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  #61  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Well has been a while since I have been on here. My Cal21 project has been on the trailer for a while. Too much going on in my life. But am thinking of getting going again and have a question in case anybody is paying attention out there. I want to cut off a portion of the mast to "improve", read tame, my boat a bit. The boom is so high over the cockpit that I think I could drop it 12-14 inches and still have a comfortable boat. Wouldn't have to cut the sails either. Yes, ducking the boom would be needed when tacking or jibing, but hey aren't most boats like that? Any and all advice will be appreciated. Thanks
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  #62  
Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Well, speaking as someone who sailed a CAL 21 for 37 years, I wouldn't do it. First, it really isn't going to improve anything (except maybe reduce your "air draft" by that 12-14".... but that only helps if you have been squeezing under bridges).
Problems will far outweigh any minor benefits from shortening the mast. I assume that you would cut that length off the top of the mast, which means needing to replace the backstay with a shorter one. The jumper rigging will need to be modified, and that will change it's geometry.... might still be effective... but, might not. You can't just move the jumper struts lower to maintain the setup since they mount using hte same fitting as the forestay and the same bolt holds the upper shroud tangs in place.
Lowering the boom will interfere with opening the main hatch unless your boat has been modified to have a sliding hatch. Even with the stock position for the boom, it can slide down the mast when the sail is lowered and be in the way of opening/closing the hatch.
I now regularly sail an O'DAy Day Sailer and the boom is much lower than on the CAL 21, I miss the higher boom of the CAL, it was usually over head while sailing and did not have any effect on visability to leeward like the boom on hte Day Sailer does.
Lowering the boom will reduce your ability to effectively use a boom vang, a good addition to any sailboat. There will be less room for the downhaul, although I guess you could switch to a fixed gooseneck to eliminate the need for the downhaul to hold the boom from sliding up hte mast... but without the boom downhaul you would be limited to using the halyard alone to tension the luff of the sail, not easy to do on the CAL 21 (Better to have that downhaul). Alternatively, a cunningham could be setup, but that adds complication to the rigging.
Getting back to the first point.... dropping the boom by 12-14" is not going to have enough effect on stability to "tame" the boat, and will introduce far more "untame" issues than it stops. You might not mind having to duck under the boom EVERY time you tack, but believe me.... it does get tiresome at times. Again, I really don't see any way that lowering hte boom like that will "tame" the CAL 21, a boat that is already pretty "tame" if sailed as intended.

In the end, your boat is YOUR BOAT, not mine, but I see no advantage to shortening the mast 12-14" and lowering the boom. I do see plenty of disadvantages to doing so.
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NODROG
1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
Other boats
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1979 O'DAY DS II
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  #63  
Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Did you find a source for a new boom end yet?
The BEST idea would be to contact Steve Seals in California, he used to work for Jensen Marine and now sells rigging parts for many of our good-old CALs (especially the 20 and 25). The 21 used the same mast (and boom?) as the 20 and the boom fittings are mostly the same. I know he isn't in Florida...... but what he sells is a direct replacement for the original. Seal Marine (not exactly sure of company name, but GOOGLE Steve Seals) is on-line and has pictures posted of most parts that they sell.

There is a GREAT marine surplus store in Florida (can't recal name) but they are on hte East coast, I saw them on Ship-Shape-TV. I'm also not sure how much sailboat hardware they have..... but??

I've included a pic of the gooseneck from our CAL 21.
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Cal 21 Owners-230458349103_0_alb.jpeg  
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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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  #64  
Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Hey Rod, thanks for your attention to my query! You made one assumption that I think throws everything in a negative direction - that I would cut off at the top of the mast. Not what I had in mind. It would be a simple matter to take off the bottom of the mast. Then I think the only thing that would need adjustment are the shrouds/stays where they attach to the hull, and the hatch. You are right about the hatch! I think a sliding hatch at the companionway makes a lot of sense for me anyway. And the sails would all still fit.
I also am not sure that the heeling effect of a foot or so lower sail plan would not be beneficial for this old man. Looking at pictures of my Cal in the yard with the sails on, I almost think somebody put a new mast on from a different boat. It just doesn't fit this little 21 footer. Thanks for being on this thread. You have been a great help on many issues.
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  #65  
Old 04-05-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

