Question for those of you who upgraded to a folding or feathering prop. From what I researched so far, it seems like folding is a better way to go, especially with 2 blades. Folding has less drag when sailing but slightly inferior with respect to motoring performance. 3 blades is better for headwinds and waves but has more drag and costs much more. The two best choices for price seem to be Gori 2-blade around $1300 or Flex-o-Fold 3-blade, slightly over $2K. The Gori 3-blade is well over $3K. One thing I couldn’t get a clear answer on was whether folding props reverse blades when backing up or if that is only a feature of feathering props. Can anyone approximate average speed gains? Any improvement with prop walk when backing? Any problems/failures with prop not unfolding? Any maintenance problems from marine growth on the gears? How about the 2-bladers? Anyone
For anyone who has followed the long and tedious thread on my F-O-F prop, here is the conclusion:
I finally exchanged the blades to 18×11. This is either the perfect pitch or slightly under. An 18×12 would probably work fine too, but the 18×13 was clearly too much. My RPM is around 3750 while it should be 3600. Trouble is, my tach shows inconsistent reading when above 3500 RPM. Bottom line is at the top of my cruising range 3000 RPM boat speed is between 6.7-7.4 knots. This is as good if not slightly better than the fixed 18×12 prop I replaced. Sailing in light air gains ½ knot boat speed when folded. Haven’t had heavier air as of yet which is uncommon this time of year. Prop walk is virtually non-existent. I am very happy with the prop.
One word of caution if you are a prospective F-O-F buyer.