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Propeller Software Launches Spinoff

Published Thursday Nov 7, 2019

Author Judi Currie

Adam Kaplan, TrueProp chief technical officer; and Jill Aaron, HydroComp managing director.
Photo by Christine Carignan.

What started as a one-off software development project for a single client has grown into a company that helps propeller designers and manufacturers make better products. TrueProp was founded in 2017 as a sister company to 35-year-old HydroComp in Durham. HydroComp develops performance prediction software for naval architects and shipbuilders to aid in the design and analysis of ship hulls and propellers.

HydroComp Managing Director Jill Aaron says the firm has hundreds of clients in the propeller manufacturing and repair sector and one asked the firm to develop software to interpret data from measuring devices as to how a propeller is performing and what adjustments need to be made.

As Adam Kaplan, chief technical officer for TrueProp, explains, most propeller shops use traditional hand tools and gauges, but are now looking to use software to analyze the results. Kaplan says if propeller blades are not balanced or properly pitched, the result can be poor performance, lower fuel efficiency, more vibration transmitted through the boat and underwater noise that can be harmful to marine life. Devices now being used are really old and the industry has been waiting for someone to step into the space, according to Kaplan. Much of the software created in the 1990s is no longer supported, or the companies producing the software have gone out of business or changed focus, he says. “It became clear that it wasn’t just one client that needed this solution, it was possible there were hundreds or thousands of propeller shops in the same situation,” he says.

Aaron says since the launch, TrueProp has created a buzz in the industry. “We get inquiries from across the globe. There is a substantial growth potential for this software,” she says. TrueProp software can also be used in  performance tuning for racing boats and other types of propellers, including small outboards, tugboats, large cargo vessels and military equipment.

Kaplan was recently a presenter at IBEX (International Boat-Builders Expo) in Tampa, Fla. to speak about interpreting measurements and understanding data. TrueProp Software was also selected as one of five finalists in the 2019 Granite State Growth Competition hosted by the Regional Economic Development Center in Raymond. The competition showcased young and innovative NH businesses and began with more than 30 applicants.

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