Excerpts of letters received from VARIPROP propeller owners
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