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  #1  
Old 04-10-2006
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Cal 20-- Excellent Starter Boat

Along with a C&C 27, we also have a Cal 20 that we cherish. It was a roadside boat for about 8 years, but three months of work brought it back into great shape. We posted a series of photo galleries about the restoration at

Cal 20 Restoration

We're biased, of course, but we think Cal 20s are excellent starter boats for someone who can do some work on an older boat. Ours cost only $600 to begin, and it's been great for my wife and son to master together.

So, if you see a neglected Cal 20, try to let others know about it. Some are too far gone, but others are worth the while if they're half-way complete. It's also fun to see racing pictures from the Cal 20 fleet in SF in Latitude 38.

Jim H

Last edited by Jim H; 02-15-2011 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 06-20-2006
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Jim,
Was looking at your restoration pics... very informative. Makes a person want to roll up his sleeves and get started!

Mike
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Old 06-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluscard
Was looking at your restoration pics... very informative. Makes a person want to roll up his sleeves and get started!
Basically, you've defined the hardest part-- simply getting started. Gather the tools, and go have at it. This morning, I have to go drill out the teak plugs on one of the handrails on our C&C 27, take it off, rebed it with Life Caulk, and really the hardest part of the job is gathering the tools and driving out.

It's been a good year for Cal 20s-- I've seen three for sail in the local area for around $2-3k.

Jim H
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Old 12-10-2006
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Jim,
Read and looked at your post some time ago, but slow in commenting. Your gallery of photos is certainly inspiring. I've not been around this site that long but have come away with a couple impressions. Cal owners seem to love their boats and they elicit little criticism from other boat owners-hmmm? I have a 21' and for as little as it cost me, $2200, I'm not too shy about doing the work myself-if I screw up I'll start over and do it better. Cals seem to be turning into a cheap little secret that nobody talks about, but that with a little work you can have a fine boat for not so much invested. Perhaps that's true of any boat so long out of production. Again, thank you very much for the photo-gallery.
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Old 12-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21
Cals seem to be turning into a cheap little secret that nobody talks about, but that with a little work you can have a fine boat for not so much invested. Perhaps that's true of any boat so long out of production. Again, thank you very much for the photo-gallery.
Thanks for the comments, and I think you're right in the comments above. On the west coast, it's hard not to find a collection of Cals in most marinas, and the stories I've heard of them are always fun. Just last weekend I met a couple who are very proud owners of a Cal 22, and when we were working on our Cal 20 a bicyclist pulled over to tell us about his Cal 25 that he used for repeated off-shore hops from the Columbia River to Puget Sound and back.

I like the Cal 2-25s and 2-27s better than similar-age Catalinas, but that doesn't mean that all are easily restoreable. I found a 2-25 that looked excellent, but later I heard it really flunked it's survey in terms of wet decks and would be very difficult to fix. The older flush deck models (like my 20) are not as attractive, but they are easier to work on if they aren't too far gone. There's a flush deck Cal 28 in my marina that needs work, but the size/price/fun return on investment could be high with some work.

Locally, Cal 25s like this one also show up for as little as $1000:

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/boa/249585054.html

If it wasn't rotted (deck or hull), it could be a fun starter boat for a young person or couple.

Meanwhile, I try to talk my wife into at least sailing a Cal 40 someday to see if we like it, but a Cal 39 might make more sense... If you scan the back letters at Lat 38, even Cal 34s have done some great cruising.

Have a great time with your Cal 21, and post some pics for us.

Jim H
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Old 05-25-2009
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Wow!!!

Jim H: What a restoration job you have done!!! I tried to write you a personal email but it didn't work, so I'll post it here. I recently purchased a Cal 22 that turned out to have a couple of leaks. I was afraid to tackle the job, but now I'm not so sure. Is there a way to contac you for questions?
Great job, and very inspiring.
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Old 03-13-2010
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You cannot go wrong with a Cal Boat, period.

I am attempting to create an online repository for all things Cal here:

Cal 28 Sailboat Cal Boats Jensen Marine Cal 28 Bill Lathrop Jack Jensen Good Old Boat
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Old 05-21-2010
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Much thanks!

Your photos have helped me more than you can imagine Jim. I'm in the process of restoring a '70 Cal 20 and I've viewed the photos approximately one billion times. The collection of other Cal 20 photos has helped quite a bit with wrapping my head around rigging options and deck placement of hardware!
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Old 03-17-2013
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What,a great source of info thanks
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