The original CAL 21 mast would be 26'0" extrusion length (same as the CAL 20) so if your mast matches (or nearly?) matches that length is is original or at least is the correct length.
I figured you would cut off from the top due to that requiring less modification of rigging. If you cut off from the bottom you will need to move everything up or else shorten all the standing rigging (instead of just the backstay and jumpers). I still don't think that shortening the mast will really make enough difference to notice, especially considering the extensive work to make the mod. You will only be reducing the height of the center of sail area by that 12-14", with a triangle shaped sail, most of the heeling force from that sail is towards the lower half of the sail (given stock CAL 21 sail plan the center of the sail area is 8'6" above the cabin top) reducing that to 7'6" or even 7'4" will make virtually no difference in the heeling force of the sail plan, The slight reduction in mast weight will have a negligible effect, if any.

Now, if it did turn out that your boat DOES in fact have a "non-standard" mast, that is longer than 26' and/or a larger section extrusion........ reducing the mast down to the original dimension of 26' might be worthwhile....... then again... it still may not make enough of a difference {although, it would not be a bad idea to get the spar back to as close to the original (Lapworth design/Jensen built) specs.... still best to consult with a spar maker or yacht designer, (or a friendly mechanical engineer?)}

I have a copy of the original CAL 21 Sail Plan as drawn by Bill Lapworth, however it is too big to scan. The brochure pics below are a good start.

So, anyway...... your boat, your choice, but I still think that shortening the mast is a lot of complicated work for very little if any gain... and possible will make thing worse in the long run. It would certainly reduce the resale value.

How old are your sails?? Believe it or not, older sails that have stretched out will increase heeling effect and reduce the driving power of the sails. We replaced our sails after 23 seasons and were "blown away" (pun intended?) by the improvement made by new sails! Adding a roller-furling jib also made sailing much easier for my Dad as he could then easily and quickly reduce sail by furling the jib, then increase hte sail as hte wind died back down by unfurling hte jib. I suspect replacing or at least "retuning" the sails wil lhave more effect on "taming" the boat and cost considerably less than modifying the mast height. A local Sailmaker can inspect your sails and recommend repairs/updates or else yo ucould send the sails to a company known as "SAILCARE" that will make any needed repairs, then recoat the sails with a resin to restore their life. As long as your sails are not terribly stretched out, this will be a very viable idea. Again, retuning the sails like that will help to reduce heeling while improving light air (and normal condition winds) performance. I'm not saying it will "turbocharge" the boat, that seems counter to what you wish to acheive,.... but that better sail shape goes a long way towards easier sailing and more enjoyment, improving control of the boat. It might even be worth having hte mainsail recut to slightly reduce it's area by eliminating the "roach" or outward curve of hte trailing edge, you won't really miss that area, but it will make handling hte sails easier (and might breath new life into a tired sail as well, for less $$ than new or rebuilt sails). Plus, a new mainsail if you were to sell the boat is going to be less $$ than a new mast of the original height.
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Cal 21 Owners-21sails2.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-cal21_front.jpg   Cal 21 Owners-nodrog.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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  #66  
Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Thanks again Rod, My mast is indeed 26' long. Same as the Cal20. The Cal20 has 1'4" more waterline, 4" more beam, 940lbs more ballast, and last but surely not least about 500lbs more weight in it's fixed keel. I think the sail area is the same too. I see a roller furling jib as mandatory for single handing this boat.
I expect to drop the boat in the water in about a month or so. I will sail it some more and make up my mind about cutting off the bottom of the mast.
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  #67  
Old 05-01-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Just picked up a CAL 21... Keel was lost at sea and by the former owner... I am looking for another retractable... I am finding out the they are hard to come by. If you know of one I can salvage please let me know. Thanks
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  #68  
Old 05-01-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Wow, lost keel at sea and made it back?! Hard for me to imagine how it could stay upright w/o ballast. But to answer your question, no I don't know where you can find a replacement unless you buy one of the boats for next to nothing that I have seen advertised. Haven't looked in a couple of years, but they were plentiful and cheap($1000?) then. BTW, where are you located?
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  #69  
Old 05-02-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Thanks for the encouragement Rippy! I think I will opt to part out this Cal 21 since I have a good mast, boom, sails and a lot of hardware... Need to get a hull with a keel and find parts that are a little easier to come by... Later!
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Old 05-04-2014
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Re: Cal 21 Owners

Ron,

Do you have a Cal 21 bow pulpit or stern rail you would like to sell. I'm looking for those.

Olin
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