Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The 'Interim Period' - Lucey Blue MaxProp Feathering Propeller Upgrade

In July 2013 we hauled out Lucey Blue for her annual antifouling at Woolwich Dockyard in Sydney. Nick always enjoys working on the boat and this year was looking better than most as he had two MaxProp feathering propellers ready to install.

We had spent a long time researching the best propeller solution for Lucey Blue. Anything had to be better than dragging fixed three-bladed Volvo Penta propellers through the water, but the cost and complexity of more efficent feathering or folding propellers - such as Gori, Flexifold, MaxProp, Austral Slipstream/Autostream or Kiwi propellers - made the decision complex.

As luck would have it we found two new 'Three Blade Classic MaxProp' propellers that suited our Volvo Penta 130s saildrives for a great price.  The design looked simple, reliable and relatively easy to install and maintain.

The new MaxProp propellers are incredibly well made, but they need to be set to the correct pitch during the installation process, which worried us a little bit. If the propeller pitch is set too high our engines would not be able to reach their maxium design revolutions and if the propeller pitch was set too shallow they could exceed this limit - both outcomes were undesirable. In the end with a bit of help from the local MaxProp representaive and Scott Grittiths from Victory Marine Services the installation was relatively painless.

We finally had propellers that would not hold Lucey Blue back when sailing and hopefully we would see another knot or so of boat speed in light to moderate wind conditions. Nick was particulary impressed with the construction of the MaxProp.

Over the next few days Nick also replaced the lower oilseals on the Volvo Penta 130s Saildrives, serviced our D2-55 Volvo Penta engines, coated the hulls in Interlux 66 Antifouling and cleaned the topsides of Lucey Blue - she always looks better with a new coat of Awlcare protective polymer sealer!

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