Excerpts of letters received from VariProp propeller owners
(Complete letters available upon request)
ATLANTIC 46 Cat – 2 x 43 hp VOLVO 2003 T (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
Regarding the 3-blade VARIPROP I’m extremely happy to report that GREAT WHITE I has improved performance from 7.5 to 10.5 kn. with absolutely no vibration. This set up is now silky smooth and bullet proof... Can’t say the same for my previous MAX-PROP ... Your experience with pitch and diameter helped select the right prop the first time... Focus Marine endorses VARIPROP as the world leader in feathering propellers. I highly recommend this product.
-- GG, Yacht Builder Previous prop: 2-blade feathering
BENETEAU 331 – 27 hp 3GM30 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
We purchased our VARIPROP after sailing one season with the standard fixed 3-blade.
In light air we gained a full knot of sailing speed. This is incredible enough, but even more impressive was the increased maneuverability under power. We took out the prop walk, inherent in all fixed plade props, and are now able to dock port or starboard with ease. The reverse thrust power of the VARIPROP is really something amazing. We can stop our BENETEAU 331 on a dime. This lets us come into the dock more aggressively under non ideal windy conditions, resulting in a more controlled and safer docking to the envy of our sailing friends. A number of my collegues have actually purchased a VARIPROP after witnessing my wife bring in and dock our boat with ease.
The other pleasant surprise was the professional and prompt service of Jesco Afheldt. As we all know service is lacking in the boating industry, but Jesco is very po-active in the service he provided. Under sail or power the VARIPROP makes a significant and noticeable difference. I would, and do in fact recommend the VARIPROP highly. It was probably the single most important item/upgrade we bought for our new BENETEAU 331.
-- RM, Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BENETEAU 393 – 54 HP YANMAR 4JH4E (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
After using the VARIPROP for two yearsI would never go back to a fixed prop. Besides reducing drag, the variable pitch is like adding brakes to the boat. Backing the boat is a whole new experience. It's practically like driving a car. The best is the fact that I can now transfer it to a new boat and put the original fixed prop back on my current one. This is only possible with the VARIPROP because you do not have to cut the shaft as with all others.
-- PhilipM , Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BENETEAU 423 – 55 HP VOLVO D2 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
Here are the readings from s/v HYDROGEN: 6.5 kn @ 2000 rpm, 7.2 kn @ 2250 rpm, 7.7 kn @ 2500 rpm, 8.0 kn @ 2750 rpm, 8.2 kn @ 3000 rpm(max.) You have set up the prop perfectly, seems HYDROGEN doesn’t need any adjustments. We are totally satisfied with the VARIPROP on our Beneteau 423. Reverse is very good and the boat appears to sail faster but our biggest satisfaction has come from the elimination of prop walk and how easily we can handle the vessel in reverse. It has helped making docking stern-to totally comfortable and controllable. A VARIPROP is a “must have” accessory on our sailboat.
-- B/JT Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BENETEAU 423 – 55 hp VOLVO D2-55 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I have been very pleased with my performance in forward and reverse although I have been informed that a pitch increase to 15” will make the boat slightly faster with less effort. I’ll adjust my pitch this winter. Currently my max rpm is 3100 and gives me 8.2 kn. Generally I cruise smoothly at 2400/2500 rpm and get 7.0 – 7.5 kn. Reverse is great. I do get a little prop walk but nothing to speak of. Once you get the feel of it, it helps in your smooth docking port to.
-- PB Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BENETEAU 423 – 55 hp VOLVO D2-55 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
After the initial set-up the prop has been delivering outstanding performance. Because the pitch in forward and reverse can be separately set, we were able to fine tune the prop to optimize it to the boat and engine characteristics. The prop delivers optimum performance in both forward and reverse. I would and have on many occasions recommended the 3-blade VARIPROP.
-- RD Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BENETEAU OCEANIS 461 – 63 hp WESTERBEKE (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I made the decision to purchase a feathering prop for the usual reasons… reduce drag and prop walk, increase thrust and stopping power in reverse and improve over-all sailing performance. All these benefits have been realized with the new prop. I even had the confidence to take the “family cruising boat” in the Lake Ontario 300 race were we had a very respectable showing. I picked VARIPROP because from a technical perspective, it is as good, if not better than its major competitors, it was competitively priced, and differentiated itself by having a local representative in the Toronto market. This representative was key to the proper prop selection, installation and servicing. In summary I am very pleased and wish I had purchased it earlier.
