

I stated I feel I have had an overpitched FOF for 9 years and 2000 motoring hours. The boat exceeds sailing hull speed motoring and in calm flat non windy conditions can do 9 knots at full throttle. At cruising speed of 1800-2200 rpm the engine purrs along all happy at 5-6 knots using 0.7 gal/mile. Boat has just enough prop walk to be useful and backs up pretty straight and strong.

I don't know what else you should expect from a prop! And it was $1000 less that a MaxProp like I had on my prior boat that didn't have as good motoring performance.

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Re: flexofold review propeller

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post

In my mind,even looking beyond Felxofold's poor customer service reputation, the lack of ability to adjust the pitch on the Flexofold without buying new blades would be a deal killer for me.

Jeff
This is the case for all folding props, not just FOF.

Mark

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Re: flexofold review propeller

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Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
I deal killer because you can't change the pitch???????? Guess that means all those fixed props out there are useless.

I stated I feel I have had an overpitched FOF for 9 years and 2000 motoring hours. The boat exceeds sailing hull speed motoring and in calm flat non windy conditions can do 9 knots at full throttle. At cruising speed of 1800-2200 rpm the engine purrs along all happy at 5-6 knots using 0.7 gal/mile. Boat has just enough prop walk to be useful and backs up pretty straight and strong.

I don't know what else you should expect from a prop! And it was $1000 less that a MaxProp like I had on my prior boat that didn't have as good motoring performance.
There are good experiences and I'm glad your setup is working well. The OP on the other hand is having a bad experience. You seem to suggest he should live with it because its not a problem for you.
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Re: flexofold review propeller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
I deal killer because you can't change the pitch???????? Guess that means all those fixed props out there are useless.

I stated I feel I have had an overpitched FOF for 9 years and 2000 motoring hours. The boat exceeds sailing hull speed motoring and in calm flat non windy conditions can do 9 knots at full throttle. At cruising speed of 1800-2200 rpm the engine purrs along all happy at 5-6 knots using 0.7 gal/mile. Boat has just enough prop walk to be useful and backs up pretty straight and strong.

I don't know what else you should expect from a prop! And it was $1000 less that a MaxProp like I had on my prior boat that didn't have as good motoring performance.
I think that you must be forgetting that fixed props and most folding props can be repitched after manufacture. It is a relatively inexpensive operation and depending on the design of the prop, most fixed props can be repitched up to 1 1/2 to 2" either side of how they were manufactured. There are numerous shops that do repitching spread out all over the coastal areas of the country and most reputable prop builders (fixed or otherwise) will repitch one of their own props pretty readily and cheaply.

If a Flexofold prop cannot be repitched, and it costs $2000 for a blade change, then in my opinion its worse than useless as a replacement prop. As you probably know, it is almost impossible to get the correct pitch simply based on a calculation, and that almost universally when there is a change in the prop design, there is almost always at least a single repitch required, if not a couple.

The fact that coincidentally Flexofold happened to hit an acceptable pitch on your boat (a high production number design that they therefore probably have good data on) does not change the fact that for whatever reason their propeller blades cannot be repitched and new blades are half the price of a new prop. For that reason I would not consider them as a replacement prop, and probably would see a Flexifold prop as a negative against buying a particular older boat since it might need a tranmission change and often there are small gearing changes when a transmission is swapped out and therefore the prop would need to be repitched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
This is the case for all folding props, not just FOF.

Mark
That is not precisely the case, Martec props can be repitched and Martec does it pretty cheaply. Gori used to be willing to repitch their props. Most feathering props have adjustable pitches.

Regarding the Original Poster's comments, and regarding my earlier comment about Flexifold's poor customer service reputation. I noticed that Flexofold was bought by Yanmar in 2017. My experiences with Yanmar's customer service has been exemplary so hopefully, at some point soon that older bad rep will no longer apply. I would try tp discuss this with someone higher up in the company, perhaps even moving up to customer service at the Yanmar main office. My few past direct dealings with Yanmar customer service have been very good.

Jeff


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