What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-23-2015 Thread Starter
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What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

I am looking at a Cal 29 and the beam obviously needs to be replaced. I see a lot of these boats online for sale from anywhere $8-18k. The one I am looking at needs a real good cleaning, some topside paint on the deck, a little gelcoat work, some fiberglass work, and of course the beam of death replaced.

So my question is, what is a steal and what is too much for a Cal 29 that needs the beam replaced? I want to attempt to replace it myself, but I am a little worried about taking on such a big job.

Also for the experts that have replaced their beams, how much did it cost to have a new stainless beam fabricated? I was thinking about instead of having a stainless beam made, I could get some marine plywood and laminate it to make a beam and cover it in fiberglass. What do you guys think of that plan?

Also would it be necessary to lower the mast or could one loosen the shrouds a bit, and place a post and jack in the cabin and take the weight off the compression post/bulkhead?

Also I read a post by tommays that the beam was the easiest job compared to other Cal 29 problems. Yikes, are there other known issues like the beam that I am not aware of?

Thanks a lot guys. I feel like this could be a good buy, but I need to talk to some other people that have done it before.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

what's a beam?
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

If you need to replace the maximum width of the hull, that's a serious problem.

Are you referring to some sort of step for the compression post?


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post #4 of 15 Old 03-24-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

Yes, the beam under the compression post. Pretty common problem in Cals.

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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

Got it. Looks like ugly job to me.

Market value typically goes down by more than the cost of the job. First, you don't know what you don't know. Maybe you get into it and reveal a new problem. Second is the inconvenience of having to fix it, when you could be sailing another hull without a problem, albeit will cost more.

The job looks like a ton of labor. While you could do so, like it seems Tommays did, when you already had the mast off, I think all the labor and expense for removing the mast counts against value too.

Good luck. I'm pretty weary of boats needing a known major project, because every boat needs a project you don't know about yet.


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post #6 of 15 Old 03-24-2015
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

I believe that in a wooden boat that the part you mean would be called a "strongback." In a FRP boat, we usually refer to the individual members of any part of the entire structural grid as a "stringer."

So now, after reading tommays thread (thanx, as I had not seen it), it seems that CAL designed the boat around a galvanized steel () strongback, which was covered with an FRP liner, and then had the compression post mounted on top. Then, CAL designed the icebox, the head compartment, and the limber hole for the bilge to pass through this structural component!

It appears that tommays replaced the galvanized steel with stainless, of a heavier gauge.
- credit SailNet user tommays

I very much like what tommays did to repair the job, but I would also look at doing the job with G10 instead of stainless. Even stainless steel will rust (it's called "stain-less," not "stain-proof" for a reason).

What is it worth? How much do you want to pay, realizing that you will have to do this job...


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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

Well I think you need to contact a professional to find out what it would cost to replace. Even if you plan on doing the work yourself. Subtract that from a low price of a real recently sold price (as in from sold boats, a broker can give you recent sales not listings as many are not realistic). Even if the rest of the boat is very good, this brings it to a poor state as this is structural. So here would be my analysis:

Likely real selling price of a decent Cal 29 $7,000 subtract out about $3,000 for the beam for professional job(just guessing but I can't see a professional doing it for less). Paint is going to be another $3,000 at least and fiberglass work likely $2,000 (It does not take much to get to that price) so you are in loosing territory if you get the boat for free. Now if you are going to do the work yourself OK, but remember your time is valuable. So don't discount it too much. Now how are the cushions? That is another couple of grand. Standing rigging is going to be about $1,500 minimum and close to a grand for running rigging if it needs it. What does the canvas work look like? Are there any blisters? When was the last time a bottom job was done on it?

So the value is likely $0 but good luck getting it for that. My suggestion is to look elsewhere, unless you happen to like projects more than sailing.

Tommay's seems to enjoy the project work. He does some very impressive work, and at a high standard. His paint work is especially impressive. Thing is if you don't do it to a very high standard you will be stuck with a boat that you cannot get rid of. I have seen more boats that have been hacked up and stuffed back together sitting on the hard to never see the water again. It can be a shame, and it really stinks for the owners who get in over there head as they loose money and often the dream of sailing.

Cal's are nice boats and sail quite well, but they are not the only game in town. And this project could well be the tip of the iceberg. If you enjoy the work, and think you can do it to high standards then go for it.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-27-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

Thanks for the responses guys. After a lot of thought, I passed on this Cal. I really liked it, and at first I was enthusiastic about the getting the boat and doing the repair. However I got a new job and won't have much time and I wanted something I could play with now.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-14-2016
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

Does the 30 ft Cal 9.2 have the same problem? I have heard these are not great for cruising? I heard they are very tender?
Any thoughts anyone?
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-13-2016
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Re: What is a Cal 29 worth that needs the beam replaced?

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Originally Posted by baloo750 View Post
Does the 30 ft Cal 9.2 have the same problem? I have heard these are not great for cruising? I heard they are very tender?
Any thoughts anyone?
I owned one for 20 years. I daysailed, raced and cruised it all over the southern New England coast. No, the Cal 9.2 is a completely different boat from the earlier Cals. Different designer (Ron Holland) and actually a Jeanneau design licensed by Cal. Decent cruising boat for a couple. Huge main cabin for it's size, with a small vee berth. A bit tender, but a delight to sail upwind. Like most IOR designs, a handful downwind with a spinnaker in stronger winds. Note there are three versions - the 9.2 with a shoal or standard keel and the 9.2R with a deeper keel and taller double spreader mast. Watch out for condition of the raw water cooled Universal 5411 diesel. Good boat that can be had for a bargain price.
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