Propellers for Auxiliaries


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  • Pub No.: 5443
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by Philip L. Rhodes

Ever since auxiliary power became a practical necessity on cruising sailboats there has been a continual battle of opinion regarding the best location for the propeller. While other positions are not out of the realm of possibility, auxiliary propellers generally are placed either (A) on the centerline in an aperture in the deadwood and rudder, (B) off-center where the shaft and heel are supported by a strut, or (C) on the centerline with the wheel completely abaft the hull and rudder where the propeller shaft extends past the stern post or, more recently, through the rudder stock in the manner devised by Paine. The purpose of these notes is to consider the relative merits of these three propeller positions as they affect the performance of a boat both under sail and under power.

8 pages


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