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Our history starts over sixty-six years ago with two Canadian men who invented an innovative new product that would influence the shipping industry for years to come! 

Now more than half a century later, we reflect on our history and how MARELCO™ by EMCS Industries Ltd. has become specialists in our field. Our experienced technicians understand the challenges you face in different marine environments, tailoring solutions to your needs and providing responsive, proactive, reliable, ongoing, and seamless support and technical advice.


The journey to becoming the leaders in antifouling and corrosion began with our founders Lauder Ramsay and Frank Lewis Chappell. It was a battle against marine vessel villains—growth and corrosion on ships, boats, freighters, or anything exposed to the buildup of marine plant and animal organisms such as barnacles and mussels.

Frank decided it was time to fight back and began to experiment in 1950 with some possible solutions. After some deep thinking, he invented a cleaning system that would combat the relentless mussels, barnacles, and corrosion and protect ships on future voyages! 

This invention would later become the international standard for Marine Growth Protection Systems (MGPS) and the Cathelco System. The S.S. Princess Kathleen of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) 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!”. These were the one-year contract conditions. 

However, in only nine short months, Frank Chappell’s Cathelco System achieved highly satisfying results! This led to the Cathelco System being fitted on three other CPR coast steamships between 1951 and 1952. With this success, in 1955, these two industry pioneers founded Electrolytic Marine Corrosion Services (known today as EMCS Industries) in Victoria, B.C., Canada. 


Frank and Lauder had set their sights high and could see worldwide applications for the system. 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, selling the Cathelco System under license from EMCS. In 1961, the patent was filed and granted for the Canadian invented and engineered Cathelco System. EMCS began to market Cathelco directly in North America and 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. as it is known today. In 1989 the North American and UK partners ceased their relationship, and the UK company changed its name to Cathelco Ltd. This name change created much confusion between the now competitors, so the Canadians re-branded their system to MARELCO™


The Ramsay family owned EMCS until 2015 when the company was bought by EMWCS Inc. and appointed Trevor Tasker as the new President and CEO. Our history is the bedrock of our growth as EMCS continues to move full-steam ahead, re-branding the already successful business to new heights.

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