-- DS Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BENETEAU 473 – 76 hp YANMAR (Purchased 4-blade DF 107)
Appreciate the tips on the pitch adjustment. Have experienced some prop-walk and will adjust at haul-out. Overall extremely satisfied. Glad we requested dhe “VARI” vs. competitors
-- DC – New Boat
BREWER 42 – 67hp PERKINS SABRE M65 (Purchased 4-blade DF112)
We hauled Kiyomi out and installed the new four-bladed VariProp a few weeks ago. Shortly thereafter we made a week long trip into the Delta and put about twenty-five hours on the new system. So far we’re pleased with the results. The factory had the settings right on the money: we get 2630 rpms at full throttle. I took her out last week when we had a flat day with slack water and gave her a complete rpm/speed run at all engine speeds and have charted it. I’m getting 7.7 knots at full speed; that’s 1.3 knots faster than with the old engine and prop. With the VariProp I can stop from 5.5 knots in less than a boat length. This was measured by reversing when our bow came abreast of a piling at slack water. I did it twice to confirm, and this wasn’t even at full throttle! The four blades do indeed grab some water. Remember we weigh 34,000# plus. Stopping that in less than 40 feet is impressive. I still notice prop walk in reverse, but the boat gains speed much more quickly now, allowing the rudder to compensate much faster than before. All in all, I guess you could say I’m very pleased.
-- CM Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BRISTOL 35.5 – 34.9hp YANMAR 3JH (Purchased 4-blade DF80)
The boat was lightly used last year. However, we did find a noticeable overall improvement in the boat’s performance. Under power, your pitch calculations were right on; in forward you predicted a speed of 6.9 kts. We actually did 7.1 kts at max rpms. With the increase in prop diameter, proper pitch, and going to four blades, we had significantly more power in heavy seas and strong currents. Under sail the decrease in drag gave us between .5 to .75 kts. Handling improved most noticeably in reverse with prop walk being greatly reduced. The ability to quickly check forward speed took a little getting used to, but has relieved some anxiety in our docking and anchoring. We are very pleased with the performance.
-- KCH – Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
BRUCKMANN 50 – 140 hp YANMAR 4LH-THE (Purchased 4-blade DF128)
Love the prop and performance has been nothing short of sensational!
-- RM Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
C&C 35 - 27 hp YANMAR 3GM30F (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
After my initial set-up was fine-tuned by you, the prop has been delivering outstanding performance. For my C&C 35 the biggest difference is the transfer of power from the engine to the water, especially in reverse... The terrible clunking noise when shifting gears is gone and I now come into my dock and can stop in an instant, in silence... I see hundreds of boats in a year and examine every one of their props. It seems to me that your company has the right design and workmanship for a Feathering Prop... after the first season I know I made the right choice.
-- GT, Yacht Surveyor Previous prop: 2-blade folding
C&C 35 - 22 hp YANMAR 3GMD (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
The performance of the new 3-blade VARIPROP was and is a total success. PANACHE is capable to achieve higher speeds under motor, experiences no drag when sailing and can stop on a dime. In addition, when under motor, the boat is absolutely free of vibration to complete the range of improvements over the previous folding prop. I recommend “VARIPROP” to any discerning sailor.
-- TA Previous prop: 2-blade folding
C&C 37 – 30 hp YANMAR 3HMF (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
In terms of performance, I found the VARIPROP to be equivalent to a fixed 3-blade as far as top forward speed and RPM at cruising speed. In terms of reverse performance the VARIPROP is far superior due to its reversing pitch. The prop stops my 14,000 lb boat very quickly without having to rev the engine. The prop feathers easily while under sail, improving sailing performance substantially over a fixed prop, especially in light air. In summary, I believe that the VARIPROP is superior to competing brands in terms of engineering, performance, ease of adjustment and ease of installation. I would highly recommend the VARIPROP.
-- GB Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
C&C 38 – 34 hp YANMAR 3HM 35F (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
Just a short note to say that I am completely satisfied with the VARIPROP purchased in the spring of 2000 ...Having sailed for one complete season with this propeller I have been impressed both with its smooth running characteristics and the appropriate levels of power that it delivers in forward and reverse.
-- JMcA Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
C&C 38 – 34 hp YANMAR 3HM 35F (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I am very happy with the performance of the VARIPROP. Performance under power is much, much better, gaining over 1 kn. Very smooth and very little vibration. Maneuvering is also much better.
-- JM Previous prop: MARTEC 2-blade folding
C&C 40- 33 hp YANMAR HQ30H (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
After owning “Windigo” (C&C 40) for 12 years this is the first year I have been able to achieve proper RPM’s (2600) instead of 2100 or 2200 with little or no vibration. I have tried just about everything, such as replacing engine mounts, new flange and coupling, cutless bearing and re-lining my strut. I have changed propellers from a MARTEC to a FLEXO-FOLD. I even tried a MAX-PROP. All these changes and expense did not help my vibration and the harmonics. What a surprise when I put my 3-bladed VARIPROP on…. Vibrations are gone; I have much greater punch going into strong seas and lose considerably less speed… My stopping power has been greatly increased and my docking has been made easier with the way WINDIGO’s stern walked to port. Bottom line is, I am very pleased with my prop. It’s the single best investment I have made to the boat.
