Proven Cruising and Racing Propellers Since 1972
Max-Prop has led the low drag propeller market for 40 years and is still the leader today. Since starting production in the 1970's Max-Prop has proven itself on racing and cruising boats around the world. With over 50,000 propellers in the water, the Max-Prop is tested daily in the harshest conditions and has established itself as the most efficient and reliable low drag propeller.
The combination of low drag, outstanding reverse power, efficient forward performance, and fail-safe design makes Max-Prop the ideal sailboat propeller on the market today. Now with the recent introduction of the Whisper, and the Boomerang models, Max-Prop has taken a further lead over the competition in the propulsion of sailboats.
Under sail, a Max-Prop will increase sailing speed between 10% to 15% in average wind conditions compared to a fixed blade propeller, with an ever-larger difference being given when sailing in light air. The drag under sail varies widely between propellers, number of blades, angle of the shaft as well as location of the propeller on the boat. It is fair to say that a 2 blade Max-Prop propeller located on a horizontal shaft (sail-drive) will have the least drag while a 5 blade Max-Prop on a high angle shaft will have the most drag. However, even a 5 blade Max-Prop on a high angle shaft will have substantially less drag and provide more power when motoring than a fixed 2 blade propeller.
In forward: the Max-Prop will offer 96% of the efficiency of a fixed blade propeller of the same diameter and pitch. The 4% loss in power can usually be eliminated by precisely matching the pitch of the Max-Prop to fit the boat engine combination. In reverse: the Max-Prop provides 80% more power than a comparable fixed blade propeller. The Max-Prop utilizes the same leading edge in forward as it does in reverse giving the propeller the same efficiency in both directions, whereas on a fixed blade propeller in reverse the trailing edge becomes the leading edge therefore reducing its power.
Max-Props are feathering propellers, so unlike folding propellers, Max-Props do not rely on centrifugal force to open. Instead, the Max-Prop relies on the torque from the shaft rotation acting on the differential type gear design in the body of the propeller. This in turns ensures an immediate opening in forward and more importantly in reverse, unlike folding propellers which have a lag time in reverse.
The pitch setting on all Max-Prop models can be adjusted. Changing the pitch is very simple; by removing a bolt and replacing with one of a different length on the Easy and Whisper. On the Classic models, you will need to change the setting of the gear inside the propeller (usually upon a haul out). The ability to adjust the pitch will help achieve the maximum efficiency from the engine without having to purchase a new propeller.
The Max-Prop will fit directly onto your existing shaft with the boat in or out of the water. The Max-Prop will be matched to your specific shaft taper or SailDrive Spline. The only required maintenance is to grease the propeller once a year, and to replace anodes when they erode away.
Worldwide, many of the top racing boats have opted for the Max-Prop solution.
The three, four or five blade Max-Prop is the propeller of choice for the cruising sailor. The combination of low drag, great performance in forward, increased speed under sail, outstanding backing power, safety and maneuvering, and fail-safe design makes the Max-Prop the ideal cruising propeller.
A Max-Prop feathers to a low drag shape. Compared to a folding propeller, the extra wetted surface of the Max-Prop blades is offset by the reduction of projected area: A.
While not always exactly as efficient as a perfectly sized fixed propeller, a good choice of Max-Prop diameter, pitch and number of blades will usually achieve 96% or better efficiency compared to a fixed blade propeller. This maximum of 4% drop in efficiency is only seen at maximum throttle, which is seldom, if ever, used. The fact that with a Max-Prop, a boat owner or a designer can choose not only the diameter and number of blades of the propeller but can also adjust the pitch easily after sea trials makes the Max-Prop an ideal tool to fine tune a boat’s performance under power.
The simple fact that the Max-Prop blades use the same leading edge and pitch in reverse as in forward results in an identical power in both directions. A fixed blade propeller looses almost 50% of its power in reverse. Worse yet - a folding propeller which, depending on the brand, can loose up to 80% of its power in reverse. The Max-Prop blades switch from forward to reverse instantaneously. It takes only 3/4 of the shaft rotation for the blade switch to occur.
A folding propeller has low drag. The drag is directly proportional to the projected area: A.
The blades will "slam" open and, if not perfectly aligned or true to each other, will cause vibration.
In that the blades will not open to the maximum diameter (and occasionally not at all), the reverse power is very poor (much less than a fixed blade prop).
A fixed blade propeller includes a tremendous amount of drag, reducing the boats speed an average of 15%.
Fixed blade propellers provide maximum efficiency as long as the pitch is correct.
A fixed blade propeller works with the trailing edge as a leading edge, reducing its efficiency by 50%.
Catamarans are different from monohull sailboats under sail and power. Because of this, the advantages of the Max-Prop are accentuated on a Catamaran. The reduced drag under sail not only improves boat speed but also reduces turbulence over the rudders providing improved boat handling. This reduction in drag also allows a boat to come through a tack quicker and with more boat speed exiting the maneuver, making it easier to sail in light winds.
With the increased beam and freeboard of a catamaran comes the downside of more windage. The impressive reverse power of the Max-Prop adds to the control and safety of the vessel when maneuvering. Max-Prop has propellers for both SailDrive and Shaft driven applications in 2, 3, 4, or 5 blade designs. This allows the boat owner to pick the correct propeller for how they use their catamaran with little compromise.
Max- Prop was designed and built in the early 1970’s by Maximillian Bianchi in Milan, Italy. Max, a young Italian engineer invented a new type of propeller at the request of a sailboat racing friend in the golden days of the IOR racing rules. Little did he know at the time, this simple product would become his lifelong passion and livelihood. To this day, Max still oversees any new development of the product and follows it all the way through the manufacturing process. It is hard to believe, but Max quality checks each and every propeller that comes out of his factory. Nowadays, his son and daughter work with him so the legacy will continue long after Max retires (if he ever does).
In order to keep the metal quality to a constant high standard, Max bought a foundry in the mid 70's. To this day, the majority of Max-Prop cast parts are made in that foundry close to Lake Cuomo, a two hour drive from Milan.
The ownership of this foundry not only resulted in high quality cast parts, but also insured that any defect in the material or the part would not be passed on to the next stage of machining. This vertical integration is one of the main reasons for the success and durability of Max-Prop.
The actual machining of the propellers has always been under the full supervision of Max, from the days of manual lathes and mills to the ultra-modern CNC machines of today. Through the years, the machine shop has had multiple locations and currently is in Milan, in the same building as the sales offices, management and where the final assembly of the Max-Prop occurs. Once again, Max himself oversees each and every process.
PYI is the only sales office for Max-Prop in North/South America and Asia. PYI was established in 1981 and on that date Max-Prop was already the main product distributed. Since then, PYI has added products which are well known in the sailing community, some as a manufacturer and some as a distributor. Through the years, Max-Prop has been the driving force for PYI, allowing us to facilitate the manufacturing of other quality products.
An evolution towards perfection!
Maximilian Bianchi Circa 1972
Maximilian Bianchi Circa 2018
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