We are considering getting a fixed 3 blade prop partly due to cost but also wanting less parts to worry about or maintain. We are thinking about a Campbell Sailor and would like to get some feedback about that option. Two questions: If we buy that from the manufacturers, are divers able to install it appropriately? Are there any recommended propellor installing shops in San Diego?
Your Autoprop is possibly the least reliable propeller available, for reasons you have discovered. Don't give up on feathering props. Virtually every other brand is far superior in this regard to Autoprop, IMHO.
That being said, regardless of what prop you end up going with, an experienced hull cleaner can install any prop you like, in the water. I recommend you find a member of the California Professional Divers Association. They can be found here:
CPDA Member Companies