Yesterday, 3/23, Mike Snyder took Distant Dreamer to Yokohama Bayside Marina for some electronics work and to install a new prop. I went as crew. We departed at around 0830 and motored into a nor’easterly blowing at perhaps 25 knots. The water was very choppy for the first hour, but as we headed to the south-west with the wind now at our backs, the water inexplicably calmed, and the sun came out and warmed us up. Distant Dreamer was in the slings by 1115 and hauled and parked by 1130.
Mike is swapping props, installing a 17″ three-blade MaxProp and removing a smaller, older one. The MaxProp feathers, meaning it’s blades rotate parallel to the water flow when under sail. Firing up the engine and engaging the gear spins the blades into the usual position. The benefit of all this is to reduce drag. Someone once told me traditional fixed props create as much drag as a similarly-sized bucket thrown over the side. On my boat, this would mean a potential speed gain of about a knot, which is quite substantial given top speeds are in the 6.5 to 7.5 knot range. I’m hoping to buy Mike’s old MaxProp and install it on Voyager next month.
Here’s a pic of Distant Dreamer from last summer’s cruise to Heda