In 1953, Mr. Raymond Pearlson, a Naval Architect and Marine Engineer, was employed by a small shipyard in Miami, Florida, to take over responsibility for the construction of a 300-ton lifting capacity boatlift and transfer system using technology that was known at that time. His experience building this facility gave Mr. Pearlson the opportunity to develop an innovative drydocking concept using simple electro-mechanical components which overcame the inherent limitations of lifting capacity and size.
In 1957, Mr. Pearlson invented and built the first Syncrolift® shiplift with a lifting capacity of 100 tons, and in 1958, formed Pearlson Engineering Company (PECO) to further the development of his invention. In 1967, his son Douglas began working for PECO while attending the University of Michigan. After graduating with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Douglas joined the firm full time in 1971
In July of 1979, PECO was acquired by Northern Engineering Industries (NEI), a British engineering group that later became part of Rolls-Royce plc. Following the acquisition, Mr. Douglas Pearlson was promoted to President of PECO and named to the Board of Directors of NEI Clarke Chapman Ltd.
Pearlson Engineering Company, Inc. (PECO) was renamed NEI Syncrolift, Inc. in 1986.
In 1990, after leaving NEI, Douglas and Raymond founded Pearlson & Pearlson Incorporated, a shipyard consultancy specializing in drydocking and transfer systems.
In 2008, when Rolls-Royce closed the Miami headquarters of Syncrolift, Inc., Douglas founded Pearlson Shiplift Corporation and recruited his team of former PECO shiplift engineers and technical support specialists to respond to requests from Syncrolift® owners and operators to expand and support their shipyard and ferry ramp facilities with new shiplift equipment, spare parts, training and inspection services, continuing the legacy that created the modern shiplift.