This year’s diesel engine seminar promises to be the best we’ve ever presented at a Florida TrawlerFest because of our new partnership with Whiticar Boat Works of Stuart. “Everything You Need To Know About Diesel Engines” runs over two days, Feb. 28 and March 1.

Whiticar, which has been in business for more than 60 years, has agreed to host the seminar and instructors Nigel Calder and Steve Zimmerman at its Shearwater Division near the main TrawlerFest site at Stuart. Whiticar is also lending us its top tech, Adolf Ellert, who will help make this the most hands-on diesel course we’ve ever done.


Shearwater Marine sells engines, generators and parts and provides mobile dockside repair services. It’s a dealer for Cummins, Lugger, Yanmar, Universal and Westerbeke. “Depending on location, it can be a struggle to obtain the engines and pieces of engines that we need to bring the classroom teaching points to life. We beg and we borrow,” says TrawlerFest Seminar Manager Peter Swanson. “With Whiticar’s enthusiastic participation, however, we have all the motors and pieces we could ever want. Nigel sent them an ambitious wish list and Whiticar’s reply was, ‘You got it’.”


Well known as an author, Calder is PassageMaker’s technical editor, and Zimmerman writes the magazine’s “Troubleshooter” column. Both men are real-deal cruisers, who bring wit as well as wisdom to the seminar.

Calder is author of six books, including Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Marine Diesel Engines, Refrigeration for Pleasureboats, The Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean, and Cuba: A Cruising Guide. Zimmerman, a long-time friend of the magazine, is president of Zimmerman Marine, which operates four boatyards, in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, specializing in repairs, refits and maintenance. He has been repairing and building boats for almost four decades.

Calder himself will lead attendees in electrical troubleshooting using multimeters and training aids that he has developed especially for the class. The program will conclude with a panel discussion and questions from the audience.

The class is limited to 36 attendees and has almost always sold out. The $495 fee includes lunch both days and a graduation party at the end of Day Two (spouses invited). Attendees will receive a Certificate of Completion, which may help get them lower boat insurances rates.


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