Doug Rivers
Hi , I’m thinking of moving from a fixed prop. Any thoughts? What others have? Thanks Doug
How deep is your pocket? is an essential question.

Are you aware of the Yachting Monthly report on fixed v folding v feathering v variable pitch propellors? If not, that should be your first port of call.

Like all these reports, it still requires careful reading, since it was done (like most such tests) under non-real world conditions, and even then the results relat3 solely to one particular yacht.

But still, in my subjective opinion, it is clear that for cruising, it would be hard to beat a Brunton Variable Pitch, but cost in relation to value of your boat is significant.

A three blade feathering is the next step down.

Two blade folders are fine for racing yachts, bu5 less than ideal for cruising yachts.

But at the end of the day, any folding, feathering, ariable pitch prop is going to increase your average speed under sail significantly, and hence feduc3 your passage time accordingly.

Geoff Sheddick

Parker 27/146 "Stroller'

Mike Baldwin
I have the original Darglow Maxprop 15" 3 blade bronze feathering propellor on my Parker 335 with a 30HP engine. I think it is fantastic. My last boat (Parker 285) had the Kiwi feathering prop which although cheaper, is more fiddly to maintain, although straightforward once you have done it. It also took a long time to stop the boat as the engine was the minimum horsepower rating for the propellor (15HP). I have no experience with other feathering or folding propellers. The article Geoff mentions is Sailing Today with Yachts and Yachting July 2020. I have a copy if you like I can send it to you.



I was going to email you a copy of the original, full article that was first published in Yachting Monthly in May 2009, but I cannot find you in the Members Handbook?

Geoff Sheddick

Parker 27/146 "Stroller'

Doug Rivers
Thanks everyone. My email address is , all articles gratefully received. The boat came with a Brunton originally. However very old and even after refurbishing I had a lot of vibration and also had to change the cutlass bearing every couple of years. The fixed prop is very smooth and bearing replacement eliminated. I do have a lot of prop wash (which can be embarrassing!). But the drag issue weighs on my mind and if I can also minimise prop wash, even better.
Just as a footnote, I have gone the other way!!

I have a 325 which had a Kiwi Prop, It seems that this type of prop is very much effected by muck on the bottom of the hull. I had an unfortunate incident recently where post Covid where the boat had been in the water for 18 months of which the lockdown period meant it did not move in the Beaulieu river for some 6 months and was heavily weeded up around the prop. On trying to get back into the Beaulieu River In a strong SWly I did not have enough forward thrust as the prop was not opening properly, consequently going aground and being towed in by the Beaulieu harbour Patrol.

I have now reverted to the original fixed prop to see how that goes, although the power in reverse does seem pretty poor.

Bottom line is that if you have any prop with a folding mechanism, make sure you have a clean bottom!!

Bill Peach

'Kalandia' Parker 325

Moored: Beaulieu River

I suggest that propellor fouling on boats forced to remain stationary for long periods whilst afloat has the potential to significantly reduce the efficiency of all types of propellor? At least Seal/Parkers can be dried out easily to check/clean the prop, even if scrubbing the whole hull is a step too far.
Geoff Sheddick

Parker 27/146 "Stroller'

Doug Rivers
I had a problem with barnacles stopping the Brunton opening on a 3 month cruise with plenty of motoring. Unfortunately I just assumed a more serious issue (I always do) and had an expensive mid cruise lift out to realise a quick swim would have sorted the problem.
We have had Kiwi-Props on a Fulmar and subsequently a Parker 335 for about 15years and overall been very happy with them.

We had a blade damaged on lift out once which was replaced for just under £100.

Doug Rivers
Thanks, I’ll investigate using a review sent to me by Geoff.