-- DE Previous props: 2-bl MARTEC, FLEXOFOLD, MAXPROP
CS 33 – BUKH DV24ME (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
Returning from a Club Cruise to Wilson, N.Y. both my friends, also in a C&C 27, and ourselves set out in high winds and waves, but we had to get home. We managed to power through at or near hull speed, while our friends had great difficulty and turned back. The only difference between our boats was our 3-blade feathering vs. their 2-blade fixed. Thus we would choose for safety reasons, if nothing else, your VARIPROP for our new CS 33.
-- IS Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
CS 36 T – 33 hp WESTERBEKE W33 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
The prop has performed as well as you said it would and my boat speed has increased at the same RPM setting. The problem of vibration, which came from my old 2-blade Folding Prop, has gone away completely. Great prop!
-- WC Previous prop: 2-blade folding
CS 36 T – 33 hp WESTERBEKE W33 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
My boat came equipped with a 2-blade Feathering Prop that had trouble pushing the boat to hull speed, even in flat water. Your VARIPROP 3-blader fixed that little problem - with a vengeance. Reaching Hull Speed was not a problem in any weather I experienced since – without even a hint of vibration. .....Also you may recall that during the sea-trial of the new prop we reached HULL SPEED IN REVERSE. That’s not something I have done since, but it is very comforting, while docking, to know that when I shift into reverse, the boat will stop.
-- DG Previous prop: 2-blade feathering
CS 40 – 43 hp VOLVO 2003 T (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I have bought two VariProps now and they are simply the best money spent on my boats.... Changing from a GORI Folding Prop to your VARIPROP on my CS 36T produced an almost completely vibration free driveline and the ability to stop on a dime. It was a pleasure to motor and dock the boat ... The change from MAX-PROP to your VARIPROP on our CS 40 produced better results as well. The drive line was smoother running and a more efficient blade produced higher Rpm’s on a pitch for pitch setting with the MAX-PROP...The pitch adjustment is so easy I can do it in minutes at any time.
-- CC Previous props: 2-blade folding and 3-blade feathering
CS 40 – 43 hp VOLVO 2003 T (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
Performance under sail improved by a strong ¾ kn. in light to moderate winds from the previous standard 2-blade fixed prop, a superb improvement in my books, and worth every penny of the price we paid for the VARIPROP. It should become standard equipment on other sailboats!
-- DH Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
CS 40 – 43 hp VOLVO 2003 T (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I had only one way out of the weedy, narrow channel at Clayton, N.Y. against 25 kn. winds, and that was backwards.... To make long story short I went full astern and wow...that VARIPROP kicked in a flash. By the time our bow passed the end of the pier I was doing 5 knots. That situation alone was worth the price of admission.
-- BK Previous prop: 2-blade folding
CALIBER 40, Westerbeke 42B Four (Purchased 3-blade DF107)
I took the boat out yesterday; I backed and went forward with no problem. All seems to be working correctly. I did not really experience much of a delay going from reverse to forward. It was quite smooth. I was able to run the boat up to 3600 RPM. At that point judging from the slight change of color in the exhaust smoke (darkening) she was laboring a bit. I backed off a bit (3200), exhaust color returned to normal (i.e., almost not visible). I was making hull speed in flat water with negligible current at 2800. So I picked up a knot or so as I used to run about 6.5 kts at 2800. My boat did not have much vibration before installing the VariProp but now there is essentially none. Backs up and down with ease. All seems to be well.
-- TT Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
CARTWRIGHT 44, 55 hp WESTERBEKE 55 (Purchased 3-blade DF 112)
We have not seen all conditions yet, but so far the VARIPROP’s performance has been very good. The speed improvement alone has been worth it, under both engine and sail. Cruising speed under engine is now 7.6 kn @ 2.500 rpm, an increase of 2.1 kn over my previous builder supplied 3-blade fixed prop, at the same rpm. I am very satisfied.
-- JR Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
CATALINA 30 TR – 23hp UNIVERSAL (Kubota D-950) (Purchased 3-blade DF80)
…the stopping power is fantastic! I had to relearn to dock!
-- TZ Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
CATALINA 320 – 27 hp YANMAR 3GM 30 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
We have attained increased forward boat speed up to 1.6 kn. and the reverse action stops the boat instantly. Even with the greater reverse action there has been no noticeable change in the prop walk. (We previously had the standard 3-blade fixed prop that came with new boats.) I would certainly recommend this VARIPROP to other CATALINA 320 owners and other models.
