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Here is What Our Customers Say

Hay Joe, I hope all is well and you haven't frozen to some engine you are working on.

As you may remember I have a Cape Dory 30 and I purchased a Beta 20 with Vee drive. The vee drive failed and you got it fixed better than new for me. I want to let you know that since I put the repaired Vee drive back in the boat and have only run it some (only about 2 hours) due to the weather. This unit must be either magic or a different unit as it is so smooth and quiet I can't believe it's the same one.

Thank you for your help with this issue. I am very pleased with my boat and the performance of the re-power.

Thanks again, Ron


My husband's Beta Marine engine was delivered today. It was shipped from the dealer in Connecticut, Sound Marine Diesel, LLC. My husband has been working closely with Joe DeMers over the past couple of months ironing out all the details and questions.

We want you to know that Joe has been patient, informative and down right professional. It has been a pleasure working with him. The motor will be installed this week and he will be back on the river by Monday.

We so appreciate Beta Marine and Joe DeMers for making this possible.

Mary Ann & Claude Hicks
Easton, MD


Dear Fellow Boater,

If you are considering repowering your boat I thought I could be of help to you by sharing with you the experience I had while repowering my boat. (Note: I was not solicited nor paid for this testimonial)

When the time came to repower my 28� Bristol Channel Cutter �Blackbird� I realized I was facing a major personal and financial challenge. The questions I faced were: which manufacturer, what horsepower, what dealer, should I consider used or rebuilt, who was going to do the work and at what cost. For me cost was going to be my biggest challenge. I created a worksheet of all of the various manufacturers and models and contacted various dealers. Honestly I felt like a babe in the woods, fresh for the picking. Ultimately, I relied on the experience of long time sailing friends, some had bad or expensive experiences, two had good ones. One was a Westsail 32� the other a Cheoy Lee 38�, both chose Beta Marine engines.. And both are very pleased with their choice. One, the Cheoy Lee 38, is currently 2 years into a 4 year circumnavigation. Several years earlier my daughter was replacing the engine in her Islander and she purchased a used engine from Sound Marine Diesel. I helped in this project and she had a very good experience with Joe DeMers and Sound Marine Diesel. So when I decided to go with a Beta Marine engine I contacted the dealers my two friends used, and I contacted Joe DeMers.

I had some additional concerns; namely money. For financial reasons I had no choice but to do the repower myself. Though truth be known, for personal reasons I also wanted to advance my skill level to be able to do a repower myself; however I was also well aware that if I screwed up or wasn�t up to the task I could be creating a major disaster for myself. I had been involved in several other repowers before, but only as the gopher, not the mechanic. In this project it was going to be all on me, along with some help from my daughter. Exacerbating this project was the fact that it was going to be a complete repower: new engine bed, new shaft log, shaft, cutlass bearing and shaft bearing, exhaust, mufflers, check valves and hoses, new fuel tanks, filters, hoses and all of the electrical system. And, OMG, the most daunting task of all, getting the shaft alignment to within 3 thousandths of an inch. As I was receiving the bids for a Beta 20 it became clear to me that Sound Marine Diesel was going to be my choice, so I confided in Joe DeMers my concerns and my exact skill levels and my fear that I might screw this up. He supported me by telling me he would guide me through any area where I needed help and that he would back me up if I got in real trouble.

I am happy to report a complete and total success! I couldn�t be happier with my repower. My engine is quiet, smooth and powerful and it barely sips fuel. Now don�t get me wrong and think this all went smoothly. No, there were numerous calls for advice and several panic calls to Joe DeMers. He always, he promptly returned the calls, sometimes even on the weekend. One time he was working in a trade show, nonetheless he returned my call and as always pleasantly calmed me down and got me through it.

An additional bonus turned out to be the money I saved by buying my supplies through Sound Marine Diesel. Joe consistently beat the marine online catalog stores on: hoses, clamps, filters, mufflers, check valves etc. He knew exactly what I needed and what size it should be. As I moved through the various stages of the project I would contact Joe tell him what I needed and then shortly afterward a box would arrive with exactly what I needed. It saved me time and money.

If I had to do another repower there is no doubt in my mind that I would choose Joe DeMers and Sound Marine Diesel.

