Fixed prop

Patrick McAneny

 We have a fixed prop due to the original owner opting for the prop driven alternator  , which I have dismantled since my solar panels and wind generator supplies all the electric I need. I have been told, that it is more efficient from the standpoint of drag for a prop to be fixed opposed to be freewheeling, from a pilot who's opinion I respect. While sailing I do not like to switch in and out of gear due to the loud clunk that sounds as though it could damage the transmission, so its hard to experiment to draw conclusions. However we just sailed back from the BVIs via Bermuda and we were in gear fixed and then I put it in neutral and it seemed that we picked up a knot. I never put it back in gear as we were sailing too fast and for the next three days we averaged 173 nms. with true wind avg. 12 - 16 . Could someone that is knowledgeable about props and drag tell me which is more efficient  ? I am also concerned about wear on the transmission while freewheeling .

Thanks, Pat SM  Shenanigans

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