A Note from Faith of s/v Sea Jewel (Cal 2-34). Hopefully these testimonials will help other Cal owners…
Following are all the folks that helped me get my CAL 2 34 back in running condition after a huge mishap with a local boatyard and an accident due to severe gale winds. Some are specific to the CAL as her age makes finding parts challenging and some are just great folks who do meticulous work and understand the love for classic boats like the CALs.
Tri County Diesel Marine 360-733-8880 in Bellingham, WA.
Everybody from the wonderful woman who answers the phone to the parts manager to the man running the show are fantastic. They’ve been around for a number of years, are well connected, meticulous in their work and with your boat and ingenious with improvising when the part you need is not available. They rebuilt, (or shipped out to local specialists) every component surrounding my ’75 Westerbeke 4-91, (other then the transmission) and remounted the engine to make sure the rebuilt transmission would line up correctly. They custom built a muffler, rebuilt the exhaust manifold, untangled the rat’s nest of wires and redid them so they were safe and efficient, the list goes on ……
Northland Diesel 360-676-1970 Bellingham, WA also fantastic.
Someone along the way had put some sort putty on the fuel pump for reasons that came clear when Northland rebuilt it. They did a fabulous job resurrecting the 40+ year old pump. I had taken my injectors to them earlier in the summer on the first go ’round of trying to get her going, (after the engine had been run out of fuel and then sprayed with heet by a mechanic and the glo plugs were fried from the button being stuck in the on position and I was told not to worry about it), and they blew out just what was needed and didn’t charge me for what wasn’t. They were fast, thorough and efficient and got the injectors back to me the same day.
Paragon Transmission – Chris Jones – South Carolina 843-822-1019
Chris Jones is a wizard with these transmissions. They are his craft and his life’s work. When I first called him about the transmission he was not optimistic as the part we thought it needed was no longer available. He, too, is well networked and was able to get that particular part from a colleague. Once receiving the transmission, (Tri County shipped it for me through the hurricane), it became clear quickly that it needed a complete overhaul. With some creative ideas and skilled machining he got it working again. Chris was very thorough and patient in explaining everything that was going on with it, how it works and what he was doing to fix it. He also sent follow up descriptions and drawings when he shipped it back so I would have a clearer understanding of how it worked and how it needed to be installed.
Tri County put it back in but something wasn’t right so we had to send it back. When Chris received it he said the instructions he sent and gave were not correctly followed and created more repairs needed. He made this repairs, shipped it back, all at no cost to me and literally talked Tri County through the installation process on the phone. She moves like new and lines up beautifully with the engine.
Donald McKinsey – glo plugs – 765-785-6284
I don’t know if anyone else has had a hard time finding glo plugs for the Westerbeke but I had a heck of a time. I found this guy through a friend in Montana, (although he’s in Indiana), who works on a lot of diesels. Donald works out of his home …. has been working on diesels forever and has a 2 car garage full of parts. The brand of glo plug that fits the Westerbeke 4-91 is the champion 32. They used to be available through the auto parts store but not any longer. There is also a place in the UK that carries them. I will have to send that resource to you later as it is on the boat and I am not.
Whatcom Electric & Battery OEM Bellingham 360-734-7723
These are the folks for all things needed for marine charging systems. Their inventory is phenomenal and they are very knowledgeable about all things electric. My starter was fried during the “heet” spraying episode of my engine. When I took it in to OEM they informed that it was not the original starter, (contrary to the mechanic’s understanding which was minimal, obviously), and that it was putting out far too much torque. They had the one I needed in stock and it lined right up with the Westerbeke.
B & J Fiberglass Bellingham 360-398-9342
Floyd King and his #1 guy Keith are miracle workers with fiberglass and hull repainting. When my neighbor’s boat’s stern line let go during one of last Spring’s gale storms a metal piece on the stern of his boat gauged my starboard hull just aft of midship. Fortunately it didn’t quite make it all the way through to puncturing a hole but the area of scraping and gauging found its way down into the boot stripe. Keith did a beautiful job patching the area, reclaiming the boot stripe, (which had been painted over by the folks who did my bottom paint job and subsequently fried my engine the summer before), and walking me through every step of the process. All was done for a very reasonable price.
When I decided on a tri color anchor light, (as she had no anchor light at all), Floyd offered to run the wires and install it as I know nothing about electrical systems. This is when I found out that my boat was, at one time, hit by lightening. He spent a Sunday afternoon cleaning up old wiring, removing and replacing burnt wiring and and adding safety measures to the connections coming from the mast and through the cabin for all the electrical systems other than the engine. He charged me a minimal fee for all the work and took the time to explain to me how it all worked as well as any more upgrades/additions I needed to make from there.
Landings At Colony Wharf 360-715-1000 Bellingham
These guys are amazing! (There is another, more well known, local boatyard here in Bellingham which was the demise of my engine and started the domino effect of the rebuilding).
When my hull was gauged and scraped by my neighbor’s boat during the gale storm The Landings was the place I opted to have my boat hauled out. They work in concert with B & J Fiberglass as well other marine services on that side of the marina. They are a relatively small operation and cater to the do it yourselfer.
Mark and his team were very careful and helpful with all aspects of hauling her out and getting her into the fiberglass shop to do the hull repair. They were patient and informative with me around issues that became visible once she was out of the water. They had great suggestions, resources and ingenious ideas for creative problem solving. While she was on the hard they were helpful with whatever they had “laying”around that would help me with whatever project I was working on while the hull was being done.
When it was time to get her back in the water and restep the mast not only were they very careful in the process, they restepped it with the windex and new anchor light on top so I wouldn’t have hoist up on the bosun chair and do it after she was launched.
Their prices are reasonable and the scheduling with other services available in the surrounding area lines up with little waiting for completion or launching …. a feat in and of itself.
I’m sure there are more but I want to get this out to you. Hopefully I haven’t been too verbose. If you have questions or need clarification please feel free to email.
Thanks for being out there and providing this service for us CAL enthusiasts.