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  #1  
Old 04-08-2008
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Cal 46-2 Port Lighs and Offshore

We are considering a Cal 46-2 (For a family life aboard with off shore capabilities and the space for a family of four, in our price range.) My question is why does this often mentioned vessel for off shore work have such big port lights?
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Old 04-08-2008
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I imagine the original design was sold as a light and airy interior! For Blue water, you would probably want some weather boards fabricated for protection but that is no big deal for an otherwise excellent voyager.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Agreed. I've been aboard one and they look very solid, if about at the outer limit of what I consider suitable for a reasonably fit cruising couple in terms of sail-handling, etc.

Cam, the interior isn't as light and airy as those big portlights would indicate (and yes, they would need storm shutters)...it's more old-school with dark wood interiors broken up into multiple floor levels. You don't have far to fall, from what I could see. On the other hand, you have a lot of little corners for spousal face time, if you follow my drift.

Also, I believe it's a Cal 2-46, indicating that this is the second 46 footer offered by the company.

I particularly liked the "workshop" and the access to the engine midships.

Last edited by Valiente; 04-09-2008 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 04-09-2008
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thanks for the replies. I gather that the boat is NOT good for short handled sailing then, but does have ample space.
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Old 04-09-2008
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I would have one in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWhite View Post
thanks for the replies. I gather that the boat is NOT good for short handled sailing then, but does have ample space.
I wouldn't say that, no. The one I've been on is owned by a couple in their 70s, one a cancer survivor, but I think they are very careful with the weather and motor more than most.

The Cal 2-46 is a fairly heavy displacement motor sailer. Its progress under sail could be described as "stately"...it's not going to win races, unless they are long ones, and there's an element of endurance to them. By that I mean I would think they are possessed of an easy motion at sea, and can carry a LOT of tankage and stores.

In the ketch version, the sail plan of a 46-foot boat is more like that of a 40 footer, thanks to the division of the sail area between a big jib, a small staysail, a (usually) stumpy main with a long boom (meaning the first reef depowers the sail a lot), and a mizzen that, when used with the staysail alone (no main, no jib) is a great way to do hull speed at 40 knots on a broad reach.

So a fit couple can handle that, or even a cutter, if they have big winches, lots of reef options and nice, heavy gear of the Garhauer "better twice as strong as needed" type.

I know some fairly older couples are out there with new 50-footer with electric winches and push-button reefing, but I think that is going to cause grief at some point. That's why I say that a Cal 2-46 is about as big as I'd want to handle, because I can picture handling it...just...with emergency tiller steering, a trysail, a dead engine, a first mate with a broken arm lashed in her bunk and water over the floorboards. In other words, a worst-case scenario 98% of sailors will not likely ever see. My own plans take into account some fairly grim possibilities, and I've sized my boat backwards from that in aid of prudent seamanship. This is why we have a steel motorsailer cutter of some 41 feet in length...because that's the biggest boat my wife figures she could sail solo if I was the crew lashed into the berth with a busted arm!

Now, if you intend to basically cruise coastal, the Cal 2-46 is like a '70s Cadillac...smooth riding. But it's fine going around the world, too, if you as crew have the skills to keep her moving.

If it's clean, has been kept updated and has no glaring structural or engine flaws, I would certainly consider it if you want a comfortable boat capable of being a liveaboard.
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Old 04-25-2008
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CAL 2-46 - Valiente's Observations

Hi,

You have posted an extremely informative review of the CAL 2-46, many thanks for that. Before I stumbled across your observations I had posted a question regarding the suitability of this craft for my purposes. The vessel I am considering is a sloop, but all of your comments are relevant & helpful.

In case my post is missed, have any other contributors anything to add please?

Vince
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Old 04-25-2008
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My pleasure. Please understand I haven't sailed a 2-46, just a number of boat (including our own) in that size range and type.

What I did have was a pretty intensive half-hour tour of one that had done several thousand offshore miles, and as we intended to do the same, I asked a fair number of technical and performance-related questions. Sailing the sloop version means bigger forces on the bigger rig, but if you're fit or numerous, I don't see a problem, particularly if you reef early and often.

Let me give an example: If you were a fit 55, with a 50 year old wife, a 15 year old daughter and a 12-year old son, the Cal 2-46 would be your "go anywhere" boat, because your kids are 3/4s "adult crew" and could be expected to handle the boat in most conditions. Which means watch-standing, which means safer, more restful passagemaking, and which allows the adults to fix the inevitable breakages and ship management while the kids actually trim, hand and steer (between schooling, I would guess!).

I would recommend the new edition of Beth Leonard's excellent Vogayer's Handbook The Voyager's Handbook: The ... - Google Book Search
which delves into "which boat for which crew in what circumstances" quite well.

We settled on a smaller full-keeler (well, 42' LOA isn't that small, I guess) even though we could afford more on the basis that my wife, 34 but five feet tall, can single-hand it effectively, as our son is only six and a half. If you are just a couple, size the boat in part on such a "worst case scenario", and that will be a guide.
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