Friends Come Together to Continue in the Marine Parts Business
Published: Thursday, September 10, 2020
Located in Michigan, the family owned business of Nautical Specialties, Inc., dba. Lasdrop Shaft Seals, owned by Paul, Chris, and Meagen VanDerMass, was recently sold to a close family friend, Kyle Mosher.
Lasdrop started in 1975 when Bernard Perrin, a retired French Navy sailor, created one of the first dripless propeller shaft seals in the marine market. The company continued to grow and prosper while going through a few ownership changes before Paul VanDerMaas took the helm in 1999. Paul, with his wife Chris and daughter Meagen, grew the company to be the respected, customer service-based worldwide institution it is today with Lasdrop seals touching all edges of the globe.
“It is really incredible to think back at how we started and how we have grown in over 20 years,” said Paul. “When I look back at it all, it is the people that I remember, and will always remember meeting, from all over the world. I have the privilege to call many of them good friends.”
Prior to dripless shaft seals, vessels were expected to have a wet bilge. With Perrin’s advent of dripless shaft seals, sailors could now expect a dry bilge, elimination of odors, and reduction of shaft wear, while simultaneously preserving the world’s waters with the near elimination of contaminated bilge water being pumped overboard.
Today, Lasdrop works with many marine distributors, custom boat builders, and refit yards, with the same focus and dedication to quality that has set Lasdrop apart from its competitors since 1975.
“As I take over operations of Lasdrop, Paul and Meagen aren’t going anywhere just yet,” said Mosher. “We work really well together and, as Paul looks to scale back and focus on his well-deserved retirement, I am really looking to continue the legacy of Lasdrop. This includes building upon its world-class reputation and growing the products and the brand across the globe.”
As part of the ownership transition, Kyle and Paul will be working to also relocate the manufacturing headquarters and business operations from Port Huron, Michigan, to Manistee, Michigan.
Lasdrop is unique in the marine industry in that it is the only company to offer two styles (four models) of dripless propeller shaft seals. Mechanical face seals (two materials rotating against each other) and lip seals (also known as rotary seals) are available.
Lasdrop specializes in premium U.S.-made dripless propeller shaft seals for applications ranging from 7/8” to 8” shafts (22mm – 203mm). Today, Lasdrop Shaft Seals can be found on vessels like small sailboats or runabouts to tugboats, transportation vessels, and luxury yachts. More can be found at www.lasdrop.com.
This article first appeared in the Fall Issue (Sep/Oct) 2020 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.