History 

Kobelt has its origins in a garage in Vancouver, Canada, where Jack Kobelt began designing, manufacturing and assembling products and components in 1962. 50 years later, Kobelt has a vertically integrated factory a few blocks away that is capable of casting parts in an automated foundry, processing parts on an array of CNC machinery and assembling sophisticated products and systems of all shapes and sizes.

Kobelt's initial product line started in the early 1960's with mechanical and pneumatic controls for marine vessels, including actuators, control heads, air cylinders and various other parts and components. The 900 series actuator was an early success, with some units still being used 30 to 40 years later. From its inception, Kobelt has used bronze extensively throughout all parts and components to ensure product longevity. By 1967, Kobelt had just under 100 products, and could supply complete systems for propulsion control in both mechanical and pneumatic environments.

In the 1970's, Kobelt became a pioneer in developing and manufacturing push-pull controls, to replace the cumbersome and complicated wire over pulley control systems in marine vessels. With dozens of control heads, variable handles and multiple functions per head, these controls quickly became a standard in the industry. Kobelt also expanded its pneumatic line by introducing heavy duty shaft brakes to the marine industry and, later, made a bold entry into the oil and gas sector by being the first to introduce air cooled disc brakes for draw-works applications.

In the 1980's, Kobelt moved from sand casting to bronze die-casting which greatly improved quality and increased production capabilities. This led to Kobelt's introduction of hydraulic steering systems, including helm pumps and cylinders, capable of being class certified on marine vessels. Kobelt also introduced the next generation of bronze & stainless steel disc brakes which rounded out the range of sizes and capacities available to oil & gas rig owners who valued the reliability of Kobelt products for their demanding and often remote rig locations. 

The 1990's saw the introduction of the first Kobelt electronic controls which allowed for a signal to be sent electronically to an actuator that controlled propulsion. The initial electronic control heads were part of the 6535 system which enabled multiple control heads and, in turn, multiple stations to be configured on larger marine vessels. This technology advancement also paved the path for the introduction of electronic helms which further rounded out Kobelt’s capabilities in the area of steering. 

Starting in the 2000's, Kobelt focused on expanding the electronic control system line by creating the Mighty Mariner; a propulsion control system that includes microprocessors, actuators & indicators that allowed for ease of installation & configuration. New, more sophisticated electronic control heads were produced that included LED panels with enhanced displays and functionality. Using the company’s pedigree of durable, dependable products as the foundation for success, Kobelt now stands ready to build the next generation of products.