Folding propellers for Saildrive and shaft

Sailing without compromise

Volvo Folding Propellers for Saildrive and Shaft

Volvo Penta folding propellers offer the best of both worlds – minimal drag while sailing combined with the high thrust of a fixed propeller while motoring – even in reverse. 

The unique and patented design always ensures quick and safe opening of the blades for excellent close-quarter maneuverability and minimal stopping distance. Whether you choose a 2, 3 or 4-blade model, the swept blade design (high-skew) provides extremely smooth running - virtually eliminating noise and vibrations for excellent comfort during motoring. And what’s more, the reduced drag under sail increases speed by up to 1.5 knots compared with a fixed propeller. Put all this together and you greatly increase your sailing pleasure.

Folding propellers

1. High-skew blade design reduces pressure pulses to ensure smooth, low-noise operation with minimal vibrations.

2. Powerful thrust, even in reverse thanks to a highly efficient and patented blade geometry. This means excellent close-quarter maneuverability and short stopping distance.

3. Excellent durability and corrosion resistance thanks to specially developed nibral (nickel-bronze-aluminum) alloy.

4. The reliable and consistent conical teeth mechanism ensures synchronized opening and closing of the blades.

Instant and powerful response - even in reverse

Instant and powerful response - even in reverse

The patented design, with protruding blade tips ensures an instant opening action when the reverse gear is engaged. As soon as the propeller begins to rotate, mounting water pressure on the blade tips forces the blades to open. Centrifugal force then finalizes the opening action.

Rubber bushing and galvanic isolation

Rubber bushing and galvanic isolation

Hubs for saildrive propellers include a shock-absorbing rubber bushing to minimize stress on the drivetrain caused by gear changes. In addition, the bushing is designed to galvanically isolate the propeller from the saildrive - preventing galvanic corrosion caused by the propeller.

Minimising drag and increasing speed

Minimising drag and increasing speed

Volvo Penta folding propellers improve the performance of your boat minimizing drag and increasing speed – up to 1.5 knots under sail, compared with a fixed propeller. In addition, the sleek profile also reduces the risk of snagging ropes, nets and debris when sailing.

Reduced drag, six fold

The graph shows the difference in propeller drag and how rapidly the drag increases with fixed propellers and higher speed. At 8 knots for example, a 3-blade fixed propeller produces more than six times the drag of a 3-blade folding propeller. This means a typical journey across the English Channel can be reduced by up to 4 hours thanks to lower drag.

The test was carried out by SSPA Maritime Consulting. All propellers were mounted on a Saildrive propulsion system.

Propeller range

Below you’ll find an overview of our folding propellers, together with their features and benefits. They are available as 2-blade, 3-blade and 4-blade models and covering engines from 5 up to 120 hp. More information including part numbers and propeller installation hardware can be found in the Volvo Penta Propeller Guide.

Related products for drives and propellers

Volvo Penta Anodes


Volvo Penta anodes are specifically manufactured and tested for Volvo Penta drives and propellers – protecting the drive unit and propeller against galvanic corrosion.

General recommendations and part numbers for Anodes can be found in the Propeller Guide.

Grease for propeller components

Grease for propeller components

Volvo Penta water-resistant grease is designed to provide excellent adhesion, water resistance and load-carrying properties, and long-term protection against corrosion. It is a multi-purpose premium grease highly recommended for greasing propeller shafts, folding propellers and all other propeller components.

General recommendations and part numbers can be found in the Propeller Guide.

Propeller guide & installation instructions


Download the Volvo Penta Propeller Guide for more information on the propeller range, including part numbers, propeller sizes and installation hardware and instructions.

Download Propeller Guide (PDF, 9.3 MB) Download Installation Instructions (PDF, 753 KB)
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