Algonac Marine Cast – Every Part Of You Wants To Read This!
The absolute high lite of the Algonac trip was a short…to short visit to Algonac Marine Cast, formerly known as Algonac Cast Products. What ever their new name is, this is the mother load of original parts for your classic boat. Really! They’re not only still in business, but under new ownership and doing well and an open and friendly ownership, and for the first time ever, open to you to order from them. In other words, you don’t need to be Chris Craft to order from them. The folks there could not be nicer, wait did I say that already.. So? It can’t be said enough. OK one more time, this time in pictures.
The place is a working time capsule of the way things in America were, are, and should be done! It just made my varnished heart sing to know that such places are still around.
Oh, they got parts.. original castings, molds of every part in the classic boat universe, but don’t have them all cataloged yet. There is a paper way to figure it all out. but hard work needs to take place to locate and digitize it all.
That will take some time and maybe a fantastic effort by the local ACBS chapter to help with. They have drawers, shelves, rooms, buildings full of stuff that needs to be categorized. Heck, Terry Feist did 10 minutes of looking and found a very hard to find vent. Bam.. He was blown away.
Bert Harris scored some amazing Donzi vents as well. Rare stuff? Not any more. Its all right here…someplace.. Which by the way, only makes it that much cooler. So.. now you’re wondering, I need a vent from a , or a rudder for my whatever thing.. They have an old website, yes, at some point a website was made and a catalog. But that is for companies like Sea Ray that are clients. For us it’s more of a special one off thing. Or for some enterprising folks, maybe a way to order rare cant find stuff and sell them as a continuation of original parts from the original cast. Same serial number, same everything, not a reproduction. The fantastic thing, is that it’s all right where the boat gods intended them to be. Algonac!
A huge thanks to the folks putting the show together and including this on the trip. And a huge thankyou to the fantastic folks at Algonac Marine Cast.. There I said it one more time!
Glad to see an American company in a small town surviving and doing what it has done for over 50 years. I hope they are profitable and stay strong!
It’s up to all of us to make sure we buy the real parts made the real way, not cheap reproduction crap. The cool part is that there is really no better way to make what they make. Matched with a fantastic group of workers…yes one more time, and a town that supports them, and to be honest an affordable area to have a business. its all perfect.
I wonder if they have or can make the Taff Rail Gate pieces that Ineeda?
Its a very good bet. Enjoy the trip!
I had some parts for my jet cast by a local business, well it turned out to be three local businesses by time I had finished usable parts. Having one shop that can do the casting, machining, heat treating etc. AND who has the original molds is priceless! Metal shrinks when it hardens, so you can’t make a mold out of an existing part, the mold template has to be appropriately bigger in all the right demensions. Having the original molds is a true gem.
Great comment M-fine. Thats why this is such a find. Its been there all along, but the new owners openness is amazing.
It is truly amazing what is tucked away in Algonac. Sounds like it was a terrific event.
In the right hands useable replacement castings can indeed be reproduced using the original parts as patterns. Wax is applied to accommodate shrinkage. We had the pleasure of working with “ACP” to reproduce struts for the CC 27 runabout. Their original wood patterns had been ruined by “flooding” at some point but they were able to make them using an original casting. They were great to work with. We have worked with Al Schinnerer as well for hard to reproduce castings with exceptional results. You just have to know what you are doing.
You can add to the outside dimensions, but you can’t remove from the insides on curved or complex shapes, hence the need for extra machining. You also won’t get an exact replica of a complex shape like the vents, either you accept it will be smaller, or the ratios will be slightly off unless you create a new dummy.
Now that’s a real treasure trove , almost as exciting as the rumour of finding the original Rainbow IV in a barn in western Vermont.
It’s fantastic to see folks once again crafting useful things with there hands, hearts and minds … I had thought we had forgotten how to do that. Glad to have been proved wrong.
One of the best WB stories this year, thanks Matt for bringing it to us!
Very cool to see and I can’t wait to see what parts they dig up when get everything organized. I have used them for about ten years. The first time I called I talked to a lady that was about 65 and had worked there for many years. I told here I was originally from the area and was from the Chris Craft family. Come to find out she was a long time friend of my moms and they grew up together. I gave her my moms number and they contacted each other, I thought that was pretty cool. Great place for sure!
“MADE IN THE USA”
a great story, thanks Matt
Seeing that they do not have a flag, can we as a group, pay into a “Donate Now” button, and in the name of Woody Boater, get “OLD GLORY” flying over the factory.
Matt put up the button and I do my part.
Simple cost saving suggestion from a frugal Canadian ….call the congressman or woman who represents Algonac and ask for the Stars and Stripes , while your at it call the Governor’s office and ask for a michigan flag also. This firm needs to be recognized by your politicians as a survivor
Great idea, Jake. So Matt, the button…where IS the donate button, Matt?
This was one of my fav stories in a long time. It just makes me feel good to know that specialized mfg can still work in the USofA, even on a tiny scale like this.
When they get a parts list together, WB should have a new, and unique, advertiser! Talk about target marketing….
There are places for three flags on that pole. The American flag and the maize and blue Block M you can get from Amazon. The problem is finding the Woodyboater flag to round out the display.
A while back I had decided that I wanted to replace the mangled strut on my ’48 17′ Dlx I am restoring. After seeing the ad for Algonac Cast Products in The Brass Bell and reading their history, I decided that if I could buy a new one it would be a lot better than trying to find a good used one as I had planned. So I contacted Pam and was thrilled to find they could not only supply one but had one in stock. Well it arrived last week and is a thing of beauty, it even has the bearing installed. What a wonderful resource for our hobby!!
An Algonac-of-ah good time!!
Matt, can you bring back the “Hug a Tree” T-Shirt???
Once again Matt, Thanks for all you do to bring the Woody Boater World to Algonac and our great fresh water state.
do they chrome plate their castings?
Wow, blown away by that place….but I still know they can’t duplicate the most amazing part: A woman that enjoyed a tour of a metal foundry. Trying garage finding one of those….and if you do….I want it. I would actually prefer a repro one as the originals are older than my late great grandmother.
John in Va.
One of the best stories yet. thanks
Ever since this story now I drive past every time I’m in the area just to see how they’re doing and that they’re still there!! It’s about time for a follow up story!!