Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

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Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Audiguy » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:36 pm

I have a 1984 Freedom 32 with the usual Yanmar 3GM and what I believe is the original two blade 14" propeller.

I am debating a 14-15" three blade MaxProp, Brunton Autoprop or a Gori to give me better performance, self feathering under sail, and better "in reverse" performance.

All seem to cost something between $2500 and $4000...Does anyone have a recommendation on one of these (or other) props and where to get a really good price

All comments much appreciated

Richard
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby daletournier » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:09 am

Hi, I have a 16 inch kiwi prop. I think you can still get them for under 2k. After 4 years and approx 1000hrs I rate it about a 7/10. Compared to your current prop you will find it makes a huge difference. The pros are it drives Freeform very well. I regularly motor at 6.5k and above. It punchs the boat into a chop very well. I think you would find a big improvement over your current prop. Reverse is excellent when greased well ( more in a minute ). Matched very well to my 3gm30f. And when feathering obviously has the advantages of a feathing prop. John at Kiwi prop is very good to deal with.
The not so goods are: needs regular greasing. If you dont keep the grease up the blades fail to rotate properly when put in reverse and overload the engine (i see they have a newly designed blade trying to solve this problem. )This isnt much of a problem for me as i have a hooka and dive and grease blades regularly. I also find prop will auto rotate if not put in reverse intially to stop it, then back into neutral (often wont feather by its self which is my biggest gripe)Even though the blades are tough they can get pretty beat up im on my second set although 2 of the blades I could have filed to be useable (are now spares) In fairness the Malacca Straits are full of lots of stuff that knock your boat around including the prop. In a way the blades can be sacraficial protecting other parts of the drive chain and are easy to replace underwater I believe this is a good thing as I know a number of people in Asia that have bent propshafts etc.
I have no idea how a kiwi prop compares to other feathing or folding props. Obviously a major part of my decision was it was considerable cheaper than other feathering props.
Overall quite happy but would possibly try flexofold next time sacraficing abit of the the reverse stopping power for better shaped blade providing a little more thrust and better fuel economy ( I think.... dont know)
Cheers Dale
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Castaway » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:20 pm

Have a Kiwi prop on an F35 (UK) cat ketch. It's a great improvement in every way over the two 2-blade folding props and the fixed (original) 2-blade ones I have used before, most especially in reverse. I've only had it one season, so far, so couldn't say how well it would last, but it is in fine condition after 900 miles this summer. The UK agent is very helpful about fitting and maintenance; but that's a local thing.
The beautiful Gori folding 2-blade prop was very long and I had to cut a lump off the rudder to get it to close without fouling. It didn't work well in reverse.
Gerald Freshwater,
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Lerwick Boating Club
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Rick Simonds » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:14 pm

On my Hoyt 32 I have a 3GMD with a KM3-A transmission, 2.61 gear ahead, 3.16 gear astern. The original 2 blade (from the factory) was a 14" diameter 14" pitch right hand (1" tapered shaft.) I replaced that with a solid 3 blade prop that was a wildly large-bladed 14 dia x 15-ish pitch, which was too much, it lugged the engine slightly (I still have it as an emergency backup.) My present 3 blade feathering prop is 14" diameter but pitched a bit less, 13-ish inches maybe, and it seems perfect.

No matter what you get I think that you'll like the result. I started with the original 2 blade, switched to the overly large 3 blade then to a 3 blade feathering prop (Cruising Designs - no longer made.) The 2 blade was "not good, not bad", fairly low drag but vibrate-y and not particularly powerful. The big solid 3 blade was fabulous under power, especially in reverse, and perfectly smooth, but under sail it was like dragging a sea anchor. The feathering prop is 90% of the solid 3 blade under power, very smooth, but it has added around 8 to 10% to my speed under sail, sometimes more.  I don't think you'll get as much sailing improvement going from a 2 blade to a feathering prop as I did going from my giant 3 blade to the feathering prop, but I also doubt there is any other improvement you could add that would get you as much gain. Powering should be better than your 2 blade, much more "punch" and a tiny bit more speed, but reverse should be very noticeably more powerful.

Pricey, yes, but a feathering propeller is a REALLY nice improvement to any sailboat.
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Audiguy » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:04 am

Thanks Rick (and the others who have posted). Your info is invaluable.....

I was just contacted by the KIWI representative here in Canada and their recommendation is a 16" feathering prop.
The only caveat was that if there were any clearance issues, the prop size could be stepped down to 15" or 15.5" but on the F32 (Hoyt) there is an enormous amount of clearance between the prop and the keel.

The price of the KIWI is $1500 which is by FAR the best price I have found...
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Audiguy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:21 pm

Prop Update:

I recently found a comparision study of virtually all the feathering and folding props that are on the market in the US and Canada.

The study was sent to me by FLEXOFOLD along with their recommendations for the Freedom 32.. They suggest a 16" two blade folding prop. Its performance is IDENTICAL to the 3 blade unit and better, its price is $1200 delivered to my door from the manufacturer in Holland.

