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Karen and Reinhard Böhle, sailing SY FindUs around the world with a VARIPROP DF-107 4 blade

SY FindUs with a new Variprop 4-blade feathering propeller on a round-the-world trip

After a humpback whale destroyed not only our rudder but also our propeller between Tonga and Fiji, we drifted rudderless in the Pacific in a calm. Only after 24 hours did the wind come up and we were able to reach Port Denarau/Fiji for repairs with the help of the rudder of our wind turbine. There we first installed a three-bladed fixed pitch propeller, which we had carried as an emergency replacement.

We also contacted SPW in Bremerhaven because our Catalina 34 needed a new propeller. After a very good consultation, we decided on a 4-blade feathering propeller to be sent to Australia. It arrived on time and was installed there.

On our further voyage we learned to appreciate the advantages of the new propeller. Based on the ship's data, SPW adjusted the pitch of the propeller blades almost perfectly. Later, it was only slightly optimised on the propeller, which was even possible under water without any problems. At the first harbour manoeuvre we already noticed that our ship could be turned almost on the spot in one direction, since with the help of the screw effect, similar forces act in reverse as ahead. We also noticed that the engine power was optimally converted by the large blade area. Even in higher swells or longer distances under engine, we were impressed by the smooth running and convinced by the thrust. This was also the case in tidal waters.

The greatest joy, however, came when sailing, because we could not notice any significant reduction in speed, as the propeller hardly created any notable drag in the water in the sailing position, despite the large surface area.

The propeller also proved to be robust in the North Sea and Baltic Sea in the past years after the blue water voyage. We have had many propellers in our sailing life, but today we can say: The Variprop is worth the money!


Karen and Reinhard Böhle from the SY FindUs


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