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  #1  
Old 04-25-2006
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Cal 24 First Impressions

Just bought a Cal 24. I haven't sailed her yet or even gotten her in the water. I'll post more after I get her out.

Overall, I love this boat so far. I think she's got pretty lines all around but I am especially in love with the rudder. Might sound silly but I moved up from a trailer sailor, with the rudder hanging off the transom, so maybe it is just new boat giddiness. Almost lost the last one one day out on Lake Erie when she jumped outta the gudgeons because I hadn't used a cotter pin that day. A quick grip on the tiller saved it from a quick trip to the bottom. Still, the Cal 24 rudder just looks cool and the tiller post is nicely located in the cockpit.

Down below, the cabin is nicely done, with plenty of storage. I really like the removable cooler/bottom step thing. It's an actual Igloo cooler with a teak board mounted on top. Sets in a cut out space to be the bottom step when going below. Easy to remove and fill. Igloo brand says it really works and you could replace it easily, though I don't know if the footprint size may have changed. Wouldn't be difficult to create a new custom cutout, if you wanted to replace the cooler. Head room is the one disappointment. I haven't measured it but it's only about 5 feet, maybe a little less. I'm only 5'6" and I have to crouch a bit while walking through. Standing in the companionway, my head sticks out and nothing else.

That's all I have for now. Will be back when I have more.

Last edited by Hawkwind; 04-25-2006 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 04-25-2006
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I'm happy to hear of your acquisition. I've sailed a mid 80s Cal 24 many times, and I was always impressed by it's stability. The one we took out could cut through swells with authority, and my youngest daughter appreciated that. I also liked the external gas tank storage in the back (vented to the cockpit, not the bilge).

The only quirk we had with the boat was the outboard motor mount put the outboard a fair distance off the stern, and reaching through the stern pulpit was a bit of an art form for starting, shifting, etc. Odds are you'll have a better mount that we did.

Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2006
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Well, the boat is in the water and motors well.

My motor is a 1997, 8hp Merc, longshaft. The controls are long enough that I'm able to reach them fairly easily. This model of motor shifts simply by twisting the throttle ccw, so no problems there.

The problem is getting the motor up out of the water. lol The mount I have isn't real easy to use. I think the PO took off part of the handle in an attempt to jury rig something. He mentioned having trouble lifting the motor and trying to set up a system using a rope so he wouldn't have to lean over the stern. The result is that I have a handle about 2 inches wide to move the slide in and out of the lock slots. Oh well, I'm sure I'll come up with something to make this a little easier.
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Those grand fresh-water seas of ours - Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan, - possess an ocean-like expansiveness...They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles...they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories...they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew. --from Moby Dick
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Old 08-13-2006
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If this is any consultation, I had a 1976 CAL 25, The best boat I've ever had. I replaced her with a Catilana 27, she was too tender for the wife. I sailed my CAL for two years starting in 1997. We took a trip from Maumee Bay in Toledo Ohio to Cedar Point in sandusky Ohio. We were fully layden with the water line stripes under water and still doing six knots. Cals are a great boat, designed to preform. on the way back with little air I started the Merc. 9.9outside the channel at Cedar Point and it only used three gallons of gas to get us home. I say it again, Cals are great! Congrats'.
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Old 08-31-2007
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I've been meaning to update this post in case anyone is thinking of a Cal 24.

My above post on the difficulty in lifting the motor is still my number one complaint with this boat. I rigged up a lever and rope system to make it easier. Basically, it's an axe handle lever with grooves cut to keep it from slipping on the stern rail. A rope goes over the end, hooks to the motor mount and I lever the thing up.

Otherwise, I still love this boat. I had one problem with a water leak that turned out to be from the bilge pump hose. While moving fast, especially under power, the back end of the boat squats a bit and the outlet for the bilge pump becomes submerged. Add a split hose and a lot of water comes in.

The boat is very manueverable under power. In my marina, there is only about a 30ft. behind me before I hit a boat and I share a 20ft wide space with another boat. I have an 8ft beam so there isn't a lot of extra room.

Under sail, I have no complaints. She is so balanced, it scares me. I have literally gone below, popped the forward hatch, taken a pee, flushed, closed the hatch and returned to the cockpit to find I'm still on course, even though I didn't even tie the tiller. I never worried about sailing alone on my old boat cause she would point up so fast, I always imagined that I could swim back if I fell overboard. I hate to admit it, but I now wear a life jacket when I'm alone and moving around the deck.

One thing I may change is the center cockpit, mainsheet layout. The mainsheet block is on the floor of the cockpit which means I have to bend over til my hand is almost on the cockpit floor to lock the line. To release it, I just pull up so it's not dangerous, just annoying. I've stubbed my toe on the block once or twice and the line being constantly in my face just annoys me. My traveler is on the stern so I would just rather have the block there too and clean up the mess in the middle of the cockpit.
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Those grand fresh-water seas of ours - Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan, - possess an ocean-like expansiveness...They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles...they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories...they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew. --from Moby Dick
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Old 09-07-2007
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Here's a picture of the axe handle lever gizmo. It's not fancy, but it works.

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Those grand fresh-water seas of ours - Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan, - possess an ocean-like expansiveness...They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles...they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories...they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew. --from Moby Dick

Last edited by Hawkwind; 09-07-2007 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: Cal 24 First Impressions

Hawkwind, my Cal 24 was the best boat I ever owned. I should never have sold it.

I solved the motor lifting problem in a different way that is more compact and nautical. I fixed two snatch blocks each with two pulleys. I tied block No. 1 off a metal handle on the backside of my Nissan OB; then I tied block No. 2 off to my taff rail. Then I took a piece of line and tied it off the same metal handle as block NO. 1. Ran it up to Block No. 2 and through it's first pulley. Then back down to Block No. It went through its first pulley; then back up to block no. 2 through its second pulley. To bring the motor up, a pull on the line and up comes the motor with no effort. You do have to release the motor mount handle out of the last slot first so you can get it moving.
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Old 04-28-2014
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Re: Cal 24 First Impressions

Would you happen to have a picture or diagram of this system for lifting the engine on the Cal 24?
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