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flexofold review propeller

i have a big problem with my flexofold propeller. i ordered one and flexofold did the math and recommended a certain size. expensive propeller!. after installation i could only get to 3450 rpm of my rated 3800 rpm on my yanmar 4jh engine. i immediately informed them. one cannot adjust the pitch on these so they have to be properly sized from the factory. they carged me 2,000 for new blades and sent me 1 inch smaller blades. they wont accept the incorrectly sized blades as a return.

any suggestion on what to do? i wouldn't recommend this company unless your sure of your size. they blame my boat and my engine but i had it checked out by my mechanic and he said engine was fine. he told me if i kept the original size blades it was overloading my engine. now with the properly sized blades i can reach 3800.

am i out 2,000?

this should not happen.
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Re: flexofold review propeller

Not sure I buy the "overloading" comment. Yes, it would be better to reach design RPM. but I doubt you would have had any issues with normal cruising speed and power.

I do however agree that since they sized the propeller, they should have taken the other blades back for a credit.

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Re: flexofold review propeller

I've been cruising around for 9 years on "oversized" FOF blades on my 4JH3E yanmar and can only get to 3200 rpm (in calm conditions with a clean bottom and prop)

Hasn't been a problem in over 2000 engine hours and who knows how many miles

I bet FOF has sold 1,000s of blades for the OP's engine.

Just saying

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Re: flexofold review propeller

lot of sail boats never reach max rpm on that engine they reach hull speed before they can and they do just fine that way. reaching 3800 is just not necessary in most cases. probably getting the same thrust with the bigger prop at lower rpm anyway. regardless of the rpm did the boat not perform correctly with the larger prop?

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Re: flexofold review propeller

Being able to reach max rpm, underway at wot, is the only way to test the correct prop pitch/size. Having it wrong is not instantaneous death, but it will wear on the motor over time. Get it right.

What did FOF ask for, in order to size your prop? Something sounds odd that they won't stand behind it. Thought there reputation was better. Then again, it seems others are willing to accept less than correct.


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Re: flexofold review propeller

I think the original blades were fine. You were able to reach 91% of the governed WOT spec. We have Volvo's, and their manual states that the engine should be propped to reach 3200-3600rpm at WOT (the engine is governed at 3600).

If Yanmar is similar, then you were already in this range. Might want to check your manual.

I would be concerned that you now have left a lot on the table wrt thrust and power.

Like Don, we have been running a bit over-propped on our FOF's for several years with no problem. We get 3150 out of 3600rpm with them.

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You should be way into torque curve before 3450.
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post #8 of 33 Old 1 Day Ago Thread Starter
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Re: flexofold review propeller

as im sure you all know flexofold propellers do not allow adjustment of pitch like some of the other designs so the only way to make adjustments is to replace the blades. flexofold asked me for all the standard items like displacement, engine make and model, transmission, type of boat. with the original blades i was starting to see some light smoke at 3000 and then heavy by 3450 with a clean bottom and clean propeller. boat had 1/2 tank of gas and 1/2 tank if water and no out of the ordinary additional weight. i informed them of this immediately after the install. i even ckecked the accuacy if the rpm guage just to make sure it was reading correctly. now with 1 inch smaller blades as well as less pitch this smoke has gone away and i can reach 3800.

everything i've read says to get it right. i consulted an expert and he said that if its over propped at the higher rpms its over propped all along the rpm range. i didnt know that. he said change the propeller. some of the people who posted might want to look into this even though they have not personally experienced any known detrimental effects of being over propped. Its not a cheap propeller and l would like it to be right. i think that they should have replaced the blades at no cost instead of charging me an additional 2,000. i didnt paint the blades or damage them. if they dont accept the original blades back, i would not buy this type of propeller again unless i was sure of the size. there is no way to make adjustments.

any suggestions on how to get them to change their mind and accept the blades back?
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Re: flexofold review propeller

What is their side of the story? If you provided what they asked for (engine, gear, displacement, etc) and it was accurate, what are they standing upon to say it's not their mistake?

Assuming there isn't more to it, I would fully agree that FOF should be avoided, if it's a $2k blade experiment with each order.

However, this would have gone very badly for them already, so I have to think there is something more to it, at least from their point of view.


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Re: flexofold review propeller

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?

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