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lemonsg 01-24-2001 04:24 PM

Racing Cal 9.2
I have an oppertunity to purchase a 1983 Cal 9.2 at a good price. My primary use will be as a club races.

Has anyone found a web site I can get full specs on Cal boats.

Also can anyone share the good and bad aspects of racing this boat. How ahout some base PHRF ratings


Jeff_H 01-25-2001 07:55 AM

Racing Cal 9.2
The Cal 9.2 was a Ron Holland design. They were intended as IOR Racers and IOR Racer Cruisers. There were really two different models of the the 9.2. The R version had a lead keel and were reasonably competitive as new boats. The Stock version had a cast iron keel and these were never competitive. These boats were designed duing the worst period of the IOR rule and have hull forms and ballasting that is forever linked to the Fastnet Disaster especially sonce most of the loss off life occurred on Holland designed boats.

These boats were known for a number of problems. Structurally they had problems at the where the mast hits the deck. This area was not properly designed originally and on several of the 9.2''s that I have been aboard the deck has crushed and rotated or else been rebuilt. They also had an experimental liner system similar to that used in comercial aircraft of that era. Unfortunately this system did not stand up to the amount of flexing encountered on small boats of that era.

In terms of sailing, they were pretty fast upwind but really gave away a lot of speed on other points of sail. They were not very good in light air or in heavy conditions. They tend to be very rolly down wind in heavier condions. Like many masthead rig boats of this era they needed a large inventory of sails to be competitive. (On a crack race version, you would expect to have a storm jib, blade, Number 1, 2, and 3 genoa plus a light weight genoa, a reaching and a running spinacker and a mainsail. As race boats they were really obsolete almost as soon as they hit production with boats like J-29''s and J-30''s cleaning their clock in PHRF and MORC and IOR on the decline. Literally the year after the design hit the water the IOR changed and so did the boast that were competitive under the rule. With PHRF ratings in the 166 to 172 range this is a pretty slow 30 footer for that era. (J-30 for example rates 144)
The particulars from an ad show LOA: 30'' Beam: 10''4 Draft: 5''7 Ballast: 2730. If I remember right they typically had a two cyl Universal diesel with an option of a 3 cyl Yanmar. Water: 21 gals

In conclusion, these are OK boats that are not exceptional at any one thing. They can be bought pretty cheaply but I don''t think of them as being race boats any longer except prehaps for club racing in a non-competitive environment. There are guys who raced them successfully in the past but I think those days have past.


Jeff_H 01-25-2001 08:02 AM

Racing Cal 9.2
I actually found a few more PHRF ratings:
Long Island Sound 174
New England 9.2= 165
New England 9.2R= 162

hamiam 01-25-2001 09:18 AM

Racing Cal 9.2
Jeff, question for you regarding the loss of life in the Fastnet on Holland designed boats: I have a Nicholson 345, 3/4 ton, designed by Ron Holland. It was my understanding, from an article that I read on the net, that the 345s in the race actually fared the best of any of the designs. What gives? Was what I read incorrect?

Jeff_H 01-26-2001 02:00 AM

Racing Cal 9.2
I believe that you have heard very wrong. Although the actual Fastnet Report does not list boat designers and manufacturers, ''Fastnet- Force 10'' and ''Seaworthiness the Forgotten Factor'' does. The then newer IPR designs were heavily criticized. They were criticized for their wide beam, pinched ends, high vertical center of gravities, deep canoe bodies and the classic IOR "three flats" design. Ron Holland''s designs of that era represented the most extreme versions of what not to do. The Ron Holland designed half tonner ''Grimalkin'' is typically held up as the poster child for "what not to do". Almost universally the half tonners and 3/4 tonners had the worst time out there, reporting knock downs, roll overs, long inversion periods and quick motions. I don''t believe that the Holland designed Nicholson''s were any exception.

The example generally cited and which was specifically studied in the Fastnet Report and comapred directly to the half tonner ''Grimalkin'' were the (Jeremy Rogers, I beleive, designed) Contessa 32 of which several were in the race and did exceptionally well.

Having raced on a Nicholson out in the Atlantic, I can assure you that these were prototypical IOR boats of that era with all of their warts and freckles.

hamiam 01-26-2001 04:24 AM

Racing Cal 9.2
Jeff. Check out the following site: and let me know what you think...

Jeff_H 01-26-2001 01:37 PM

Racing Cal 9.2
I really don''t know the veracity of the claim that "Three 345s came through unscathed". I had recalled that there were Holland Designed 3/4 tonners out there but at the time that I was racing on one (may have been the smaller 1/2 ton 303) in Savannah there was a fair amount of gallows humor amoungst the crew about how they poorly made out in the Fastnet. I am reasonably certain that this ad is just plain Hyperbole in that it is my understanding that there was not a boat that came out of the race unscathed. I saw Tenacious after the 79 Fastnet and although she had won the race and had missed the worst of the storm she was a mess.

I don''t have access to my copy of "Fastnet- Force 10" but you should be able to get a copy. I would look in there. I am really skeptical that the statement that "Three 345s came through unscathed" but I can''t say for certain how much trouble they got into. I can say that in my experience with Nicholson tonners these are certainly not my idea of a boat with "excellent sea-keeping abilities".
They are fine for coastal work and the fractional rig is a very convenient rig to sail short handed.

Good Luck

lemonsg 01-26-2001 04:47 PM

Racing Cal 9.2
Thanks for the info, I may re think this boat.


gwest3149 11-02-2008 01:24 AM

I just purchased a Cal 9.2 about a month ago and really like the boat. PHRF on the boats range from 162 to 174. The 9.2 R usually rates 3-6 seconds per mile faster than the standard boats with cast iron keels. In their day, they were really fast for their size and still compete well in PHRF fleets around the country. They do have a week area in the deck at the mast step, but that is fairly easy to repair. As far as sailing in light or heavy air, they will perform well in all conditions if properly tuned and you use the right sail combo.

They are competitative againt other boats with similar rationgs and much better looking than most boats that are built today. I've been sailing for over thirty years on a wide variety of boats that have passed through my personal fleet. I think this one will do just fine.

Dennis Conner bought an old Ericson 29 and sails it in PHRF races... It's much slower and heavier than the Cal 9.2. If you decide to get the 9.2 you are looking at, you will enjoy it. It's really pretty forgiving and responsive.

Good luck

sailingdog 11-02-2008 07:31 AM


I don't think it much matters since if they haven't bought the call 9.2 by now, they're not going to... as the post you're replying to is almost EIGHT YEARS OLD... Please check dates on posts before replying. Also, recommend that you read the POST in my signature to help you get the most out of Sailnet.

Welcome to the asylum. :)

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