Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Best Prop For W32"
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Thread: "Best Prop For W32"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Best Prop For W32

Michael Yuille and Rosemary Wilson

Bud: I have a 2 Blade feathering prop from Maxprop that I purchased. There is currently a three bladed fixed prop on Kibitka currently. Do you have any thoughts on what if any difference it will make if we change props? I know the feathering prop is supposed to improve sailing performance but what is the maxprop like while motoring or maneuvering? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Bud Taplin

The two blade Maxprop prop would be fine once you determine the correct pitch. The downside to a two blade prop is during every revolution the prop is behind the keel twice, and that is not as effective as always having two blades of a three blade prop in the waterstream.
You will just have to experiment with the two blade maxprop to see what the performance wil be.

Michael Dougan

Michael, one other consideration is that I believe that you have to shorten your shaft to get the Maxprop to fit. So, it is more work to fit than just swapping them out. And, once you cut the shaft, there is no going back.

Most owners I've heard discuss the Maxprop love them. But I seem to remember something about how performance while backing up changes... might want to search around this message board for more information.


Bud Taplin

The prop has to be installed up very close to the shaft log in order for the blades not to hit the rudder when the rudder is turned and under sail. Also the threads have to be cut shorter in order to assemble the hub onto the shaft. Not really a problem though if you have to switch back to a fixed blade prop in case of a problem with the Maxprop.
The prop works great in reverse, as well as in forward.
Maxprop feathered

Rich Morpurgo

can the maxprop be taken off of the boat with the boat in the water? I am wondering about this. I can get the 3 blade off if I have to, but wondered about the max. Will the modified shaft take the fixed 3 blade if there was a problem with the max.

I have one waiting the next haulout.



Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

So, Bud,
Do we or do we not need to shorten the shaft and/or cut a space in the rudder to install the Maxprop on our W32s? Sounds like maybe not.

Bud Taplin

A standard fixed prop will still work even after you do the shaft shortening and thread cutting necessary to install a Maxprop.

I doubt if you could do the installation and set the correct pitch underwater. It takes four hands to hold the three blades in place while putting on the two halves of the hub shell. You also have to make sure the correct teeth engage on all three blades so they all wind up with the same pitch.

As far as Randy's question about modifying the rudder, it would not be necessary if you shorten the shaft. If you do not, then you would have to grind off some of the rudder where it interfers with the blades in feathered position, then regalass the cut areas.

Bud Taplin

The above picture also shows the Dave King modification to the aft end of the keel. It has been widened out to the same width as the rudder.

Michael Yuille and Rosemary Wilson

Thanks for the input from everyone. I also found a step by step video for installation of the Maxprop at the Max-prop site that takes all of the guess work out of it. A number of reports indicate that because the blades rotate to accommodate both forward and reverse, the Maxprop actually improves a boats performance in reverse because the blades bite better due to their ability to orient in relation to the boats direction whereas a fixed blade prop apparently does not have this advantage.
Since the boat arrived in September of 2007 we have installed new chainplates, water tanks, fuel tanks, rewired the mast, made and installed new boomkin, refinished all exterior and interior wood, changed a number of engines systems, set up for light air sails (genoa and spinnaker), designed and installed new winch bases and Murray primary winches, etc, etc. We had a great time sailing all of last summer with short and long cruises. The kids (4 of them) had a great time and, as could be expected so did we with a healthy mix of successes and minor mishaps.
This winters projects are to install a new W/C bronze/porcelain head, stay'sl release, and hopefully some other tweaks. I will do Dave Kings modifications at some point as well but, as with Rome, not all in one day. We plan to put a letter together showing the progressions of the boat from 1,000 plus pieces to a functioning craft. It's been great fun. Thanks again and perhaps you'll see a record of our projects in an upcoming newsletter . All the best of the season!

Norm Rhines


One comment on the photo and the reverse effort of the prop.

If you radius the deadwood (The flat section of the keel in front of the prop) it will double your reverse power with any prop. It has for my 2 and 3 blade fixed props.

But I still wish I had a max prop for even better performance.

Michael Dougan

OK, I knew I'd heard something about reverse performance... I guess I heard it performs better! :-)

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