Beneteau First 42
When we in 1997 bought our First 42 from 1983 we believed that there was something wrong with that funny looking propeller!
The salesman was an experienced boat constructor and boat builder and explained that it was an Autoprop and by the way also was the best propeller existing.
We have now been sailing about 35,000 nautical miles with this propeller and have been using the engine for 2500 hours. So far we have only good things to say about the Autoprop. From Arctic to Antarctic it has been a benefit, with an excellent fuel economy as well as fast and safe propulsion. At economic speed (5.5 to 6 knot) we are using about 2 liters per hour. This is well done for an 11 ton boat with a 25 year old Perkins 4-108!
On our last trip from Cape Horn and through the Chilean Archipelago we had the absolute best fuel economy of all boats at the same size on this route – very important when most of the sailing is taking place on engine and there is far between the refuelling possibilities! Also when we need power the Autoprop has never let us down.
When we are using both sail and engine at the same time, only a few revolution is needed to add another couple of knots. When sailing only on sail we don´t notice it as long as the gear is engaged. We have never had any other propeller but are general sailing fast and trust the manufacturers’ word about very little resistance.
Kirsten Thomsen & Kim Bork Mathiesen