Update: I believe this company has closed and when I called their number (1/31/2017) it told me the number has been disconnected.
This company is no I have three propellers that I needed repaired and set out to find a place in Muskegon that can service them the right way, without having to pay a fortune - that place is Lorenz Propeller. I was also willing to consider Grand Haven and Grand Rapids if the turn around was fast enough but ended up going with Lorenz Propeller.
There are a number of marinas that fix props, but they solder rather than weld the fins resulting in more frequent visits. One customer complained because they have had the same propeller fixed 10 times - turns out it was soldered which just doesn't hold like a proper weld.
With welding, the metals are melted and then bonded together whereas soldering simply heats the metals needing a bond but doesn't melt them (fuse together as one)
There are x steps to fixing a propeller the right way, they are:
1) Pound out the fins to remote any bent or ripped material.
2) Grind any sharp edges making sure to keep the diameter intact.
3) Place prop in pitch block and pound back to proper pitch
4) Welding (not soldering)
5) Grinding - the trickiest part of the repair
6) Balance prop
7) polish / paint
Here is an excellent video by David, and although he's not located in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven or Muskegon MI, it explains how to repair a prop the right way.
Comparison of Prop Repair Shops
- Lorenz Propeller: $50, 2 1/2 day turn around. No extra charges. $100 if you have three.
- Great Lakes Marine in Muskegon send their props out for repair, $80 - $125 for repair depending on the damage and a weeks turn around time with pickup on Wednesday. Talked with Debbie in service.
- West Michigan Propeller Inc out of Grand Rapids charges $47.25 and if welding, they charge $5 for every section the size of a quarter. Their turnaround time is 1 to 2 weeks.
- Great Lakes Propeller out of Grand Haven, MI charges $70 each ($210 total vs $100 at Lorenz). I spoke with Jim who asked me the right questions and said if there is any vibration, to get it off right away. He asked if I could bring it in today (Thursday) and he'd have it to me Friday which is fantastic turnaround! He welds and unless it's something major, there is no extra charge and said that the props would be better than new. He would have had me sold had they not been $110 more than Lorenz!
Moral of the story, if you're not having Lorenz Propeller in Muskegon do the work, then make sure you ask the company if they solder or weld BEFORE getting the work done.
Here is a picture of the refurbished props - as you can see, they did an excellent job and this was a three day turn around! Total cost for 3 props was $100, usually $50 each.
I highly recommend Lorenz, great staff (ask for Mike, he's the prop master!), extremely fast turn around and no tricks, just good old fashioned prop repair done right at a great price!
600 W Southern Ave
Muskegon, MI 49441
If you call and don't get an answer immediately, you can also drop by and get a quote on the spot - you'll find their price can't be beat. Let them know that you read Jim's review and want the same deal!
Stainless Steel vs Aluminum Prop
Although the video I presented you shows a stainless steel prop being repaired, my props are all aluminum. When I hit something that destroys my prop, it's the prop that absorbs the hit, not my lower unit or propeller shaft. However, Mercury says that their modern stainless steel props come with a rubber / plastic hub that absorbs the shock to reduce damage on impact. When you hit something, it is the hub (which runs about $25) that is destroyed, not the lower unit.
There two benefits to a stainless, speed on bigger engines (250+) which can be as much as 5 mph and handling because of the cup type curve on stainless.
Stainless Steel vs Aluminum prop - I'm sticking with my aluminum. The extra cost to repair stainless along with the $25 hub would cost more than fixing my aluminum prop and I just feel better knowing that there is no chance my lower unit can be damaged :)