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  • #15120
    Alex Baker

      Hi All,

      (At great expense) I have recently purchased a new folding prop for my 2005 Bavaria 38 from Volvo Penta. The size and dimensions under advice from the dealer (Marine Enterprises).  According to the engine that I have (Volvo MD 2030) the Volvo Penta on-line guide seems to suggest that it is the correct prop.  The person selling it to me initially quoted me higher price (for a three bladed folding) and then ‘after checking’ sold me a 2 bladed folding prop.  It seems smaller, with less aggressive pitch than the three bladed fixed prop on the boat when I got her.  Have I done the wrong thing?  Anyone else using a 2 bladed folding prop?




        Bavaria prop size list shows that the correct 2-blade folder for your boat is a 16 x 13.  3-blade prop is 16 x 11.  So 2-blade should be the same size but deeper pitch.

        2-blade is more efficient, but you get a bit more “grunt” from a 3-blade.

        Personally, I would send it back and get a 3-blade Featherstream from Darglow.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by bobclements.
        • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by bobclements.

          I have a Bruntons Varifold 2-bladed folding prop and it is superb in forward but much less so in reverse. Bruntons give a good service and will certainly take the trouble to specify correctly if you ask them. If I were buying again I’d have gone for the Autoprop instead of the Varifold. The Autoprop is more expensive but, unlike folding props, it is identical in reverse as in forward. For a yacht with a sugar-scoop stern which is usually berthed stern-to, manoeuvring in a marina would, I suspect, be much easier with such a prop. With mine (in a B32), getting the boat to get going in reverse is a bit of a struggle especially given that the boat is light and has high topsides, so is very quickly affected by the wind. If I recall, the Autoprop was about 50% more expensive than the Varifold and was more complicated to service, but I wish I had one.

          If your Volvo prop is the correct spec then I am sure it will be OK in forward, but all folding props are less effective in reverse than fixed props or Autoprops. I changed to the Varifold from the original fixed 2-blade prop and immediately noticed the lack of bite in reverse. Frankly if you want the best performance under power in both forward and reverse then keep the original fixed prop, but obviously a folding/feathering prop greatly reduces drag etc when sailing.




            I definitely recommend the Brunton’s Autoprop.  I had one fitted shortly after I bought my B32 new in 2002 and have never regretted it.  Good performance in ahead and astern, very little propwalk, an extra 1/2 to 3/4 kts boatspeed under sail and greater fuel economy when motoring.  Certainly an expensive extra but worth it, in my humble opinion.

            Ian Culley/Another Fantasy

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