Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: 289cobra1 on November 11, 2008, 07:12:09 PM

Title: Folding props
Post by: 289cobra1 on November 11, 2008, 07:12:09 PM
I am considering upgrading to a folding prop. I currently have a Universal M25 (1986) with a 3 blade 16x10. The prop works great except for the drag. The prop walk is to port that helps me pulling into my slip. The boat is used in Maine with currents, lobster pots, and the boat is moored in a slip. I am leaning towards a flexafold 3 blade due its' value, reduced drag, and resitence to fouling on lobster pots. I would like to have input on size, backing ability, and overall performance. Should I be considering a feathering prop instead? I have read some of the input, but need more info as far as the reverse performance.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Ted Pounds on November 12, 2008, 07:09:38 AM
I loved my Flex-O-Fold 3 blade.  It backs well.  Prop walk is still there, but actually a little reduced from the fixed 3 blade.  Talk to Chuck Angle at Flex-O-Fold and he'll fix you up with exactly what you need.  They usually have boat show deals in the winter, by the way.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Wayne on November 12, 2008, 07:33:49 AM
I second Ted's comments.  Backs fine.  For me, just about the right amount of prop walk to be useful but not overpowering.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: seanmcelligott on November 12, 2008, 08:12:58 AM
I would be intersted in buying your 3 bladed prop if you decide to upgrade.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Steve S. on November 12, 2008, 02:28:26 PM
I really like the 3 blade flex-o-fold.  I get at least 1/2 knot extra speed on a reach and prop-walk is reduced.  I have the same engine as you and got the 15x10.   You can go 15x9, which will give you a little more torque but a little less speed. 
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Braxton on November 12, 2008, 02:43:38 PM
I also have the flex-o-fold 3 blade and am quite happy with it.   Chuck Angle also gets an enthusiastic thumbs up.   His responsiveness would be a major selling point for me if I were buying a prop now.

If straight line reverse performance is a big deal for you then you won't be able to beat a feathering prop.   No fixed or folding prop will match it.   However the flex-o-fold performance in reverse is far from unacceptable.   I'm getting used to the amount of prop walk that it gives the boat and am learning to use it to our advantage.  Our slip is such that the kick to port is quite useful and I expect that I would miss it if it magically stopped happening.

One difference with the flex-o-fold is that the three blade has the gears covered with a zinc.   Supposedly this has the dual purpose of providing the standard zinc corrosion protection to the propeller as well providing physical protection against something (a barnacle perhaps) of fouling the gears.   Maintaining the zinc will boost you maintenance costs a very small amount.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Ron Hill on November 12, 2008, 03:24:01 PM
289 : Which ever way you go (fold or feather); I'd recommend that you stick with a 15" diameter prop.  Props over that 15" diameter can produce buffeting against the hull.  A thought. :wink:
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: 289cobra1 on November 12, 2008, 08:18:09 PM
Thank you for all the input. I was surprised to see I had a 16" diameter. As long as I still have good backing power and retain some of my prop walk I will be happy. In my case I like the prop walk pulling into my slip.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: sail4dale on November 12, 2008, 09:00:30 PM
Yeah, I have a Flex-o-fold too replacing my three blade fixed.  Love it

However, If  you want a fixed three blade I have one available.  Bronze, 1" shaft, 15" D. x 9 pitch.

I'm open to offers.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Ed Shankle on November 13, 2008, 06:11:01 AM
I'm considering the Flexofold as well; those of you who have had it for a while, have you noticed any impact on the cutlass bearing due to the added weight?

thanks,
Ed
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: sail4dale on November 13, 2008, 09:21:51 AM
three years and no effect that I can see (feel)
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Braxton on November 13, 2008, 10:42:33 AM
Is it really that much heavier?   I certainly haven't weighed mine vs. the original prop but just looking at it it seems as if the flex-o-fold has less mass to it.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: kurt on November 13, 2008, 01:30:51 PM
I recently went from a 15x9 fixed 3 blade to a 15x10 3 blade folder from flexofold on my '88 25xp.  Net-net when motoring, I can't tell it is a folder which was the reason I selected 3 blades - maybe a bit less prop walk in reverse but small amount that one forgets quickly.  While when sailing, performance has become very noticeable especially in the light stuff < 12 knots which is unforgettable.  Finally, the hub of the prop is quite sizeable when in hand vs. photos on the web.  Wouldn't surprise me that it is a bit heavier than the fixed orop...

Kurt 

Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Ron Hill on November 13, 2008, 05:11:48 PM
Guys : Here is a "heads up". 
On some of the folding feathering props the larger size of the hub (holding the feathering/folding mechanism) requires that the threaded end of the prop shaft be modified!!! 
Check into this before, so you aren't surprised when your new prop arrives!! 
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: John Langford on November 13, 2008, 08:57:24 PM
That is not a problem with the Kiwi feathering prop. It bolts easily on to the standard shaft
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Ted Pounds on November 14, 2008, 10:56:34 AM
That is not a problem with the Kiwi feathering prop. It bolts easily on to the standard shaft

Ditto for the Flex-O-Fold.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: tonywright on November 14, 2008, 12:38:49 PM
From havbing had one of each, I can confirm that both the Maxprop and the J-Prop require that a small amount of length be removed from the screw threads at the end of the shaft. These are both feathering props, not folding.

Tony
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: Bill Asbury on November 14, 2008, 02:19:14 PM
Tony, my boat came with a Max-Prop and I've been quite satisfied with it.  What is/was your experience?
Thanks,
Bill
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: tonywright on November 14, 2008, 02:21:22 PM
I loved it. I had the two blade. Great power in both forward and reverse. No prop walk. Such a great piece of engineering it is like a work of art.

Tony
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: sail4dale on November 14, 2008, 03:19:52 PM
I did not need any shaft changes to mount my 3 blade 15" x 10 Flex-O-Fold It did need a deep socket wrench however.
Title: Re: Folding props
Post by: crieders on November 22, 2008, 01:41:47 PM
I have had a flex o fold for many seasons. It does go thru Cutlass Bearings like a hot knife thru butter. A friend of mine who owns a machine shop made a pressing tool for me so I can change the bearing frequently w/o pulling the shaft. My shaft does not seem to be the problem but perhaps as it ages, that will cause more Cutlass Bearing wear. I like the flex but there is a kiwi prop that is made of composite, gets good reviews and naturally is very light.  I wonder what folks think of that.