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P R O P S !


Fixed 2 blade, Fixed 3 blade, Fixed 4 blade

Fixed Small Section 2 blade, Small Section Fixed 3 blade, Fixed Small Section 4 blade

Folding 2 blade, Folding 3 blade, Folding 4 blade

Feathering 2 blade, Feathering 3 blade, Feathering 4 blade

Useful prop teminology . . .

Sailboat propellers have two requirements . . .
1. Provide auxiliary forward and reverse maneuvering power while not under sail power.
2. Provide the least possible drag while under sail.

To achieve these various and often contradictory requirements, sailboat propellers have three general designs . . . fixed, folding, and feathering.

FIXED : have blades that do not move and typically two or three blades. No matter what design, they have a lot of drag when sailing. The two blade propellers have less drag while under sail than the three blade propellers. Fixed propellers are selected by those who do not mind sailing significantly slower PLUS for lower cost and low maintenance. These are the least expensive propellers.

FOLDING : the blades fold together to present the least resistance and the least drag under sail when the motor is not engaged. When the motor is engaged, the rotation opens the prop and holds the blades in a fixed pitch position. The pitch is not adjustable. Some of these propellers are generally considered to have the best performance (lowest drag) under sail. These propellers need occasional mechanical maintenance. Usually less expensive than comparable quality feathering props.

FEATHERING : have blades that rotate to present minimal resistance for much reduced drag under sail when the motor is not engaged. The pitch of many feathering propellers can be re-adjusted (if ever needed) by a having a diver adjust set screws that can change the pitch. Active cruisers and racers like these propellers for much lower drag under sail and the best performance in reverse of any props. These propellers need occasional mechanical maintenance. Usually the most expensive props excepting the KIWI and PERFECT PITCH CDI, which have changed this "rule" significantly.

Three blade props offer MUCH more "push" when powering into adverse wave and wind conditions. Four blade props offer even more "push" ! These are very important safety considerations when trying to "get into port" and "out of the way of" or even "out of" bad weather.

What's a sailor to choose . . .

CLICK on each gallery below for more images and information

classic 2 blade sailboat prop - fixed
"classic" 2 blade sailboat prop - fixed
:: MICHIGAN WHEEL - fixed ::
:: CAMPBELL SAILER - fixed ::
MARTEC - folding & feathering
:: MARTEC - folding & feathering ::
FLEXOFOLD - folding
:: FLEXOFOLD - folding ::
GORI - folding
:: GORI - folding ::
Seahawk SLIPSTREAM - folding
:: Seahawk SLIPSTREAM - folding ::
VARIFOLD - folding
:: VARIFOLD - folding ::
Seahawk AUTOSTREAM - feathering
:: Seahawk AUTOSTREAM - feathering ::
AUTOPROP - feathering
:: AUTOPROP - feathering ::
HYDRALIGN - feathering
:: HYDRALIGN - feathering ::
J PROP - feathering
:: J PROP - feathering ::
KIWI - feathering
:: KIWI - feathering ::
MAX-PROP - feathering
:: MAX-PROP - feathering ::
PERFECT PITCH - CDI - feathering
:: PERFECT PITCH - CDI - feathering ::
VARIPROFILE - feathering
:: VARIPROFILE - feathering ::
VARIPROP - feathering
:: VARIPROP - feathering ::