All the best, and fair winds,
Tom Gilmore


The new Beta 25 engine is now installed in my old Pearson 35, and I took delivery of my boat last Friday. I lost 6 weeks of the sailing season, but am very pleased to have a brand new power plant, and I am pleased with the installation job done for me by the marina. The engine looks rather small in the area that used to house a Westerbeke 4-91, but the extra space is great for access to the transmission and the stuffing box, and it is nice to have a bit of room in the engine compartment. The boat runs very well with the new engine, and will run up well over 6 kts if I need to push her. It will take me a while to get used to an engine that is turning 3,000+ rpm, where I am used to an engine that I never ran over 2,000, and which I often cruised along at 1,600. But the lighter, faster engines are the new way, right? And how nice is it to shift with one finger, instead of having to push with all my weight, and to hold the shift in reverse with my foot!

I appreciate your advice during the process, and might very well have asked you to do the installation if I had not just delivered my boat to my local marina. Thank you for your part in making the re-power successful.

Fred Eustis, Pearson 35, Cambridge


In a profession filled with curmudgeonly, ill-tempered, "can't be bothered" types, Joe Demers is a breath of fresh air. He's good at what he does, likes what he's doing, and that comes through every time I have dealt with him. Joe has been a pleasure to deal with. He is knowledgeable, accessible, and is never too busy to take the phone call and walk you through a decision or issue. He also did not try to oversell me. He told me that a 20hp Beta motor would power my boat to hull speed. The original Volvo was a 17hp. I stepped it up to a 25 on my own, since these new engines have a smaller footprint.

This attitude extended even to the people who installed my engine (a Yanmar dealer, actually). Not only did he speak to them personally on my behalf a couple of times, he actually got in his truck and drove a 200 mile round trip to Mamaroneck, NY to deliver a part to the installer that had been shipped incorrectly. This allowed my installation to proceed as scheduled and saved me money on additional yard fees.

I have had numerous conversations with Joe after my engine was purchased and installed and he is still interested in my boat and always willing to take the time to take the call. I have been boating for over 30 years, which includes holding a masters ticket with sail endorsement, some time as a marine surveyor, and running a charter service. In that time, I have met every kind of diesel mechanic, rigger, and boat yard guy imaginable. You can trust me when I tell you Joe is the exception to the rule. Joe is a stellar representative of his profession and of the Beta organization. The Beta engine is worth buying on its own merits, (I love mine) but when you get Joe DeMers with the deal, that's a win-win in my book.

Dennis Roberts, 1978 Pearson 323, Dulcinea


I wanted to thank you for the exceptional customer service and professional advice you supplied me with during the recent repowering of my 28 foot Cape Dory sailboat. Your recommendation of a 13.5 hp Beta Marine engine was a perfect replacement for the original Farryman diesel. Your prop recommendations for the new engine and boat were also right on the money.

Your expertise on all facets of diesel engines, shafts, props, exhausts, boat systems and their correct installation proved to be a great benefit to me as the boat?s sea trial was a great success. It is unusual to find an individual who is so patient and willing to answer all questions and then share his vast knowledge of diesel engines and boat systems with his customers.

Eric Schladt, Cape Dory 28, Solstice


I'm writing to thank you for the very professional way that you guided me through the details involved in repowering my 26 foot International Folkboat, White Lightning.

Before contacting you, I had already researched a host of possible replacement engines for the old (1976) Volvo MD1B (including Volvo, Yanmar, Westerbeke, BMW, etc. - none of which fit the IF's very tight engine compartment), and so I was delighted to discover through the Internet that Beta Marine had set out to fill this market void by marinizing the 2 cylinder Kubota diesel.

I feel particularly fortunate that Sound Marine Diesel LLC turned out to be my closest Beta Marine dealership since you not only quoted the best price, but I also became the beneficiary of your many years of repowering experience. Starting with the line drawings that you were able to provide for both the Beta Marine 13.5 HP diesel and the Volvo MD1B, you were able to show me that the new engine would be a perfect fit and, by using a combination of the supplied bolt-on engine mount brackets (11.5" aft and 14.5" forward), it could use the existing stringers. You also correctly predicted that, thanks to the adjustable engine mounts, the new engine would mate perfectly with the pitch of my existing propeller shaft. While we chose to use the flexible coupling that came with the new engine, the final alignment was so precise that we could have done without it.

