Propeller Questions

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  • October 06, 2012 2:18 PM
    Message # 1096423

    I may be opening a can of worms here, but I will do it anyways.

    What is the best propeller for the W32 with a 33hp engine?  I am attracted to lowest drag b/c I want to minimize engine use, but also like the reliability of the fixed blade propeller and I'm constrained by economics as well.  I was thinking about a larger 2 blade b/c it could fill in the apperature.  For feathering, I thought about the Kiwi because it is the most economical.  What do the Westsailors out there suggest.  I'm trying to find a propeller with the following qualites:  Low drag, economical, reliable, sized correctly. 

    EDIT:  I should add (per Jay's request), that the engine is a Vetus 33 with a 1.79 ratio forward, and 1.81 ratio backwards.


    Last modified: October 08, 2012 6:16 AM | Anonymous member
  • October 07, 2012 4:12 PM
    Reply # 1097257 on 1096423
    I think the Campbell sailor prop is a good compromise between performance and economy. 

  • October 09, 2012 6:02 PM
    Reply # 1099603 on 1096423
    Deleted user
    Just for a point of ref.  I have a 1:1 and switched over to a 14" 7 sailor prop over a 3 blade mouse ear michigan 13.5" 6 and found the sailor does a better job under motor. I Would have not thought this was possible, but it is true.  Under sail it is allot nicer than the old 3 blade which is my backup.

    overall I do like the sailor props, as they are simple, less $$$ and don't shave off to much speed.

    Oh if you mark your shaft you can keep it behind the dead wood +/-.

    Best of luck

    Last modified: October 09, 2012 6:05 PM | Deleted user
  • October 10, 2012 6:08 AM
    Reply # 1099973 on 1096423


    Is yours a two blade, or three blade? 

    Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that the 2 blade will maximize the sailing efficiency (hidden behind the deadwood) and have sufficient performance under power when one cannot sail.  The 3 blade will maintain sailing quality, but be better under power and punch through waves and weather.  I am thinking the 2 blade for me because I want to maximize sailing performance, and only need the motor for when the wind fails me and water is glass.  To punch through wind, waves and weather to me is not as important b/c by that point I can just as well sail.  It is a Westsail after all.


  • November 06, 2012 2:10 PM
    Reply # 1131360 on 1096423

    Can other Westsailors provide feedback as to a 2 or 3 blade prop being better for the W32?  I could do either, but the 2 blade seems to best maximize sailing efficiency.  However, at what cost?  Can someone reply with 2 blade experience?  Pros and cons?


  • November 06, 2012 8:45 PM
    Reply # 1131617 on 1096423
    Deleted user

      I have the 2 blade sailor type prop.

    1.) better performance under sail
    2.) the same as or better than the three blade under power
    3.) less to clean (if you clean you prop every so often in the slip)
    4.) they make a nice little prop puller which you can pull and change the 2 bladed sailor prop in your slip if needed.
    5.) less to wax when hauled out

    1.) there are fewer happy barnicals out there (less surface to grow on)
    2.) It can cause prop envy (yea a highly polished prop can do that)
    3.) You may have to figure out something to put down for a con on a list as there is not many.
    So yes I am very very happy with the sailor prop:  under power !!!

    But please do note:  I am on a 1:1 transmission = much higher RPM than I would like. And I do run her at 1400 - 1800 most of the time. and can not get to the 2800 max as the prop (either) will just release (complete cavitation) above 2350. Also the 3 blade releases around 2300 (it is the low pitch and hi rpm)

    May you have fair winds and Iron sail that always starts.

    Please do make sure you SIZE IT CORRECTLY to your HP, RPM, and shaft size.
    Last modified: November 06, 2012 9:17 PM | Deleted user
  • November 06, 2012 10:07 PM
    Reply # 1131650 on 1096423

    Ahoy Tyler,

    I used a fixed 2-bladed sailing prop for over 40,000 miles with a Volvo MD2B.  As Norm has said, there really is no down side.  I believe in all those miles that on 2, brief, occasions  I could have benefitted with a 3-bladed prop.  At those times I was motoring into a rough wind and sea condition.  In both cases, I just gave up trying to motor and sailed instead.  Well, Duh!    In 1988 I raced to Hawaii with the 2-bladed prop and did quite well.

    In 1990 I became more serious with racing and switched to a 3-bladed feathering prop.  It is faster, but just barely.

    Good Luck,     Dave

  • November 07, 2012 6:10 AM
    Reply # 1131826 on 1096423

    Thanks Norm and Dave.  Fortunately, you two were the ones I'd hoped to hear from, and you put my heart at ease to go with the two blade sailor prop.  I was getting too much resistance from the manufacturer trying to get me into a three blade (with an aperture) that I thought I'd go to the experienced Westsailors for advice.  I'll get a properly sized two blade.

    Thanks again,


  • January 18, 2013 11:03 AM
    Reply # 1183121 on 1096423
    Deleted user
    O. K. guys now you have me wondering why I have the 3 blade "mouse ear" other than the price of the feathering prop.  Before I get out the wrench and mount the 2 blade, one area of discussion.  Backing up, especially in tight spots like that marina with a current running through it. Any noticalble difference between 2 blade and three with a 40+ h.p. engine, 2:1 tranny?
  • January 18, 2013 11:37 AM
    Reply # 1183151 on 1096423
    Deleted user
    Reverse should be no problem if it is sized right.

    1.) a simple mod if you are out of the water (Round over the deadwood)
    Just glue up some foam (I used Hexcell; you could use Divenacell or even styrofoam will work ok) it is just farring, oh try not to add more than 1.5" back from the flat deadwood. round it over  then lay up two or more layer of 6oz glass over it, sand it, fair it, paint it, and  presto 50%+ extra power in reverse.

    I left about 1/2" clear around the shaft log in case I ever needed to remove it.

    2.) you may have a bit more prop walk?? this is hard to tell before it is in the water. Yes more or No about the same? just do some backing before going into a tight slip.

    3.) keep it shinny! (wax it 2 or 3 times and then throw on some lanacote ) keeps the critters off for 6 months and even after they are not as bad. 

    4.) Clean Prop = more power in any direction!

    My the weather be warm, and you prop be shinny:

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