What is a Folding Propeller?
A folding propeller fits almost all sailboats with an inboard engine. You will therefore be able to see the propellers used around the world by both professional sailors and recreational sailors.
Due to the laws of nature, this type of propeller is effective for you both in its active and passive state.
When the engine is switched on and the propeller is rotating, the blades unfold due to the centrifugal force. This also applies in very low revs and even in reverse as the centrifugal force will always be stronger than the hydrologic flow.
In the passive state where the propeller does not turn and thus is not affected by the centrifugal force the water pressure will instead fold the blades. Therefore, you will experience a low drag resistance which means that you can sail even in light air.
This means that the folding propellers fold out by the natural centrifugal force when the engine is running. As soon as it stops, the pressure from the water flow forces the blades back in. Therefore, it is not only when the engine is in use that the Flexofold folding propeller shows its worth.
Why choose a Folding Propeller from Flexofold?
Folding propellers from Flexofold have been thoroughly tested for several years. Our private boat owners continuously give us feedback on our products and ideas to make our propellers even better in all kinds of water. Our folding propellers are used by some of the world’s largest boatyards where Flexofold helps develop and refine the optimal propeller for their boats both existing and new.
Technicians and engineers have tested analyzed and verified the folding propellers from Flexofold. This is a stamp of approval as well as an honor, that so many professionals put their trust in us. That being said, it is the exact same folding propeller delivered to the world's largest boatyards as the one you buy for your own boat.
We call this quality control!
Folding propellers for Saildrive
When viewing the propeller blade profile, you can see the large blade area which is necessary for its powerful performance. At the same time there is a twist and a hydrodynamic shape to the blades which maximizes the efficiency all along the length of the blade, instead of at just one point (which is the case for flat blades often seen on feathering props). Furthermore, the twin-helical gears ensure the blades will open consistently and fold back under sail into a very low drag configuration designed to maximize efficiency.
Folding propellers for Shaft
Looking at the profile or at the cross-section of our shaft propellers at Flexofold, you will see a powerful shape that will drive your boat well forward by converting more horsepower into thrust than any other propeller. Twin-helical gears between the blades insure synchronized opening and folding of the blades, while the well designed and slim propeller hub provides a very low drag configuration.
Which propeller should I choose?
That is a question that is not easily answered. It depends on which sailboat you have, the engine model, the gear ratio and last but not least - your personal preferences! That is why we have a dedicated team of experts to calculate the optimal propeller for your needs whether it is a 2-, 3- or even a 4-bladed folding propeller the precise calculation will tell you which propeller, size and pitch we recommend.
We help you through the whole process
If you think that a folding propeller is the right choice for you, or if you would like to hear a little more about your options for your sailboat, contact Flexofold.
All you have to do is submit relevant details about your boat and we will make the necessary calculations for the most ideal folding propeller for you, your boat and your sailing needs. To find the information regarding engine model and gear shift, you may have to find your papers on the boat.
Informations such as the gear reduction ratio can also be found on the information plate on the boat itself.