-- BT Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
CATALINA 34 MKII – 35 hp Universal 35B (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
Moving from a two-bladed fixed prop to a three-bladed feathering prop has been quite a revelation. Motoring is smoother, far more efficient and dramatically faster. At 2,500 rpm we motor in smooth water at 6.8 kn, at 2,000 rpm at 5.8 kn. We picked up ¾ of a knot at comparable rpm, but more importantly a full knot without stress or strain. At current setting, there is just enough prop walk to allow you to tuck into a tight space in a port landing, but not enough to prevent backing up in a straight line. In light air (10 to 12 knots), we feel we have gained 0.6 to 1.0 knots upwind and a little less downwind. We are totally satisfied with our VARIPROP and would recommend it to others without reservation.
-- SS Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
CHEOY LEE 42 – 56 hp YANMAR 4JH3E (Purchased 4-blade DF107)
The performance of the new prop is outstanding. Your predicted top speed was right on, in fact in flat water the boat does hull speed. Stopping power is excellent. On our engine trials with the new Yanmar, we crash stopped at 5.5 kn and came to rest in about one boat length. There is virtually no noise or shudder felt when shifting from forward to reverse and no vibration when running. As far as prop walk astern, it is minimal and in fact I prefer a small amount as it assists in docking port to. Oh yes, a comfortable cruising rpm is about 2,800 rpm and speed is about 6.7 kn. The engine tops out comfortably at rated 3,600 rpm and 7.3 kn. I am very pleased with the propeller and will gladly endorse it to anyone considering purchasing one. Please feel free to use my name as a contact if anyone needs convincing of it’s merits.
-- RS Previous prop: 3-blade fixed.
CUSTOM 38’ Ketch – 25 hp GRAY MARINE SEA SCOUT (Purchased 3-blade DF80)
It’s been one of the best things I installed on my boat. I can now stop the thing; that was why I bought it in the first place.
-- RL Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
CT-41 - 75hp YANMAR 4JH3-TE (Upgraded to 4-blade DF 107)
Things have settled down a bit now and I’d like to commend Nautilus Propeller and the Factory for the extraordinaryefforts made to accomodate my situation.
I bought my 3-blade Variprop at the Toronto boat show in 2003. It was spec’d for a 45 hp Perkins 4-107 and worked very well in that application, although the engine just didn’t produce the horsepower to make much progress into a headsea. When the engine finally died after 31 years of service, I took the opportunity to upgrade to a 75hp Yanmar. Concerned about the ability of the 3-blade to absorb the additional power, I checked with you. You felt that the 18” diameter limitation (a propeller aperture concern) and changing the pitch to the maximum available would not get the job done. You also said you’d contact the factory for their analysis and call me back.
Shortly thereafter you did call back with the factory’s data to the effect that with 75hp applied to it, my propeller would be running at 152% of design load, and would badly cavitate. You recommended against using it, but in the same breath offered a solution.
I was expecting to be encouraged to buy a bigger prop for probably $5,000.- Imagine my surprise at your suggestion that the factory would take back my 3-blade, exchange the hub for a 4-blade unit, re-use the internal mechanics and my 3-blades plus one new one, and deliver to me a 4-blade 18” diameter propeller that was perfectly matched to the Yanmar. All for about $ 1,500.
On top of all the above, there was considerable time constraints involved with the boat out of the water on a marine railway. The yard needed their railway back, so the prop went to Germany and back by courier, the factory even offering their bulk discount with the courier service. The work was completed in days, and we wire transferred the funds as soon as we had a total. With the factory awaiting notification of receipt of funds from their bank and the transfer lost in the banking ether somewhere, you stepped in and told them to ship the prop immediately anyway. I don’t know what risk you took in doing that for us, but it did the trick. The prop arrived promptly and we launched the same day.
You were right about the 4-blade. It is like a tug-boat under power, as well as good for an extra knot under sail. We’re extremely pleased with the prop, and even more so with the efforts made by you and the factory on our behalf. In an age where the boating public
must resign themselves to be being ignored, gouged, lied to, and exploited by a greedy, uncaring industry, it is a breath of fresh air indeed to deal with an organization such as yours. Many, many thanks to you and would you please convey our appreciation to the factory as well.
-- Jeff & Dawn Haloun-Townsend, S/V Aavyi- Halifax, Nova Scotia
EXPRESS 36 – 28 hp VOLVO 2003 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
The VARIPROP works fine, lower vibration, better control for docking. Reverse is the big difference. No regrets !! Smooth glide and sailing close to 1 kn faster.