The comparison study did compare the Maxiprop, Gori, Kiwi and Variprop among others: I'll post a link to the study shortly

I'm going to go with the Flexofold and that said, prop walk is minimal and performance in reverse is exceptional. Thanks all for your help.
Richard

TEST, Yachting Monthly (UK), May 2009 - pdf
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby JohnReinagel » Wed May 29, 2019 2:32 pm

Hi Audiguy,

Old thread I know, but the subject matter is current for me. I am wondering if you ended up purchasing the Flexofold 2-bladed folding prop? If yes, what is your opinion of it?

I purchased one last year, mounted it without issue but upon running it the boat almost vibrated apart. That sounds extreme I know, but it was really that bad. The manufacturer immediately said the key was causing the issue that it certainly could not be their prop, despite the fact that the engine and coupler were realigned after an engine rebuild just a couple of years prior and the fixed 3-blade prop did not have any vibration whatsoever. As a matter of fact, it's the smoothest set up I've ever had. I switched back to the 3-blade prop for the remainder of last year.

Two weeks ago, since the marina got their hoist strap caught in my 3-blade prop and bent it, I modified the keyway and remounted the flexofold prop. The key was easily a half inch away from the radius and the hub went back to the mark as it should, as it did the prior year. Once again I move the boat from the launch and the boat is vibrating like crazy.

My engine mounts are solid, feeler guages prove the coupler alignment to be within .001, the total runout of the prop shaft is under .002. The stut is very solid and the cutless bearing is snug, and I have no clear reason there is anything wrong with the prop itself. I cannot find any issues so that leads me to beleive that I am getting shaft whip.
John


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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Castaway » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:20 pm

Odd about the vibration. If it doesn't happen with your previous prop, but does with the Flexfold, then either there are two components of the old system which are individually out of balance, but together are perfectly balanced (unlikely), or else there is something unbalanced about the Flexfold. The key would have to be pretty large to cause noticeable imbalance. So probably it's the propeller, whatever the manufacturer says. Does it unfold symmetrically? If one blade didn't unfold fully, that would certainly cause your problem. Another possibility is differences in the two blades, either pitch or weight. Personally, I would return it for a check on the balance, as there is little likelihood of any other cause.
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch, centreboard, 1987)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby JohnReinagel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:35 pm

Hi Castaway, thank you for your thoughts!

I agree with you, but I have found them (flex-o-fold) less than helpful. Any question asked that can be misconstrued as a prop issue I receive an answer about things I've already eliminated and informed them about, it's an endless loop. They did offer to rebalance the prop at no cost, but of course it's currently under water on the boat. By the time I haul out, have my old prop fixed and remounted, ship the flexofold back at my expense, have it returned at my expense, haul the boat again to remount it, I'll almost be at the cost of the prop. This is one of those no-win scenarious I'm afraid.

In reality, while I agree with your logic (they're the same thought's I've had), when in reverse it is as smooth as can be (conflicts with: "Personally, I would return it for a check on the balance"), odd. My only thought on that is that maybe in reverse the rpm's aren't such that the prop blades are resting on the shock absorbers which would tell me that one shock absorber may be thicker than the other leading to the shaft whip when in forward. In essence I'm thinking it may have one blade not exactly on the same plane as the other in forward causing the shaft whip (indirectly may confirm your question: "or else there is something unbalanced about the Flexfold"). I have no way to test for that however without hauling the boat out, nor do I know for certain that the result of that would be a vibration anyway. I know, there are contradictions in this paragraph thus the dilema.

The prop itself is a beautiful piece of work, with a fantastic gearing design which always keeps the blades in unison (answers: "Does it unfold symmetrically?"). While on the hard, when I open the blades manually, they always have a gentle steady movement closing themselves back up, It's quite pleaseing lol (sorry, having a machining background I appreciate stuff like that). All in all vibration aside, the prop moves the boat very well under power forward and reverse, with virtually no noticable prop walk. In flat water at 2000 rpm I'm cruising at 6.1 knots, 3000 rpm 7.2 (into the wind on my only test at that rpm). Surprisingly there is minimal vibration at 3000 rpm but I don't like to run at that rpm for long, the engine sounds best at 2800 but vibration is unacceptable there. Under sail, I feel like I'm sailing downhill compared the the fixed 3 blade I was using.

I am hoping someone will confirm that yes, a folding 2-blade prop can run smoothly, but in re-reading Ricks post above he may have already implied that. I guess I'm going to bear with it for the summer since I'll mostly be sailing locally and go over everything in the fall or spring and change out the cutless bearing too just to be further certain.

Sorry for my babbling post! Good thing I like a challenge.
John


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Re: Propeller options on a Freedom 32 (Hoyt)

Postby Rodent » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:12 am

Have you checked the minimum tip clearance, which might be different for the two propellers?
Or they might be different overall diameters so one has a reduced clearance.
A fixed prop might not like too small a clearance, but being solid would not vibrate, whereas a flex
prop might be flexed by some sort of back pressure effects each time a tip passes too close to the
hull, leading to vibration.
Just a thought.
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