| In 1994 Larry and Allison Carlson were running the Sheppards Yacht Yard in Solomons, Maryland.
As with most Yacht Yards Larry was offering a complete range of services to his customers, these included painting, mechanical repairs, propeller servicing and much more.
Sheppards Yacht Yard - Solomons, Maryland.
When he had propellers serviced, by the local propeller repair-place, he seemed to have more trouble than with any of the other services provided.
Once the boat went back into the water and it was tested he would find quite often that the propeller was not performing. The performance problems ranged from not reaching the correct rpm, or in a twin installation the rpm's were miles apart, vibration problems and noise problems.
These propeller problems were very expensive and time consuming to resolve. Boats had to be slipped, a propeller modification made, then the boat would be launched again. This process was repeated until the boat performed to an acceptable level. All this rectification work was lost time and money
Larry remembered a demonstration he had seen a few years earlier of a propeller inspection system called Prop Scan, a system so accurate that propellers only needed to be fixed once.
Larry contacted the American representative of Prop Scan and to his surprise he learned that, Terry Ryan, who had demonstrated the Prop Scan Inspection System was in the area.
So they met once again and talked deep into the night after which Larry decided to come to Australia and attend the Propeller Dynamics Advanced Propeller Course.
During his two weeks in Australia, Larry learned about propellers, how they are designed, how to read propeller drawings, how they work, how to measure them, how to assess a damaged propeller and how to repair and tune propellers.
Upon his return to Maryland in January 1995 Larry ordered his first Prop Scan Propeller Inspection System and hired Gene Thomas.
Gene Thomas deep in thought.
Gene was to become Larry's senior propeller technician. Larry taught Gene everything he was taught by Terry.
Black Dog Props was created and it grew from strength to strength. Twelve months later, due to the rapid increase of business, a second Prop Scan was purchased and Gene was sent to Australia to complete the Propeller Dynamics Advanced Propeller Course.
Black Dog Props is now a very well established business. In April 1997 Black Dog Props moved to temporary facilities in Annapolis and started construction of a purpose built propeller repair facility. Before they moved in to this facility they took delivery of their third Prop Scan Inspection System.
Tim Murray and Yaroslav Ksenzhyk had in the mean time graduated to become Advanced Propeller Repair Technicians. The Black Dog Props team now consisted of five people.
Three years after establishing Black Dog Props, Larry and his wife Allison decided to sell the business. This allowed the Carlson's to pay off their house, car and loans, and believe it or not, They still had sufficient funds to start a new propeller repair business aimed at commercial and navy propellers.
Black Dog Props celebrates.
The Carlson's new business is called WildCat Propellers.
WildCat propellers is equipped to handle larger and more sophisticated propellers. These propellers are commonly found on boats operated by the US Navy and US Coast Guard just to name a few.
Dave Waddington joined WildCat propellers after being involved with Prop Scan for many years, working for a leading propeller repair facility in Australia.
WildCat Propellers has impressed people within the US Navy and US Coast Guard. This is changing the approach to propeller repair, which benefits all parties.
Wild Cat Propellers - Chesapeake, Virginia
Before these business ventures Larry had no propeller repair experience.