1994 Larry and Allison Carlson were running the Shepherds
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.
Shepherds 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
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 rpms
were miles apart, vibration problems and noise
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 Larrys
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.
By this time Black Dog Props
has become very well established business.
In April 1997
Dog Props moved to temporary facilities in Annapolis
and started construction of a purpose built propeller
optimization facility. Before they moved into
this facility they took delivery of their third
Prop Scan Inspection System.
Murray and Yaroslav Ksenzhyk had in the mean time
graduated to become Propeller
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 optimization 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
Dave Waddington joined WildCat
propellers after being involved with Prop Scan
for many years, working for a leading propeller
optimization facility in Australia.
WildCat Propellers has impressed
people within the US Navy and US Coast Guard. This
is changing the approach to propeller optimization,
which benefits all parties.
Wild Cat Propellers - Chesapeake, Virginia
Before these business ventures
Larry had no propeller optimization experience.
212 Log Canoe Circle
Stevensville, MD, 21666
Contact: Steve King
Toll Free: 1888 558 0921
Ph: 410 604 2861
Fax: 410 604 2863
3932 Holland Boulevard
Chesapeake, VA, 23323
Contact: Troy Erb
Toll Free: 1888 942 4260
Ph: 757 485 4260
Fax: 757 485 7839