Forums General Discussion The Great Propeller Mystery

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    Patricia Bess is a 1983 424 ketch with the original Westerbeke 58 engine.
    I have owned her since Oct 2014.
    I have always thought she was a bit sluggish under power, but had no idea how
    much until I buddy boated with a friend. When we motored side by side he was doing
    5 kts at 1800 rpm (Catalina 36) and I was doing 2500 rpm to keep up.
    After reading a number of forum postings on speed vs rpm as well as prop size,
    it’s easy to see I have a problem.
    From what i’ve read, the original prop on the 424 is a 12”x13”LH three blade.
    The prop on the Patricia Bess is a 18”x11”LH three blade.
    I can see from past surveys that the boat has had the smaller prop since at least Sept 2005.

    My questions are:
    Did all 424s come delivered with 20”x13” props on 1.5 shafts?
    What should I expect if I reprop to a 20”x13” prop? (rpm vs speed)
    Why would the PO down size to the 18”x11” prop that’s now on the boat?
    Can I repitch the prop I have to a 18”x13” to get more power?

    I do not want to spend $3000 plus for an adjustable prop.
    Any input is greatly appreciated.
    Ron Feigenbaum
    S/V Patricia Bess

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