-- PP Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
FREEDOM 45 – 66 hp YANMAR TURBO DIESEL (Purchased 4-blade DF107)
Just a note to let you know how happy I am with my DF-107 feathering VariProp propeller. The 18” MaxProp that was on my Freedom 45 when I bought it was pretty well worn out with very loose bearings, etc., even though it only had 1250 original hours of use. I put another hundred and fifty hours on it before replacing it, but worried constantly about it, since one blade would sometimes slip a tooth, resulting in terrible vibration. As soon as I installed the four-blade VariProp, vibration went to zero. I was also impressed with how smoothly it shifts from forward to reverse and vice versa, because of the built-in clutch arrangement, which was lacking in the MaxProp. We get 6.5 knots with only 2600 RPM and just about hull speed with 3000. The pitch change was very easy; if I had had SCUBA gear I could have done it in the water.
-- RL Previous prop: 3-blade MaxProp
HUGHES 40 – 80 hp FORD-LEHMAN 4D254 (Purchased 3-blade DF 112)
Very noticeable improvement in forward thrust, gaining 1kn in speed. Better performance under sail, better reverse thrust, better maneuvering and quicker to respond. Big improvement and very satisfied.
-- RR Previous prop: Standard 2-blade fixed
HUGHES 40 – 58 hp VOLVO MD 30A (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
The difference in performance from the previous 2-blade fixed prop is dramatic to say the least. The vessel now attains hull speed of 7.5 kn at lower Rpm’s and cruises at 6.75 kn. at 2,500 RPM. There is also a marked reduction in fuel consumption and a noticeable increase in performance under sail. With our heavy boat it became unpractical to continue sailing at winds under 8 kn. We now regularly maintain speeds of 5 kn. in 7-8 kn. of apparent wind...... The capability of fine tuning reverse pitch independently while in the water allowed us to maximize stopping power when docking without adversely affecting prop-walk in reverse.
-- F&LM Previous prop : 2-blade fixed
HUNTER 326 – 18 hp YANMAR 2GM 20 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
I installed the prop with little outside help. It turned out to be very easy and straightforward and the prop works better than expected. Reaches hullspeed at 3200 rpm – 200 less than the previous fixed prop. The engine will still hit 3600 rpm, but it really causest he stern to drop. Running very quiet and smooth. Reverse is also much better. Stops the boat quickly and backs straight. Sailing was the most impressive, gaining a knot or more. My wife is a believer and agrees the purchase was a good decision !
-- Bill B., Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
HUNTER 426 – 56 hp YANMAR 4JH3E (Purchased 3-blade DF107)
To the best of my ability to obtain speed vs RPM data free of wind and current effects, there is no loss of performance under power compared to the 3 bladed fixed prop. The improvement under sail is awe-inspiring. I don’t have objective numerical data, but I believe I have gained at least a knot and a half! The VariProp has changed my dog into a lively puppy.
-- PG Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
IRWIN CITATION 34 – 27 hp YANMAR 3GM30 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
The boat performance changed dramatically, especially in reverse and maneuvering in harbor.
I am very pleased with my VARIPROP.
-- MA Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
ISLAND PACKET 37 – YANMAR 3JH2E (Purchased 3-blade DF107)
I want to thank you for all the technical information you passed on to me relating to a difficult decision, on my part, to make a commitment to purchasing a feathering prop. This is a major upgrade expense for a sailboat. I had to be 100% convinced that I had the right product. As you know, I analyzed all similar props on the market and the VariProp came out on top in all my requirements.
I also appreciated your follow-up with the Island Packet Company to verify the proper prop specifications for my IP-37. This resulted in a proper match to the boat and resulted in an easy installation. We had an excellent chance to test the VariProp during my 10-day sail trip heading North from St Petersburg in Florida.
During this time, we sailed for two days of over 60 miles and two days of about 45 miles, all in 12 to 15 knot winds. During this time we never turned the engine on! We average over 7 knots and many times hit 8 knots. If we were not sailing at least 6.5 knows we were disappointed. Talk about getting spoiled quickly!! Motoring at 2600 rpms pushed us along at 6.5 knots where previously 2800 rpms would get us about 6 knots. Vibration is non-existent.
Backing my boat has also been wonderful maneuvering in and out of slips and tight spaces is now accomplished with confidence whereas in the past my heart was beating in quick time. The workmanship and obviously the design are outstanding. In fact, the owner of the yard that I had paint the bottom, commented on the superior quality of the VariProp. I would not hesitate to recommend this feathering prop to anybody considering this upgrade.
-- JL Previous prop: fixed.
JEANNEAU SF 37 – 27 hp Yanmar 3GM30, (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
Powerful thrust against wind and waves, better reverse and maneuvering in harbor, vibration free, smooth acceleration and no noticeable operating noise. I am very satisfied.
