In 2000 our family embarked on a boatbuilding project when we purchased a Roger Simpson Designed 40' Catamaran shell. Much of the outfitting was an adventure and aided by professional friends in the industry. We soon banded together with several other builders in the Toronto area to source hardware.
When it came to propellers, everyone in the group wanted feathering but since most of us were working on catamarans that meant double the price! We researched every feathering and folding propeller option available and came across an obscure product from New Zealand called KiwiProps in an on-line bulletin board down under. A few emails to the owner of the company and we became convinced that not only were the KiwiProps suitable for our soon to be launched catamaran Amurru but that there was a business opportunity introducing this great product to the North American Market.
KiwiProps North America was formed and a business model was developed focussed primarily on a direct to consumer internet principal with an East Coast and West Coast orientation. This model was contrary to the traditional way that propellers have been sold through a technical full service dealer network. While we did originally set up some dealers and we continue to have interest from new ones, the simplicity of the KiwiProp design, installation, maintenance and repair has allowed us to sell virtually all of our propellers in North America direct via the internet at the lowest possible price to you the boat owner.
Fast Forward to 2017 already, and here we are with 17 seasons of use on our own KiwiProps. Amurru is no longer ours but we have so many cruising friends with KiwiProps that we are sailing somewhere with them every year. Thousands of KiwiProps have been sold. Two of the other original 'group' buyers have done extensive world cruising.
KiwiProps New Zealand remains true to its form being a small innovative engineering focussed company led by the original designer John Blundell. John continues to produce new designs and ideas many of which we test on our boats. The original KiwiProp, with the exception of a few material changes, has remained the same, now time proven, design that is pushing sailboats all over the planet. Our best advertising remains our first, word of mouth from our satisfied customers all over the world who tell their sailing friends about the little prop from Down Under KiwiProps.
Being a KiwiProps Service guy is very similar to being the Maytag repairman. There simply is not a lot that goes wrong with a KiwiProp- which is evident if you look closely at the design. We do offer repair and refresh services and mail out the odd spare part that gets damaged.
KiwiProps North America
We used to welcome any excuse to go to our favourite shows in Annapolis, San Francisco, Miami, etc. and we're a bit overdue to show up at a couple of them. You'll find us hanging out with our cruising friends and customers....
We carry a fairly complete selection of spare parts in Toronto, but the demand is not great, and we often just pop them in the mail if you have damaged a roller, blade, etc. Contact us if your Kiwiprop is not acting as it should, but try some grease in the hub first ;-)!