Business Matters: Busy Times for Plymouth’s Prop MD
As the sun glistens off Plymouth’s Medicine Lake, boaters are anxious with anticipation.
“We got Ron’s crappie tournament coming up,” said Vaughn Blackburn, referring to the May 4 Crappie Contest on Lake Minnetonka.
First, Blackburn has to make sure his boat is in working order.
“I’ve hit a few rocks,” he said, recalling a prior incident on a northern Minnesota lake. “The sand isn’t the best thing for the props.”
It’s something he doesn’t want to have happen this year. But if it did, any potential problem could lead to Prop MD in Plymouth.
“One of Our Busiest Times”
At Prop MD, it’s go time.
“This is probably one of our busiest times of year as everybody pulls the boats out of storage and gets them all prepped up and ready and cleaned up for the season,” said Brenton Jayasuriya, customer service manager at Prop MD.
Fixing propellers is a brunt of their business.
“We can fix pretty much up to a third of a missing blade on aluminum props,” said Jayasuriya. “We do sales and repair of all different kinds of props whether that be aluminum, stainless [steel], brass, bronze or nibral. Everything from your 9.9 horsepower outboard all the way to those big dinner cruises that you see out on the lakes.”
Prop MD has grown rapidly. The company started about 12 years ago in a Minnetonka garage. It eventually started a standalone shop in Eden Prairie before relocating to its current Plymouth location at 14070 23rd Ave N.
“Our customer base has exploded since since being up here,” Jayasuriya said. “Plymouth has been such a welcoming place for us in terms of the size of the shop were able to have.”
Word of the business quickly spread. Needed repairs now come in from across the country.
“We’re probably getting somewhere between 20 and 30 props in a day locally, plus another 10 to 20 shipped in every single day,” said Jayasuriya.
Jayasuriya says repairing a propeller is kind of like fixing a tire.
“You can make it look great, but if you don’t balance it at the end, it’s still going to shake and do damage to your motor,” he said.
Prop MD also has special MRI machines to diagnose trouble spots. Jayasuriya says repairs typically cost half or less of buying a new propeller.
“Usually a prop can be repaired three, four, five times, even before it gets to the point where you’re just better off replacing it,” said Jayasuriya.
Repairs usually take three to five days, depending on the damage.
“Now is definitely the time to get your prop in for repair,” said Jayasuriya. “The longer we get into the season, the busier we’re going to be.”