An Intuitive Understanding of Propeller Performance
Mercury Racing Propeller Manager Scott Reichow, for decades a respected source of design vision, innovation, and prop wisdom to racers and high-performance boat owners, retired on January 29, closing out a career with the company that began in 1977.
“Scott has been the guy boat builders, Mercury Racing dealers and our customers have turned to for advice and propeller product knowledge,” said Steve Miller, Mercury Racing director of marketing, sales and service. “At boat shows, poker runs, dealer meetings, fishing tournaments, and races, people were always looking for Scott, and he could speak with passion and intelligence about propeller performance with anyone, from offshore racers to walleye anglers.”
Reichow will pass the propeller torch to Nick Petersen, who assumes the role of Performance Propeller Manager at Mercury Racing.
A high school friendship landed Reichow his first job at Mercury Marine.
“I was racing motocross with the son of Gary Garbrecht, who had retired from tunnel boat racing to become the first manager of Mercury Hi-Performance,” recalls Reichow. “The shop was located on the river in Oshkosh, and right after I graduated from West High School he offered me a job in the parts department. The business was all about racing at the time, so we were always on call to help the racers. More than once Gary would find me on Friday and ask ‘kid, what are you doing this weekend?’ and I’d be sent off on some mission. Once it was to drive to Indianapolis on Saturday to pick up an outboard powerhead and bring it back to the shop for a re-build. On Sunday, I loaded the refreshed powerhead back into the trunk of my Camaro and drove it back to Indy. And turned around and drove home.”
Reichow was promoted to Mercury Hi-Performance sale and service rep in 1979, just before the oil embargo and result gas shortages devastated boat sales in the U.S.
“That was the end of the factory racing team, and I’d been saving for college and decided this was a good time to get back to school,” said Reichow. He attended University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, graduating in 1986 with a degree in marketing, and then spent the summers of 1987 and 1988 driving and managing the Mercury Hi-Performance parts truck at races across the United States. He worked during the week in the Mercury Marine warranty department, and later moved to Mercury Exhibits, where he helped design displays for boat shows and dealer meetings. He left in 1995 to try his hand at some personal business ventures, but returned to Mercury in 2000 as a manager for Mercury, Quicksilver and Typhoon propellers.