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Fixing Propellers In the ‘Nick’ of Time

What whirls smoothly and has a perfect pitch?

It could be a Dodger pitcher, but boat propellers, large and small, also need to whirl smoothly--with a balanced pitch to work efficiently. At the Wilmington Propeller Service in Wilmington, craftsman work to repair all types of damaged propellers--from the 15-inch aluminum ones used on pleasure craft, to 18-foot, three-ton props that power aircraft carriers. All repair is done by hand. The paint is removed from the nicked blade, then new material is welded on. After the blades are straightened and balanced, they are smoothed with a grinder, then repainted. Repairing blades is cheaper than replacing them for the small boater who may have run aground while water skiing. While a small aluminum prop could cost $125, repairs average from $40 to $60.


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