Did you know that our founders invented THE FIRST Marine Growth Protection System?
That’s right! Over sixty two years ago, two Canadian men invented an innovative new product that would influence the shipping industry for years to come! But how did they do it?
More than a half century ago, Lauder Ramsay and Frank Lewis Chappell began to battle marine vessel villains—growth and corrosion on ships, boats, freighters, you name it! Frank decided it was time to fight back and began to experiment in 1950. After some deep thinking, he invented a cleaning system that would not only combat the relentless mussels, barnacles and corrosion, but also protect ships on future voyages! This invention would later become the international standard for Marine Growth Protection Systems (MGPS) —the Cathelco System.
The S.S. Princess Kathleen of the Canadian Pacific Coast Services was the very first vessel to try this new system, in the same year of the invention. How did Frank convince them to install just on theory? “No cure, no pay!” were the conditions of the one-year contract; but in just 9 short months, Frank Chappell’s ’Cathelco System’ had achieved extremely satisfying results. Due to Frank’s success, the Cathelco System was fitted on 3 additional C.P.R. coast steamships between 1951 and 1952.
Frank and Lauder were in business! In 1955, the two founded Electrolytic Marine Corrosion Services (known today as EMCS Industries) in Victoria, B.C., Canada. But Frank and Lauder could see worldwide applications for the system and set their sights high. The men found partners—Commander Patrick Heathfield, William Salisbury and Harry Gale—to expand and promote their brand abroad. Keeping up with the fast-paced market, Cathodic & Electrolytic Engineers Ltd. opened in 1956 in the UK to sell the Cathelco System under license from EMCS.
In 1961, the patent for which Frank had filed was granted for the Canadian invented and engineered Cathelco System. EMCS began to market Cathelco both directly in North America and through its new UK agent Cathodic & Electrolytic Engineers Ltd.
In 1983, Lauder and Frank thought it was time to abbreviate their company’s name to EMCS Industries Ltd. In 1989 the North American and UK partners ceased their relationship and William Salisbury changed the UK company name from Cathodic & Electrolytic Engineers Ltd. to Cathelco Ltd.
The UK company name change created much confusion between the now competitors, so the Canadians re-branded their system to MARELCO™. Now everyone would know their name, and their revolutionary product!
EMCS was owned by the Ramsay family until 2015, when the company was bought by EMWCS Inc. and appointed Trevor Tasker as the new President and CEO. Yet the company continued to remain in touch with its heritage through its longest standing employee, Dick Polkey, who had been with EMCS since 1969 up until his retirement in late 2017. EMCS is now moving full-steam ahead, re-branding and expanding the already successful business. The acquisition of the NOXX LFP antifouling system in early 2016 has allowed EMCS to expand and grow even further into the commercial and recreational vessel markets!
While Frank and Lauder were already promoting their Cathelco product, Derek Knox invented his own MGPS in the 1970s. The success of his systems spread, mostly by word of mouth, and though he ran a relatively small company, he turned out big results! Boasting a product life of 10+ years, Derek’s system was clever and incredibly environmentally-friendly. His system used a low-frequency pulse emitted into the water to discourage harmful marine life from attaching to the underside of boats. Those creatures couldn’t make their homes there!
In the process of re-branding and renewing MARELCO™, representatives spoke with a customer of Derek’s and learned of his desire to sell his company. The success of the Knox system (later renamed the MARELCO NOXX LFP system, as a tribute to its founder), impressed Tasker, and a few short months after their first contact, Knox and Tasker made a deal. Now two of the greatest companies in the anticorrosion and antifouling industry are one, housed under the EMCS name!
The NOXX system is one of many processes used by EMCS to keep those tiny marine creatures and the effects of corrosion at bay. Sacrificial anodes, treatment tanks, anode cages and impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) are just a few of the treatments offered by EMCS. We all love to see those amazing ocean creatures that roam the sea floor, but when things get messy on your vessel, EMCS is there to help. When you’ve got a job to do, EMCS is there to ward off harmful marine life and corrosion.
One obvious development was the use of the two antifouling products simultaneously to provide a combined solution for extreme fouling situations that occurs in different parts of the world. This brought to the fore yet another EMCS innovation in the form of the MARELCO™ HYBRID product, a combination of the NOXX LFP and MGPS Anodes.
Once your vessel is fitted with an EMCS system, upkeep is no more work than standard maintenance. Experts make it easy to install, understand and maintain your MGPS system from EMCS. When it comes to vessel maintenance, EMCS antifouling and anti corrosion systems provide the biggest cost saving you can achieve – with the smallest investment you can make.
EMCS prides itself on being a marine industry manufacturing leader and on serving the truly world-class customers who rely on our MARELCO™ systems to keep their fleets corrosion and fouling free.