i don't know where that information came from about later SMs having Maxprops.
Elyse is 2004 and we have the Autoprop.
i changed the bearings 4 years ago, even though there were no issues. It wasn't a difficult job with the right tools.
We've since put 1300 hours on the engine and no problems with the Autoprop, no strange vibrations.
I grease it every time we are out of the water for whatever reason.
We'll do the bearings again next haul for C-drive, antifoul etc.
How was your Indian Ocean crossing ?