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  #51  
Old 05-08-2012
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

We have been trying to figure out if the pivot bolt was to be tightened after lowering the keel...This is the first confirmation that I have seen of anyone actually doing that. I like the idea of mounting the plates on the keel. The lock pin may have broken when we winched up the keel (obviously important to remove this).

I can't thank you enough for all your input even though you haven't had your Cal 21 for several years. It seems like there are several of us looking to make improvements and since this is my first boat I have had a lot to learn! I want to say that I am enjoying every minute of it but the sanding was brutal.
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  #52  
Old 05-14-2012
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by JedNeck View Post
The 21 seems to be an odd little boat...sort of a black sheep in the Cal family. Just my style.

How many were even made?

I don't even know how many is alot...500? 5,000? 50,000?
They're not like cars...most people don't own boats...most boat owners don't have sailboats.
Exactly how many CAL 21s were built is hard to pin down exactly. Jensen Marine (aka CAL Sailboats) had 2 plants at the time that the 21 was in production, one in Costa Mesa, CA and one in Marlboro, NJ. They assigned sets of Hull#s to each plant, if the firsts digit is even, the boat came fro mthe East Coast plant (NJ) and if the first digit is odd, the boat is a West Coast (CA) built boat. The HULL# refers to the number of CAL 21s built, and for the boats built after November 1, 1972, that number was part of the 12-digit HIN. As I say, blocks of numbers were assigned to each plant, and they were used as boats were produced. Our boat was #285, delivered to us in March 1970 from the New Jersey plant. Because of the way Hull#s were issued, our boat may have actually been built before Hull # 199, or after Hull# 300. I am pretty sure that there were some hull#s in the 700s, but don't know how many boats in the 600s were built. Is everyone fully confused now?? Well, join the club! From 1967 to 1978 or so, many (but not all) CAL models were being built on both Coasts and the Hull# sets were set up the same as for the 21, even first number for East Coast, Odd first number for West Coast. That unfortunatelt makes it hard to pin down total number built.
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NODROG
1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
Other boats
SUNBIRD
1979 O'DAY DS II
BLUE BIRD
1969 O'DAY Widgeon
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  #53  
Old 05-14-2012
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

A few more thing to address the low number of CAL 21s built. I don't think it was problems stepping/unstepping the mast that "killed" the CAL 21. I know of many other similar trailerable sailboats that have had longer production runs than hte CAL 21 where the mast is not easier to deal with. My thought is that the 21 was JENSEN Marine's answer to the Venture 21 and maybe the Catalina 22, in some ways the CAL was better than either of those, in other ways less desirable. I know that for my family, the CAL 21 was much better set up for our use/needs, but the other boats had there good points too.
The CAL 21 was a sort-of "entry-level" CAL and was built (structurally) to the same standard as her larger (and in hte case of the CAL 20, slightly smaller) sisters. However, the CAL 21 was slightly more expensive than the Venture 21 and slightly less featured compared to the similarly priced Catalina. The CAL 21 was more or less "built to a price" and thus lacked a few nice features of more expensive boats, like drains for the cockpit seats (we eventually added some to prevent the typical puddles in the aft corners), a sliding main hatch, and access from the cockpit to stowage space under the cockpit. For us, the low price, yet great quality of a CAL, made the 21 very attractive, but the one feature that I still, to this day consider to be the Best/Worst feature of the CAL 21 may have potentially soured sales. THE KEEL! I feel that the CAL 21 is the only "True" RETRACTABLE KEEL boat from that era. Almost all other similar boats had "swing-keels", and thus would suffer drag from the always there keel cable, more drag from the always wide-open (on the bottom) keel trunk, and most others had cast-iron keels (contrary to the sales brochures, the keels on our CALs are fiberglass and lead, the only iron/steel is the backbone inside the keel). To be honest, MacGregor changed to a fiberglass encased keel eventually and the Cat 22 now has a lead-ballasted keel).
I have a feeling that the 21 was (after the first year or so) a low-production boat, and maybe not one that the dealers were pushing (unless located near a Venture Dealer?) and it may be that CAL couldn't hold the price down as low as they felt necessary after a few years?

Suprisingly enough, if you look up copies of YACHTING Magazine from the early to mid 1970's.... you will find that the CAL 21 was a pretty active RACING class! WOW! The CAL 20 was always know for racing......as is the 25 and the 40.....but the CAL 21 was active enough to have a National Class Association at one time. Racing should have brought some sales......but, apparently not? Now, I also don't know how much Jensen Marine promoted or assisted these Class (One-Design) racing activities, and that can affect popularity. Unlike other classes (O'DAY Mariner, Venture 21, Catalina 21, San Juan 21, CAL 20), I don't think CAL-Jensen ever mentioned the Class Association in their brochures.

Again, I suspect it was the well-intentioned, but maybe slightly complicated Keel set up that hurt sales more than mast raising. For our use, where we launched the boat in hte Spring, kept her on a mooring all Summer, then hauled out in the Fall. The Keel was a good feature, we had a "fixed keel" boat with all the performance and stability of a fin-keel boat. Yet, while hauled out.....we had a "centerboard" boat that sat long to the ground and was easy to work on without a tall ladder (storage cost at the boatyard was also based partly on height in those days, so with the keel retracted we saved $$). We could have even bought our own trailer and hauled/launched ourselves and stored boat in our own own yard (in fact for first 3 seasons we had a home-made cradle on wheels that we used to haul the boat out on the beach at my Grandparent's summer home).

