New Cal21 owner - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-10-2014 Thread Starter
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New Cal21 owner

Hello, all,

As the season up here in New England begins to wind downm, I am out looking for ways to clean up and fix up my newly acquired Cal21.

On August 10, 2014 I bought Cal21 Hull Number 430. She came with a trailer, original main sail, a storm jib and what I am thinking is a 125% jib/Genoa. She was in sailing condition, but dirty and well used. The interior had seen better days, but it looked like everything important was relatively intact. The berths all had new tops and were covered in outdoor carpeting. It has a keel plug and the keel cable is actually permanently attached. At about 4 1/2 kts, it begins to vibrate a little. There was no sign of her having a name, except a slight indication on the transom that something had been stenciled there. Being totally illegible, I named her the S/V TARDIS because she's blue, white, boxy, and feels bigger on the inside.

Inside the cabin, the tops of the center parts are gone, leaving only the outer most sections with horizontal space. The companionway hatch is a home made replacement and not the greatest at that, but it serves.

Over the winter, I'm hoping to get some of the following done to her:
  • General Cabin cleanup
  • New paint inside (Bed liner?)
  • Re-surface center cabin furniture
  • Add hatches to berths for extra storage
  • Make pillows/mattresses for berths
  • Re-wire electrical system (from scratch) (including new nav lights)
  • Minor sail repait on battens on the main sail

So... I thought I'd say hello to the folks here. I'm open to suggestions and if anyone has spare parts you want to get rd of, I may be interested in taking them off your hands. (Sails, mast step, masthead, etc.)

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Last edited by bchabot; 10-10-2014 at 11:13 AM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-12-2014
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Re: New Cal21 owner

Welcome to the Cal 21 family. I started a major overhaul last spring (?) and I'm still at it. Life happens and things get in your way.

Good luck on your project. Check out the other Cal 21 threads for more information and some good photos and data.

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post #3 of 5 Old 10-27-2014
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Re: New Cal21 owner

Welcome! I too recently acquired a Cal 21 (March 2013, hull 467) and had to basically rebuild the interior and work on a few other items. You can view the project here: (www in front - I don't have enough posts here to be able to spell out the whole website yet)

I had it docked all summer and sailed as much as my schedule and the weather would permit, and some days I would just sit and relax on it. Just the other day I pulled her out and trailered her home for the winter I also have a list of things I'd like to get done before next spring.

My keel cable is not permanently attached, but I keep it attached along with the locking bolt. Yes, there is a cable hum once you get up to speed, but I like the idea of having the cable attached as a backup just in case. The idea of only one half inch bolt holding the entire keel in place just doesn't sit well with me.

Anyway, any questions about the boat, I'd be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

Happy Sailing!
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-02-2014
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Re: New Cal21 owner

Hi Everyone, I thought I would take the opportunity to intriduce myself here as well. MY father and I recently acquired a Cal21 with trailer 6 hp johnson (too much motor?), two sets of sails and a roller furler. I haven't had a chance to sail her yet as I haven't been able to assess the condition of the keel.

I've been able to get a few ideas from postings here and elsewhere regarding how to go about maintaining and repairing the keel and related equipment as might be required. I'll share how I get on here and look forward to comments and knowledge from those of you with more experience.

I'm based in Connecticut and am relatively experienced in sailing Long Island Sound including the east river and lower hudson. I'm excited to trailer this boat to cape cod and some of the larger regional lakes (Lake George & Lake Champlain) over the next several years with my family.

Best Regards, Armando
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-14-2015
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Re: New Cal21 owner

I can offer advice based on our family's 38 year ownership of a CAL 21 (Hull # 285, 1970 model). We had the pivot area of the keel rebuilt a few times due to rusting around the pivot hole (by the way, pivot bolt should be 1" diameter, locking bolt was 1/2" -5/8" (don't recall exactly) but we modified our keel to allow use of a 1/4" brass bolt to allow it to break if we went hard aground (after bending a monel replacement of the original locking bolt when we hit a rock, ripping hte area of the keel trunk around the locking bolt). Yes, it DID make one heck of a BANG when we hit that rock!

I have lots of pictures. but unfortunately since we sold the boat in 2008, may or may not have what you need for pics. There was a link off Richard Fuller's Cal 21 web site with pictures of an owner rebuilding his boat's keel, it helped us... might help others!

We had a 4.5 hp British Seagull outboard originally, upgraded to a 4.5 hp Johnson in 1981, then a 4DLX Johnson (4hp) in 1989. the most common outboard on CAL 21s seems to have been the 6hp Johnson/Evinrudes. I wouldn't put anything more than that hp on, but I wouldn't go less than 3hp (although my little 2 hp Johnson would push NODROG if needed!). My advice would be 4-5 hp for most boating areas.

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1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
Other boats
1979 O'DAY DS II
1969 O'DAY Widgeon

Last edited by rjohnson; 07-20-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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