Regarding Cal quality, here are some good quotes I've heard myself...
1. "Cals will be able to get you back when other boats won't." (direct quote from Doug Hamlin, a former worker at the Cal factories back in the day).
2. "They cross oceans all the time." U.S. Coastguardsman during safety re-inspection.
3. "A great boat" and "this boat never had blisters and never will" - Surveyor for Port of Long Beach I've been told, and highly recommended, talking about Seasters during the survey.
4. "Sounds like a well-balanced boat" U.S. national sailing champ (and Seaster's next door neighbor) when told how Seasters literally sails by herself with some quick sail trim. If you have Weather Helm and the boat wants to round up into the wind, sheet out your main a bit or sheet in a bit on the jib
/genoa. If you have Lee Helm (boat wants to turn away from the wind), either let out the jib
/genoa a bit to reduce that sail's power, or sheet in the main sail to increase it's power. With just a little bit of sail trim/adjustment, Seasters literally sails by herself!
Sure, there are other nice sailboats out there, but it seems the Cal's have a mystique about them throughout the sailing world!
Seasters is a 1979 Cal 31' which was acquired late in 2011 for a very good deal at $14,000 in overall very good condition including:
18 hour old Yanmar 3YM20 (21 h.p.) diesel engine, canvas galore, newer running rigging
, running lights
/electrical all ok, sails ok, interior ok (but changed out for $1,200). Fits into a 30' slip, has a great feel at the helm, by far the best of the four total sailboats I've had. I firmly believe that you'd be hard pressed to hear any negative comments about Cal sailboats!