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labbed props....worth the money???

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:14 PM
  #21
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Hate to buck the current anti-lab trend, but by all accounts from the owners, engine builders and boat builders I know having your props "labbed" (in Mercury parlance) or tuned is one of the most cost-effective performance upgrades you can make. However, it stands to reason that thinning any material will compromise its structural integrity.

That said ... just because a guy has a grinder and a business card doesn't mean you should let him touch your props. Check around.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:49 PM
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Brett corrected my buddy's '97 290 Enticer cavitation problem on a set of 25" Mirage Plus 3-blades without doing a full lab finish on them. They were thinned and cupped but not thinned as much as a full lab finish. He has ran them for hundreds of hours with no problems. If your current props are dinged as you state, that is likely part of the problem. You would be surprised how much small imperfections in prop blades can affect a boat's performance.

By the way, I've seen many examples of thrown blades on stock Bravo I props on boats with moderate HP and conservative X's.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:54 PM
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ok, I am torn between lab or not lab. Maybe i'll call brett and talk to him about a partial lab. When I talked to him, he talked about cupping them and he knew what my style of boat "liked"
He never mentioned anything about "thinning" a blade, being said that, im boating in the river and do hit some small drift from time to time. I don't really want to "weaken" anything at all. Maybe i'll just have them " reworked" to fix the small dings and just go with that. Can anyone just "balance" a prop??
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:14 PM
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I run different props at different events, venues or locations.
The immidiate answer is YES. Labb them and Bret does some great work to tune your props to your boat. I run the labbed set when I want to go a little nuts or on Poker Runs where I know the area. I run the standard set, on weekends or at locations I have concerns with sand bars, weeds or whatever.
I use a lower pitch set when heavy load on board or lot's of fuel, and I use the higher pitch set when I have the "need for speed" attitude, but 3 out of 4 sets are labbed. While thinning is a strenght issue, it's simple. You just spent $800+ for labbing.. don't hit any send bars.
Prop selection is like tie selection, Never just perfect.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:35 PM
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I think I have made up my mind, i have found a local company that does pretty much all lab work but without thinning blades, I talked to them in length and they can weld, repair leading edge, polish, static balance as well as high speed balance....all for $125 each. That way i will have a nice "reworked and balanced" prop and still have a good thick hardy prop. I'll probably go with this guy.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 290enticer View Post
I think I have made up my mind, i have found a local company that does pretty much all lab work but without thinning blades, I talked to them in length and they can weld, repair leading edge, polish, static balance as well as high speed balance....all for $125 each. That way i will have a nice "reworked and balanced" prop and still have a good thick hardy prop. I'll probably go with this guy.
for that money its sure worth a try
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:23 PM
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You may want to double check and make sure that isn't $125 per blade. I believe that most of the major prop guys (like Bblades) charge by the blade and for some reason I thought $1-125 per blade..
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:02 AM
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Frank & Jimmies in Ft Lauderdale charges similar rates ($125/prop) for repairs and tuning and they do excellent work.
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:47 AM
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Bblades is a great service company. Both Brad and Brett really work with the customer to understand their individual needs. Brett worked magic on my P5x's. Just sent them back to have them gone over after 4 seasons of no problems.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:57 AM
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that was $125 per prop. Brett was alot of help! He explained the whole proccess and really did work with me to understand the problem i was having, and i didn't feel rushed to get off the phone and get to the next customer. I like everything but the blade thinning. This local guy does all but that. His take is the less you change the prop, the less trouble you have out of it. Im not saying thinning is a bad thing, but for what im doing and where i boat at...its not for me. Im not concerned about maybe the little more speed it will give me. I don't run around wot anyways.. I think this guy will do a good job on the screws.
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