By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Drought conditions mean water levels are down in lakes across the state. Boaters say they haven’t seen anything like it in 15 years.

The drought is also costing boaters, as their propellers are getting beat up.

PropMD in Plymouth fixes his boat propellers. They say they are seeing customers walk in like never before. Repairs are up 30% from last summer.

Part of the repairs can be linked to inexperience; during the pandemic last year, there was a rush of new and used boat sales. Those boaters are now coming across obstacles that weren’t there last year thanks to the water levels.

But new boaters aren’t the only ones struggling.

“We’ve got customers here that have been on the same lake their entire lives. They know every nook and cranny. And suddenly they are coming across things they never knew existed out there. Structures, rocks, parts of the lake are now showing up that haven’t been seen in years and years,” said Brenton Jayasuriya, from PropMD.

Depending on the size and type of propeller, repairs range anywhere from $38 to $150.

PropMD’s advice is to take it slow, watch other boaters, keep an eye to the depth finder, and watch and see if buoys have drifted or seem out of place.

John Lauritsen