-- EMcC Previous prop: fixed
JEANNEAU S0 40 – 56 hp YANMAR 4JH3E (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
It is not often one buys a product where concern and interest in the customer’s satisfaction is taken seriously. I’m more than pleased with your business ethics and the VARIPROP you sold me. The prop has performed excellently and is everything you promised it would. I would be glad to recommend it to any person who is thinking of purchasing one.
-- PC Previous prop: AUTOPROP (unsatisfactory)
JEANNEAU SO 40 – 56 hp YANMAR 4JH3E (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I am very satisfied with the VARIPROP and if I were purchasing another boat today, I would have no hesitation in saying my first choice would be a VARIPROP.
-- GL Previous prop: Max-Prop (on CS 33).
JEANNEAU Sun Odyssey 43, 56 hp YANMAR 4JH3BE, (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
The VARIPROP has similar advantages to other feathering props over fixed propellers. Primarily, these are considerably less drag under sail and better control in reverse under power. Of course, it also has the same disadvantages of other feathering products vs. fixed...somewhat less forward thrust (same size/pitch). The latter results from the flat blades (and can be increased through pitch adjustment). In my opinion, the VARIPROP has two significant advantages over other feathering props. Because the reverse pitch can be set independently from forward, you can virtually eliminate prop walk thereby further increasing reverse control. Secondly, the VARIPROP has less vibration and runs more smoothly.
-- RL Previous prop: AutoProp.
MIRAGE 32, 18 hp Volvo 2002 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
My speed increased by over 1 kn under power and also substantially under sail, depending on wind conditions. The thrust against wind and waves is more powerful, and the reverse thrust substantially better. I am a totally satisfied customer.
-- RJ Previous prop : 2-blade fixed.
MISTRAL 33 – 20 hp BUKH (Purchased 4-blade DF 80)
I must say the builder of the boat and I both like the results of the new 4-blade VARIPROP. A great improvement from what was on the boat. At max 3000RPM we will make about 6.7 kn. We like to run at about 2500 and that will keep us going 5.7 – 6.1 kn depending on conditions. As far as reverse, WOW! This is like having anti-lock brakes. You can feel the torque and the churning below the boat as the prop is cutting deep. Just for fun I brought the boat to a stop with the main and DRS up, the wind was about 8 kn and the boat was standing still!! You could see the turbulence for about 30 feet in front of the boat. … As for prop walk, it no longer exists.
-- DK Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
MOODY 34 28 hp VOLVO 2003 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
The VARIPROP works great. There is less noise and practically no vibration in comparison with my previous 2-blade fixed propeller...The 3-bladed VARIPROP turned out to be all you promised, and more. It makes sailing and motoring faster, smoother, quieter and much more enjoyable.
-- GS, P.Eng. Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
NAUTILUS 11m – 34 hp YANMAR 3HM35F (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I enjoyed my VARIPROP feathering prop very much this past summer. It was everything you had suggested – great power and tremendous reverse. It also sailed like a dream and under power is very smooth without any vibration, unlike the FLEXOFOLD folding prop.
-- RH Previous props: 3-blade fixed and FLEXOFOLD folding
NEREUS 40 – 55 hp YANMAR 4JH-TE (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I am genuinely impressed with the improved performance in light air. It was everything you said it would be... and the adjustable reverse has really allowed me to optimize stopping power. I have no hesitation in recommending your product to others.
-- RC Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
NONSUCH 30 – 30 hp WESTERBEKE W 27 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
With the NONSUCH’s blunt bow, having to motor into strong winds or chop under my old 2-blade fixed prop, meant seeing my boat speed cut in half. With the VARIPROP there is hardly any drop in speed under similar conditions. It provides lots of power fwd. and reverse for tight docking situations.
-- SH Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
NONSUCH 30 – WESTERBEKE W 27 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
One of the best investments I have made since purchasing her. It’s night and day in terms of
performance under power, and given the displacement of the Nonsuch 30, it’s a no brainer
from a safety, as well as a use and enjoyment perspective.
-- GH Previous prop: 2-blade fixed.
NONSUCH 33 – 30 hp UNIVERSAL 35M (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
I narrowed the available products to 3-blade feathering props by AUTOPROP, MAX-PROP and VARIPROP and ultimately selected VARIPROP based on comparative studies in the literature and discussion with others who had used these products. So far I am happy with my choice. I achieve greater speeds under both sail and power as well as superior reverse thrust with no noticeable prop walk. I have not found it necessary to adjust the pitch settings made at the factory at time of purchase. The only maintenance required is lubrication at winter storage haulout, a 5-minute job with a grease gun and detachable grease nipple.
