Friday, November 13, 2009


When I bought Journeyman she came with a MaxProp wheel, and it is a thing of beauty. It feathers for sailing, of course, but that's not all. A fixed prop is pitched to maximize efficiency when going ahead. As a consequence the pitch going astern is all wrong, which is why most sailboats back down sluggishly. On the MaxProp the pitch is set for maximum efficiency going ahead and going astern, when the shaft reverses and the blades flip. With a three bladed prop, Journeyman powers ahead with vigor, and backs down like a bastard.

The wheel is tough enough too, having survived numerous entanglements with lobster pot warps.

At the end of every season I polish this baby up, replace the two zincs (shaft and hub, not shown here) and pump fresh grease into the two grease fittings. Old grease squeezes out the various joints, and I just get a little shiver, thinking of the fine gearing of this exquisite machine, packed with fresh lithium grease and ready for the next season . . .

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