In 2017, Cathelco acquired Echo Marine Service, the service centre for Hydro Electrique Marine (HEM) desalinators based in Palma, Mallorca.
The opportunity arose due to the retirement of Erik Hansen, a Danish Navy engineer, who set up the business in 1986 and later became an agent for HEM gaining huge experience in the service and repair of watermakers.
Cathelco are well known in the superyacht industry through their marine growth prevention systems (MGPS) which prevent blockages caused by barnacles and mussels in seawater pipework serving engine cooling systems. They also produce ICCP corrosion protection systems which safeguard the integrity of steel and aluminium hulls. More recently, as the result of IMO and USCG legislation, they have developed ballast water treatment systems with particularly small footprints which are designed for the superyacht market.
The acquisition of Echo Marine was a logical step for Cathelco following on from the purchase of Antibes based HEM in 2015. HEM desalinators and water treatment equipment are widely used on superyachts with a record of more than 4,000 installations over a period of 30 years.
“Palma is a major hub for the superyacht industry and we are keen to maintain and expand our presence on Mallorca drawing on the experience of the Echo Marine team who have built a strong reputation for their expertise in all aspects of watermakers”, said Justin Salisbury, managing director of Cathelco.
Echo Marine employs 8 people including a team of 6 engineers who are available to install and service water treatment equipment.
“Echo Marine have been working closely with HEM for over 30 years, so I see the Cathelco takeover as a natural progression and am very pleased that our treasured clients will continue to be in good hands”, said Erik Hansen.
The company installs and services a wide range HEM desalinators and water treatment systems. In addition, facilities are available for testing water to ensure that it complies with MCA and general manning regulations, and the subsequent treatments in case the water does not comply.
Sam Wand, sales manager of Cathelco’s Superyacht Division, has been based in Palma since the autumn.
“Due to its location in the western Mediterranean, Mallorca is often a stopping off point for superyachts crossing the Atlantic and this puts us in a good position to get servicing and repair work”, said Sam Wand.
The other important factor is that Echo Marine’s office and workshop are very close to the marinas and main shipyards in Palma which means that they are ideally placed for installing or repairing equipment on superyachts which are undergoing refits or major repairs.
“At the height of the season there will always be yachts which require emergency repairs to their water treatment systems. Echo Marine have a 24 hour helpline which means that if a problem occurs at night, we will have an action plan ready for the morning”, Sam explained.
In addition to developing the service and repair work, Echo Marine has the potential to become a showcase for Cathelco’s portfolio of yachting products in Mallorca. These include the marine growth prevention systems (MGPS) and ICCP hull corrosion protection systems, plus the new ‘tank-in-tank’ hot water system which eliminates limescale and ensures that plenty of hot water is available at peak times.
One of the problems with conventional direct heating systems is the amount of scale produced in the cylinder, mainly on the heating elements themselves. This reduces the efficiency of the system and results in the inconvenience and expense of changing the elements
“Water taken on-board from the mains supply in the Balearics tends to be quite ‘hard’ and if your yacht is berthed here for long periods of time, the problem of scale forming on heating elements can lead to the need for premature replacement”, Sam commented.
With a range of new products from Cathelco and HEM, plus a team of highly experienced engineers to carry out installation and servicing work, Echo Marine is looking towards 2018 with renewed sense of enthusiasm.
“Over the coming months Echo Marine will be having a complete facelift with fresh exterior signage based on a new corporate identity scheme”, said Sam Wand who sees a bright future for the company through the wider possibilities for sales that are generated by the Cathelco and HEM network.