istria, sailing

Folding propeller or rotating propeller

Difference between a rotary propeller and a folding propeller on a boat

Why rotary propellers are better than fixed propellers
The propeller of a boat is a crucial element for the performance and efficiency of a vessel. Whilst many boats are fitted with fixed pitch propellers, there are also alternative technologies such as the rotary propeller and the folding propeller. In this article, we look at the differences between these propeller types and explain why rotary propellers are often the better choice over fixed pitch propellers.

Rotary propeller: flexibility and efficiency

A rotary propeller, also known as a controllable pitch propeller, has the ability to change the inclination of the propeller blades while travelling. This adaptability makes it possible to optimise thrust in different driving situations. Here are some key advantages of controllable pitch propellers:

  1. Adaptability to different speeds: Rotary propellers can adjust their blade position depending on speed and engine power. This ensures optimum performance and significantly reduces fuel consumption.
  2. Better manoeuvring: The variable blade position enables more precise manoeuvres, which is particularly advantageous in narrow harbours or when mooring.
  3. Efficiency in changing conditions: As water and weather conditions change, rotary propellers can react quickly and adjust performance, resulting in a better overall boating experience.

Folding propeller: Compact and low-drag

A folding propeller, on the other hand, is characterised by the fact that its blades can be folded in. This technology is often used on sailing boats to minimise water resistance when the engine is not in use. The advantages of a folding propeller include:

  1. Reduced water resistance: Folded blades cause less drag, which improves sailing performance.
  2. Compact construction: Folding propellers save space and are less susceptible to damage from underwater collisions, as the blades rest against the propeller housing when not in use.

Why rotary propellers are better than fixed propellers

Despite the advantages of folding propellers and the simplicity of fixed pitch propellers, rotary propellers offer the better overall performance in many cases. Here are the main reasons:

  1. Optimised performance: Fixed propellers are designed for a specific speed and performance. They cannot be adjusted to work efficiently in different situations. Rotary propellers, on the other hand, can adjust their blade position and therefore work efficiently in a wider range of speeds and loads.
  2. Improved fuel efficiency: The adaptability of a rotating propeller can significantly reduce fuel consumption. This not only leads to lower operating costs, but also to a more environmentally friendly journey.
  3. Versatility: A rotary propeller offers greater versatility compared to fixed pitch propellers. Whether at high speed, slow speed or manoeuvring in the harbour, the adaptability of the rotary propeller ensures that the boat is always operated at optimum efficiency.
  4. Longer service life of the motor: The ability to optimise the propeller blades reduces the load on the engine. This can extend the service life of the engine and reduce maintenance costs.

Our summary

Choosing the right propeller is crucial to the performance and efficiency of a boat. While folding propellers and fixed pitch propellers have their own advantages, the rotary propeller often offers the best overall performance due to its adaptability, efficiency and versatility. Boat owners looking for an optimal solution for different sailing situations should therefore consider investing in a rotary propeller.