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FJ Propeller Midwest

Don’t Leave the Dock Without Checking Your Prop

FJ Propeller Midwest brings state-of-the-art diagnostics and propeller repair to Osage Beach

Ask competitive anglers what the most important tool is for garnering tournament wins and their answer might seem like a no-brainer – it’s the boat. After all, it’s pretty hard to win a tournament if you can’t get away from the dock or you end up stranded in the middle of the lake. Let’s face it, if the boat doesn’t move, neither do you. 

But in today’s world of high-dollar bass boats with monstrous outboard engines that reach water shredding speeds of 70-plus mph, staying afloat both literally and financially takes paying meticulous attention to your boat’s mechanics and build. 

According to Casey Boaz of FJ Propeller Midwest, an essential tool in any angler’s arsenal is often ignored because it sits below water, but it can profoundly affect your boat’s performance on top of the water. 

“Propeller performance is highly-important, but often overlooked,” Boaz said. “For instance, it’s essential to make sure the propeller blades are perfectly true and balanced. Propellers from the manufacturer are not always perfect in this regard and just making a propeller true and balanced can sometimes gain 1 to 2 mph as well as increase efficiency.”

While most manufacturers conduct endless hours of testing to determine the optimal prop for their hull-outboard combinations, there are other variables that can impact performance. 

“Tweaking cupping, pitch, diameter and even a little bit of thinning the blades all have their pros and cons,” Boaz said. “Changing those things can create or reduce bow and or stern lift, help hole-shot, and increase top end and efficiency.”

In addition, having the right model of propeller with the proper pitch maximizes speed, overall performance and fuel economy.

“Getting the proper pitch and diameter is essential,” Boaz said. “Marine engines have a recommended rpm operating range, and at wide open throttle (WOT), the right propeller will turn the engine within that range. If the WOT rpm you get when running your boat doesn’t match, there may be problems with your propeller.” 

Check your owner’s manual to determine the WOT rpm range for your engine or if you don’t have the manual handy, a quick Google search will likely turn up the info.

Repair Now – Keep Your Prop from Becoming Scrap Later

Given that rough water conditions are synonymous with the Lake of the Ozarks, regular prop inspections should be on every boater’s “must-do” list. For this reason, Boaz recommends inspecting the prop before the boat goes in the water and after it comes out – every, single, time.

“Boaters should carefully inspect their props for hairline cracks, particularly in the  leading and trailing edges,” Boaz said. “These can be repaired, but if they aren’t fixed and fixed properly, you’ll eventually lose the blade and that’s damage that typically can’t be repaired.”

It’s equally important to have your prop inspected and repaired by a qualified professional that is up-to-date on the latest technology. 

“Simply fixing tiny nicks and hairline cracks with a file or a grinder like most shops do, ends up removing too much material, altering blade geometry and killing performance and efficiency,” Boaz said. “A bad repair can cause irreversible damage to the propeller that includes overly thin blades, different blade shapes and altered cupping.”

Indications of a shoddy repair job include blade edges that feel uneven in their thickness or feel wavy and bumpy; dull blade tips, mismatched blade shapes, and heavy scratches from grinding on the surface.

While most propellers can be repaired, there are times when the cost to do so might be more expensive than purchasing a new prop. 

“If the propeller is severely bent and torn to shreds the cost of welding and straightening could outweigh the cost of buying a new one,” Boaz said. “But it’s is always a good idea to have a shop check the prop out first to determine if it should be fixed or replaced.”

To find a reputable propeller shop, ask for recommendations from other boaters whose opinions you trust and research customer reviews online. When visiting a propeller shop, don’t be afraid to ask to see other props they repaired before making a decision.

 Hi-tech and Highly-Respected Professionals

Established in 2018, FJ Propeller Midwest in Osage Beach was founded by Casey Boaz and his son Jesse. A welder by trade, Casey owned a lumber yard and hardware store in southern Missouri prior to moving to the Lake of the Ozarks. Jesse utilizes his graphic design, web design and photography skills to help promote the business and educate consumers on the company’s products and services. 

In addition, the senior Boaz has nearly two decades as a performance boat racer to his credit. Jesse sometimes teams up with his father to race and also works as a crew member on the race team. Fine-tuning these gargantuan, highly-complex performance engines has instilled both men with a passion for using detailed scientific data along with state-of-the-art technology to craft precisely designed components that maximize performance and increase stability. Their drive for perfection is reflected in every service performed at FJ Propeller Midwest. 

The company’s fully-computerized 3D inspection and balancing system can identify the smallest miscalibration so that a prop can be adjusted to precise specifications. It also records and documents the exact condition of the propeller, resulting in a concise visual summary that assists with determining the optimal propeller repair or reconditioning service best suited to a boater’s needs. 

“A vibrating or damaged prop can appear visually okay but still need a full recondition,” Boaz explained. “With 3-D technology, we completely remove the ‘guesswork’ and ensure your propellers are properly pitched for peak performance.”

Boaz noted that there are times when even a geometrically accurate propeller can be unbalanced causing mechanical vibrations and decreasing bearing life and efficiency. FJ Propeller Midwest uses a dynamic balancer to not only balance and repair a propeller in a vertical rotating plane, but also adjust your propeller in two separate planes. 

“The only scientific manner in which to accurately measure and correct dynamic unbalance is through the use of a true multi-plane dynamic balance analyzer,” Boaz said. “Dynamically balancing a propeller in two separate planes means fixing any ‘couple’ or ‘twisting’ forces that can cause a rocking motion fore and aft or side to side.” 

Given that even the slightest fault in a propeller blade can mean a 10-15 percent decrease in gas mileage and performance, not to mention a loss of tournament winnings; utilizing the latest advanced technology to have your boat propeller accurately diagnosed and precisely repaired is a well-worthwhile investment. 

More About FJ Propeller Midwest

FJ Propeller Midwest carries the name of one of the largest and most well-respected propeller repair facilities in the world – Florida-based FJ Propeller, widely known as Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller. This collaboration provides the Boaz team with the extensive knowledge and training required to perform the techniques and cutting-edge technologies, honed through 60+ years of experience, that make FJ Propeller masters at crafting perfectly-constructed, high-performing boat propellers. 

According to the company’s website, Casey and Jesse Boaz “embarked on this journey with a clear set of objectives: to offer the highest quality repair with unparalleled service and experience necessary to meet the highest expectations, while helping to nurture our growing community of boaters around the lake.” Judging by the company’s massive growth and numerous positive customer reviews, FJ Propeller Midwest is accomplishing all that and more. 

Located at:

1250 Runabout Drive

Osage Beach, MO 65065

FJ Propeller is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. 

Learn more online at: www.FJPropellerMidwest.com or call 573-693-9418.

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