-- LB Previous prop: Martec 2-blade fixed
ONTARIO 32 – 18 hp YANMAR 2GM20 (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
My wife is extremely pleased with the way she can handle the boat during anchoring since
she can stop on a dime and back up with complete control..... We motor sailed across Cabot Straight from Neil’s Harbor to Port aux Basques in exactly 12 hours – dock to dock. This knocked three hours off our past record of 15 hours with my previous 2-blade fixed prop, so you can see the VARIPROP is doing it’s job....
-- PJ Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
PANDA 38 – 32 hp UNIVERSAL M40 (Purchased 3-blade DF107)
The VariProp comes completely assembled with the pitch preset by the factory based on a data sheet of boat specs which I supplied. There were no alterations required to the shaft so if the need arises I can reinstall the old prop. (Max Prop required that I cut the end off of the shaft.)
If you need to readjust the pitch at a later time that is done with an adjusting screw on the outside of the prop (one for forward and one for reverse). The pitch is infinitely adjustable, not in steps like some other props. The prop has a clutch system on each blade so that when the blades rotate into position they don’t bang into the stops. I am not aware of any other prop with this system.
As for performance in light air, I can now keep up with or out-sail lighter boats that used to pass me. Under power the difference is more dramatic. The engine now turns up to rated RPM and will move the boat at hull speed which it would not do before. The boat stops quicker in reverse and the “prop walk” has disappeared.
Another advantage of the VariProp over a Max Prop, which I also considered, is the overall fore and aft length is shorter so that it will fit in less room. This is important if you have a small prop aperture between the keel and rudder as some full keel boats do. The prop is also available in a four blade model., custom made from the factory in Germany . VariProps are available to 48” in diameter so this is no small machine shop.
-- JP Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
PASSPORT 37 – 35 hp YANMAR 3JH-2E (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
We sailed to New Foundland this past summer and from Toronto to North Sydney motored 90% of that distance. This was an excellent test for the new VARIPROP.....Our conclusion is that we are getting better fuel mileage, no vibration, better reverse control and when sailing have increased our speed by at least ½ kn. to 1 kn in comparison to my previous 3 blade fixed prop. We are very happy with the VARIPROP and would not hesitate to recommend it to any sailor.
-- WD Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
PEARSON VANGUARD – Repower to YANMAR 3YM30 (Purchased 4-blade DF80)
The sea trials … were excellent -- both for the engine and the prop. The boat moves with tremendous power and now has reverse! We were able to move at hull speed with no problem.
-- RG Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
PEARSON VANGUARD – Repower to Beta Marine BD722 (Purchased 3-blade DF80)
The performance improvement of my Pearson Vanguard with the new VariProp is remarkable. The Vanguard has a short waterline (22’4”) and at 2600-2700RPM on the engine, with 2:1 reduction gear on the transmission, does about 5.7 knots over bottom as measured by GPS. I had a chance to power to weather for 3 hours in 18-20 knots and steep short waves (our lake is very shallow-average depth 9-10’) and the boat had no problem to punch through. The most amazing difference is in reverse. With the old A4 and 23”x7” two blade prop docking the boat with a good tail wind was almost impossible. With the new 3-blade VariProp (13”x9”) the boat went from “you-want-me-to-do-what-oh-stop?-I-will-think-about-it” to “yes-sir-was-it-fast-enough-stop-for-you-sir” behavior. Having now a positive control of the 13,000 lbs of moving mass in tight quarters gives me a peace of mind that is priceless.
-- PP Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
ROBERTS 44 , 48 hp PERKINS AD 152/3 (Purchased 3-blade DF 112)
The performance of NECTON has exceeded my expectations after switching to VARIPROP. VARIPROP is very quiet and smooth under power. NECTON is faster by 1.5 knots under sail and 2.0 knots under power. Steering under sail is easier and more sensitive. After the first season I consider the switch to VARIPROP the best improvement of safety and performance for NECTON.
-- TN, DVM Previous prop: 4-blade fixed.
SIRIUS 28 – 15 hp YANMAR 2 GM (Purchased 3-blade DF 80)
The prop arrived with pitch set correctly in forward and reverse and installed in 10 minutes. Once under way we noticed that the vibration we had before was completely gone and the boat is now completely smooth... The prop walk is virtually gone making the boat very easy to dock and the prop has added about ½ to 1 kn speed under sail in light winds...
-- WDA Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
SPARKMAN & STEPHENS 47’ CUSTOM KETCH (WOOD) – YANMAR 4JHBE (Purchased 4-blade DF107)
Just wanted to let you know that the 1” pitch increase seems to have done the trick, getting us 7.5 knots at 2900RPM and 7.9 at 3500. I figure hull speed for this boat to be about 7.4 knots, so that looks good to me. We did a crash stop from full ahead and I don’t think I ever saw a sailboat stop so fast. The mechanics are very complimentary about the prop and how easy it was to adjust. Your service has been great and I expect to recommend your product whenever such a prop is desired.
