Originally Posted by sailingdog
I am wondering why you think a Cal 40 is not strong enough for multiple ocean passages. The Cal 40 is one of the more successful ocean going racing designs...granted an older one...but of very good lineage. It may not be the most modern design...but is most definitely a most capable bluewater boat.
My thoughts are that any given Cal 40 may or may not be a good choice, based on the following:
1) These boats were made in the 1960s, and many have been raced and cruised hard. How long can the strength of deck fittings and the hull/deck joint be expected to last, for example?
2) The "Construction" section of the Practical Sailor review makes it clear that there could be structural issues with Cal 40s. The tabbing of the wooden structures to the hull was light, and probably needs to be reinforced. The original design was to lighten the boat by making these structures integral to the strength of the hull, and failure of these bonds could be a big problem. The hull skin construction was also relatively light, with a tendency to oilcan in heavy weather, resulting in possible hull-deck leaks.
Now, these issues can obviously be addressed, or Cal 40s wouldn't be as popular as they are today for racing, but I also know that I probably won't have the war chest of funds and time that many racers have for reinforcing and maintaining a 1960s boat.
Thus, I think a Cal 40 could be a good choice, or a bad choice, based on previous care issues. In the end, however, we are talking about 40 year old boats, meaning that just about anything original on the boat could have a ? mark over it. I already have a 1967 and 1973 boat, and I wouldn't mind breaking into the 1980s someday...