Folding sailboat propeller – 2 blade

Low drag, high performance racing propeller

The Varifold 2 blade folding sailboat propeller is a unique combination of Art and Engineering – just like it should be.  A thing of beauty that is beautifully engineered and very efficient. This design folds like a clam shell to give the racer or the race enthusiast the lowest possible drag when neatly folded out of the way. Unlike other designs who offer the race propeller as a premium option, our Varifold design is standard in this unique range.  This means that even the day sailor can enjoy the benefits of this design and truly let the wind in the sails push your vessel forward at up to 1 knot faster than a conventional fixed pitch propeller.

2 blade folding propeller

The Varifold 2 blade folding sailboat propeller is available in diameters from 12″ to 17″ for engines rated up to 50 HP and is a very affordable option for those looking to take advantage of optimising their propulsion system for sailing.  The folding 2 blade propeller is available in 2 versions, the first can be mounted on a conventional shaft and this model is known as the VF-70.  The hub for this model is tapered to the shaft so as to streamline the flow and allow the blades to be hidden from the flow. The unit is simple to install and the installation guide may be downloaded here – 2 blade fitting instructions.

Varifold 2 blade race propeller

2 blade Sail Drive folding propeller

The second model, which is becoming very popular is the sail drive option.  For vessels where a long shaft line is not an option a vertical drive shaft and a gearbox type ”leg” hold the propeller.  This saves on space but does require a special hub.

 

Varifold 2 blade saildrive propeller

The sail drive manufacturers specify a torsional damping system be installed inside the hub to protect the sail drive gears should the propeller foul on any submerged object.  This addition to the design makes the hub a larger diameter, but it is still faired in  with the design of the sail drive.

The fitting for the sail drive is also slightly different from the shaft version and requires the hub to be fitted with a splined bore; we offer Yanmar and Volvo spline inserts for the propeller.

Varifold spline kit for sail drive

 

In both models of this 2 blade propeller, the blades fold completely together for minimum drag and are a modern blade design with substantial blade area for smooth running and minimum noise, vibration and cavitation.  Finally the design is fitted with rubber bump stops minimize blade opening impact. Fitting instructions for the sail drive propeller may be downloaded here – 2 blade sail drive fitting instructions.

Spare Parts – 2 Blade Varifold Propeller

For the 2 blade folding propeller there are 2 types of propeller are available and they share most of the same parts.  However, for standard shaft option (VF-70) the anode is mounted on the propeller shaft and you would need to fit a standard anode available from West Marine or similar.  For the Sail Drive unit (VF-70SD) you would fit an anode on the propeller boss as well as the collar zinc anode on the sail drive leg. The zinc anode for the 2 blade folding propeller is item VF2SDA Sail drive anode. To see how easy it is to fit a saildrive zinc see our VF2SDA Saildrive zinc page. The most common spare parts (with links to the store) for the 2 blade Varifold folding propeller on our online store are the Varifold 2 blade sail drive anodeVarifold 2 blade buffer pad (old style)Varifold 2 blade buffer pad (new style).  In addition we also provide a fastener kit for both propeller options so you can replace any of the fasteners due to wear  or fouling.  All the parts are available through the online store.

Varifold VF2SDA zinc anode VF2BP-1 VF2BS-1

Service – 2 Blade Varifold Propeller

The 2 blade varifold folding sailboat propeller is relatively simple to install and simple to service.  As with all the propellers they will be prone to galvanic corrosion and care must be taken to ensure that they are protected using zinc anodes.  The general idea is that the corrosion caused by stray current will be directed to the ”sacrificial” zinc rather than the expensive propeller.  Depending on the propeller this may require anodes on the propeller, on the propeller shaft or both. To identify the right zinc anode for a varifold propeller see the anode guide page.

 

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