Jensen "jumped on hte bandwagon" of small, entry-level, trailerable boats when they introduced the 21 as a 1970 model, but I have a feeling the 21 was never a major product in the line up. More than a few owners of larger CALs were introduced to CAL-Jensen by the 21, but the 21 may not have really fit the CAL focus. One last theory, the 21 may have been an attempt by Jack Jensen and Bill Lapworth to enter (actually, re-enter) the trailerable sailboat market, but perhaps Jensen's parent company, Bangor Punta felt the boat was not selling enough.....and dropped production. Perhaps it is the other way around? BP was pushing the idea, Jack Jensen didn't like it and thus didn't push the model. I tend to lean more towards Jensen and Lapworth being behind the boat 100% at least to try the idea! The original CAL, the California 24 was a trailerable boat, but with a shallow, full-keel that housed a centerboad, a good example of the early trailer-sailers, more "trailer-transportable" than really "Trailerable". More set up to allow visting other sailing areas by trailering than as a boat that was dry-sailed. Perhaps the 21 was seen the same way, better for exploring new waterways reachable by trailer than as a dry-sailed boat? Read the advertising copy and you get the feeling that Jensen Marine (or at least their ad agency?) knew little about the reality of trailering, now read a Venture/Macgregor brochure, which one makes that "15 minute" prep and launch sound realistic? I get a kick out the idea of using the CAL 21 as a camper while travelling, great idea...except with the mast carried like in hte brochure picture (I will post later), the jumper shrouds prevent opening the hatch! <GRIN!>

One last bit of "trivia" CAL used the same ramp for this photo shoot as used for years by Venture/Macgregor!
Attached Thumbnails
Cal 21 Owners-0709cal21.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_4a.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-quick-launch.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_front-.jpg  
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1979 O'DAY DS II
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1969 O'DAY Widgeon

Last edited by rjohnson; 05-14-2012 at 02:13 PM. Reason: added trivia
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  #54  
Old 05-14-2012
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

I'll try to post the full-color brochure here, sorry if it is a bit low-res to keep it small enough for posting limits.
Attached Thumbnails
Cal 21 Owners-cal21a.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_1a.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_2a.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_3a.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_5a.jpg  

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NODROG
1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
Other boats
SUNBIRD
1979 O'DAY DS II
BLUE BIRD
1969 O'DAY Widgeon
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  #55  
Old 06-02-2012
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mahogany tiller

Can you leave a wooden tiller in the water at all times? I have been removing mine after each use and am wondering if it is really neccesary.
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  #56  
Old 06-03-2012
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Re: mahogany tiller

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtwitty View Post
Can you leave a wooden tiller in the water at all times? I have been removing mine after each use and am wondering if it is really neccesary.
I assume that you are refering to the RUDDER, since the tiller is unlikely to be in the water since it is attached to the top of the rudder. You could leave the rudder in the water all the time, but it would require painting the part imersed in the water with antifoulant paint (even in freshwater) to repel slime and other nasties. Even then the rudder and the paint and/or varnish finish will last a lot longer if the rudder is sealed with a few thin coats of a good Epoxy before painting. However, by removing the rudder when not using the boat, the life of the rudder and fittings will be extended tremendously! Especially if you stow the rudder inside the cabin when you are not aboard. This allows the wood to dry out between uses and reduces exposure to the harmful UV rays of sunlight. With the rudder staying in hte water 24/7 it will slowly absorb water through any crack in hte paint/varnish finish which will tend to lift the finish off the wood and could lead to dry rot, but definitiely will soften the wood leading to the edges being more vulnerable to damage. Taking the rudder off and at least laying it in the cockpit will help to reduce that water penetration.
We always removed the rudder on our CAL 21 before going ashore each day, and during hte week the rudder was stowed in the cabin. This kept the rudder looking good for 38 years with a yearly application of 2 coats of varnish. The lighter colored patch is epoxy filler where I faired the damage caused by the outboard prop contacting the rudder. We added a plexiglas plate to the side of our outboard later to prevent that damage. The plate extended out from the "anti-ventilation" plate/fin on hte outboard just enough so that plexiglas fin hit the rudder before the prop would (sorry, don't have a good pic).
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Cal 21 Owners-rudder.jpg  
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NODROG
1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
Other boats
SUNBIRD
1979 O'DAY DS II
BLUE BIRD
1969 O'DAY Widgeon
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  #57  
Old 06-24-2012
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Hey, we are trying re-bed our chainplates. Does anyone know or can anyone measure the distance from the deck to the top of the chainplate or to the eyes of the chainplate? If you are browsing and see this post, we are trying to get this done today, 6/24! Thanks for your help!
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  #58  
Old 07-14-2012
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Thank you for the information. I too have hit the prop with the rudder and had to repair the gouge.

The question is now unimportant as I hit something with the rudder leaving our canal into the river. This caused the rudder to jump off of the bottom pin and bent the top. Minor repairs ensued but entering our river with the rudder on is now unadvisable.

Thanks against for the information. I have read several of your posts and replys and you seem to possess a wealth of information on the Cal 21.
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  #59  
Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Just bought a Cal 21 and looking forward in conversing with this group!
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  #60  
Old 02-20-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Hi, my husband bought a 1970 Cal 21 a few months back. We are trying to get her seaworthy, and now I think I'm more obsessed with the boat than he is.

Quick question: the end of the boom broke where the main sail tacks in at the mast, does anyone now of a decent place online (or near Sarasota, FL) that would have replacement parts? Thanks!
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