The Birth of King Propulsion – E3


So I’m keeping going with my story of how we kicked things off . I’m just expanding on some of the things that we talked about in the first post and one of the things that people have asked about it’s how I started with king propulsion.

Pretty much when I came to the USA in 2009 I started working for a company called Science and Technology Corporation (STC) in Columbia MD. I was hired by them to work on US Coast Guard ice breaker contract. I was working on the icebreakers looking at the loads, structures and so on.  The only iron in the fire, or huge elephant in the room, I can’t really think of another word for it, was the reason I got my work visa in the first place was because there was a credit crunch happening. So STC was able to get my visa through and approved as nobody was applying for them, amazing at the time. However, about two years later the effects were reached and all our contracts dried up because there was no work. I was furloughed several times to keep my visa going. At this period of time I was also traveling backwards and forwards to the UK doing odd jobs for the university basically to put bread on the table. This involved a zero hour contract and it was really quite a tough time for me.

The good times started when my then my girlfriend (and now my wife) Lisa for my birthday registered my dream company as a gift. At this time I had the company name the makings of a logo but nothing was real. And that’s kind of where it started. We still got things together and then through a series of fortunate accidents which as you remember were experiencing a turbine failure and winning the distributorship for Bruntons in the USA set the direction for the company. Prior to this however, we were really just doing government contracts and that was the plan trying to sell big propellers to the US Coast Guard and US Navy. I remember we did to some propellers for Boston harbor ferries, big stuff. It is a really to really tough market to be in, the margins like 1% and the risk is phenomenal.  I remember one of the propellers got stuck in customs for over three days and it just about cleared me out with all of my start up cash. So I knew then that aspect of the company wasn’t actually going to work for me. Sailboat propellers on the other hand have been an absolute gift. We really enjoyed with the with the people as I’ve got to know the community, and it’s taking me a long time to earn the trust and respect of the sailors. We do it through respect, we do it through good service and we do it through putting the customer first, and it’s some thing I just did subconsciously from the very beginning. 

From my past life on cruise ships, we lived and died by the comment forms. These little pieces of paper kept your head to the wind as bad comments got you booted off the boat. As a fun way to get around any ‘bad press’ the photographers on one of the ships I managed that will remain nameless all had name badges saying Bruce. So if you could imagine Bruce, Bruce, Bruce, Bruce, Bruce and Bruce, if you are a Monty Python fan you know what I’m talking about but anyway!! We were all getting comments from saying what we thought were funny things to the passages. This lasted a little while until I was called into the hotel managers office to explain what the behavior of my photographer called Bruce was, and why was there no Bruces on board.

So it was important back then and it’s important now to put the customer first and I think that the sailboat propellers and the business King Propulsion has allowed me to do that again, and keep my sense of humour. We are finally beginning to solidify our position and our reputation as an amazing sailboat propeller company, We’re bringing in new products and I’m really excited to see where it will take us. Thanks very much for watching or listening or reading!


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