The overall result is an installation which, to the amazement of the professional mechanic who installed it, runs without any vibration. He is now recommending that all of his repower customers consider a Beta Marine diesel!

Many thanks, again, for your invaluable advice and for your willingness to refund the cost of the muffler and the through hull exhaust fitting which we didn't use. I would be more than happy to have you give my name as a reference to prosepective clients.

Henry Hotchkiss, International Folkboat


Just a note to Joe DeMers and the nice folks at Beta Marine to let them know that we are extremely happy with the performance of our new BD722 diesel engine. Installation in our Ericson 27 went as planned with no surprises. We did it all ourselves with great technical advice from Joe and the team. They were always there when we had questions concerning prop size, fuel and exhaust system upgrades, and all the other little questions that come up when upgrading to a modern power plant. We just returned from a 122 mile sail and everything worked great. We look forward to many years of sailing with our new Beta. Thanks again.

Jim Freeman, Ericson 27


I have used the services offered by Joe DeMers, as both diesel mechanic and general boat contractor and found them to be excellent. He is meticulous in checking over systems and I found his expertise in mechanical and general boat systems to be outstanding. The work he did on my boat, Destiny (a Nordic 44 now cruising in the Caribbean) was excellent. He surveyed the boat and its systems and did a great job fixing those problems that were found. He also kept me informed throughout the entire process. Finally, his recommendations as to spare parts and maintenance to be performed during our trip was invaluable.

In short, I can highly recommend him to do work on any boat.

Larry Rudnick, Nordic 44


Joe DeMers performed a difficult repair on my Cal 31 sailboat's diesel engine 3 years ago and it's performed wonderfully ever since.

The front cover had corroded away at the bottom, a well-known problem on this Universal/Kubota, model 5416, in a marine installation. Replacement cost was daunting, so Joe patched the area with a number of layers of fiberglass and put in new sleeves for 2 corroded screw holes. After re-painting, it looks like new, and has held up perfectly, leaking no oil, through two seasons of use. He also re-aligned the engine's connection to the shaft, a tedious process, and that's been smoother than before.

Joe cleaned the cover, enlarged the hole so fiberglass would adhere, laid up the fiberglass & machined the new bolt holes in his shop. One remarkable thing I never expected is that he emailed photos of all the steps, which was a big reassurance, as I wondered how on earth this could really be done.

I heartily recommend Joe DeMers for any engine work, and I'd think very favorably of him for any other boat work that he's inclined to do.

Chris Barr, Cal 31


Joe DeMers of Sound Marine Diesel has done an outstanding job of installing a new 50hp Beta Marine Diesel engine for my 1987 Passport 40. After canvasing the usual auxilliary diesel engine manufacturers, I selected a Beta Marine diesel based on specifications, features, and most importantly personal technical support. Joe DeMers not only supplied the engine, but performed the installation to suit the specific requirements and configuration of my boat. Joe actively worked with me to make recommendations and to implement effective and practical upgrades to the fuel, coolant, exhaust, drive train, and electrical systems that complemented the installation and operation of the new engine. Joe's knowledge and attention to detail would typically not be found in a yard installation.

Herb Dietrich, Passport 40


I have utilized Joe's services for the last couple of years and there is no doubt that he is a "top notch" mechanic that I have recommended to a number of others. If you have a problem with your boat or diesel engine, he can fix it. Not only can you not employ a better mechanic but Joe also offers good value for your hard earned dollar. In addition to employing Joe's services, I have also had the pleasure of sailing on an offshore delivery with him and can assure you that he is a valuable addition to any crew. I count Joe as a trusted mechanic and a friend. Given the other options, not employing his services just doesn't make any sense to me.

Ken Grey, CS 30


Mr. DeMers installed a new Beta Marine 13.5hp diesel in my sailboat. As a long time do-it-yourselfer, I had the privilege to work alongside of Joe and was continually impressed with the high standards he employed in each job he undertook. On the occasion where we disagreed, I eventually came around to see that Joe's recommendations were in my, and in my vessel's, best interests.

Employ him, follow his advise, and you and your boat will be the better for it.

Joe Nakelski, vessel Zzzooom, US 10029, C&C 35, MK 1, modified.


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