-- DM Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
TARTAN 37, 45 hp PERKINS 4.108 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
The prop is working great and all systems on the boat are go. I am a fan and happy with my VARIPROP and can happily recommend it. I am totally satisfied with the prop and your service as well. Having motored about 1300 miles in a few weeks the prop is showing itself as a solid and reliable performer. Thanks again and keep well.
-- RB Previous prop: 3-blade fixed.
TARTAN 37, 45 hp PERKINS 4-108
Early performance is good. Will try a pitch adjustment for reverse to reduce prop walk even further. Performance under sail, reverse thrust and maneuvering in harbor are better than with my previous prop. I am very satisfied. (Follow-on report; see above.)
-- RB Previous prop: 3-blade fixed.
TARTAN 3700 – Yanmar 3JH3BE (Purchased 3-blade DF107)
I mounted the VariProp I purchased from you on the boat in April (which was a snap). We put the prop to the test right away upon taking delivery of the boat in early May. The boat was launched in Long Island, NY. We proceeded on our 420 mile journey home through New York Harbor, up the Hudson River, through 30 locks of the Erie Canal system finishing with a 90 mile motorsail down Lake Ontario.
All I can say is that the propeller performed magnificently. We had plenty of power against the 2-3 kt current in the Hudson River, and were glad to have it at those locks where there was significant turbulence due to the nearby spillway. The stopping power is also incredible. I am amazed at how quickly I can stop this 17,000 lb boat; it really feels like putting on the brakes in a car, but with total control. I also tried what you suggested, standing in front of the pedestal facing aft and driving the boat around. Just as you said, you really can drive the boat around in reverse as if driving your car – takes a little getting used to after having a fixed blade propeller on our previous boat. It is also remarkable how smooth it performs when changing from forward to reverse - no clunking, even when you do it a little too quickly because you misjudged the distance to the dock or wall!!
The final test though is under sail. After raising sail, turning off the engine and putting the transmission in gear, I think the resistance must be about zero. We can easily sail at half the wind speed all the way to hull speed. With 2-3 kts of wind the boat will easily do 1-1.5 kts – amazing for a 17,000 lb boat!! As you can see, we’re pretty pleased with our purchase. Thank you again for an excellent product and a pleasurable purchase experience. We look forward to many years of performance from our VariProp.
-- JW (new boat)
WESTSAIL 32 – 36 hp Volvo MD3B (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
We departed from Canada in October, down the barge canal, Jersey coast and Delaware bay and ICW until we left the boat in North Carolina to come home for Christmas. The new propeller performed beautifully the entire way. I can manage 6.8 kn in dead flat calm; in chop against wind and waves forward speed decreases to 4.6 kn. I am very impressed and very pleased with it. Remember this is a 20,000 lb boat with a full keel, and the maximum speed I got from my previous 17” 3-blade fixed prop was 5.5 kn, for a gain of 1.3 kn! … I was so pleased that you suggested an 18” VARIPROP with the tips custom shaved to 17” (to fit my aperture). That was really thoughtful, and I’m sure some of the robustness of the thrust and stopping power is due to that.
Now my son and I just came back from a sailing trip near Beaufort with lots of ocean sailing. I can’t tell you how much I’m pleased with the VARIPROP. My Westsail is 20,000 lbs and yesterday with 25 kn on the beam we hit 7 kn or more, all afternoon. That’s hull speed! The prop performs so well. All our work of a year ago paid off. Thanks again.
-- WC Previous prop: 2-blade fixed
YANKEE CLIPPER 44 – 40 hp PERKINS 4.108 (Purchased 3-blade DF 107)
We have used the VARIPROP for the past 4 years with great success. Because of its ability to set pitch both in forward and reverse separately, we were able to fine-tune it to our own boat characteristics..... We have traveled over 6000 miles in both salt and fresh water without any problem.... I would highly recommend this prop for any sailboat requiring optimum performance. It will increase your speed while sailing and provide optimum performance in reverse, while reducing wear on your boat’s transmission.
-- RJ Previous prop: 3-blade fixed
YOUNG SUN 43 – 85 hp PERKINS 4.236 (Purchased 4-blade DF112)
A short note to tell you how pleased I am with the new 4-blade VARIPROP. We went up Lake Huron two weeks ago and found that 1,250 rpm gave us at least 1.5 kn greater speed than before. Full speed is increased by at least 1.5 to 2 kn with little or no vibration. Reverse is positive and powerful. Under sail we now have performance unseen before. We even sailed with our 38,000 lb full keel boat in 4 kn of wind and enjoyed 2.5 – 3 mph over the ground. In all we could not be happier. Even the prop walk though reduced is still present enough to be used in turning short or in docking.
-- RD Previous prop: 3-blade fixed