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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-22-2016 04:30 PM
Fog Bank
Re: Cal - Reputation of Quality

I love our Cal. She's built like a tank, and never lets us down. She may not be the fastest, or the prettiest, but she is dependable and consistent. That is all I could ever ask.
04-10-2016 09:52 AM
Re: Cal - Reputation of Quality

I have an opportunity to acquire a well loved and maintained Cal 30 for $5000 - it's an emergency sale, the owner is relocating.

I'll post some pictures when I get to see it next weekend.
09-05-2012 10:18 PM
Re: Cal - Reputation of Quality

GOOD LUCK with your new CAL Tanley! Just checking in after the long weekend. Great thread, great responses from the Cal crew. We've had 2, and the 2-29 is one well bulit, solid sailing and comfortable boat. The 28 is most likely as good. Read some of the threads and it'll convince you. It's true, Lapworth knew his business well. These boats were designed over 40 years ago and are still getting around. Even in the harsher, tropical Hawaii conditions. Hope that you get and that it's great!
Good Luck,

Oh, This thread is not new...Still GREAT boats though.
09-05-2012 12:00 PM
Mark S.
Re: Cal - Reputation of Quality

Hi All:

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!
01-12-2010 07:44 PM
cal quality

Even the best boat will need some work if it has not been maintained to some degree. I'm not that familiar with the 29, although I know they sail fast. My boat is a 1979 Cal 39 with the 3 cabin layout. I've done a lot of upgrades and found a few places where I had to do some caulking to fix some deck leaks, but overall, considering the age ,there were no major problems. I've had a few haulouts and there is not a blister anywhere to be found. We were only going to keep the boat as a "transition" boat, but it sails so fast and strong I think we'll keep her. Had the hull and deck LP'd; upgraded systems; and repowered the original engine. Quality wise I would stack this boat up against any similar boat on the market.
01-12-2010 07:33 PM
Waltthesalt I too have a Cal 29..'74. I'd assess the quality as mid-grade quality for the time. How the boat's been maintained and upgraded may be a bigger factor along with your preferences. I've done a lot of upgrading and that's easy to do on the Cal. In this market you should be able to get a well maintained boat upgraded with what you want at a reasonable price. Three things warrant special attention. Check for hull blistering, the fix is eapensive and time consuming. When I got my Cal 20 years ago I got one that has been peeled and epoxied. Check for deck water intrusion, that is fittings that have alllowed water to get into the deck's core. Sometimes you have to take a fastener out to see if water's inside. The fix is costly and painful. Finally the engine. Ideally you'd want a boat that's been repowered. Again a costly job
01-12-2010 06:33 PM
older cals

I've been around Cals and other boats for a number of years. I currently have a 39. It can still walk by any comparably sized boat out on the water. The quality of construction of the Cals is bulletproof as they used a lot of fiberglass. Hunters and Catalinas are cheaper construction and are much more flimsy by comparison. I've seen Hunters and Catalinas run into things (such as pilings) which caused major damage to the boat where Cals have only had minor gelcoat damage. Try putting a thru hull fitting in a Hunter--the hole will take about 2 seconds to cut through. A Cal takes awhile because the glass is about 5 times as thick. I've seen glass thickness in the bow of a Catalina 36 thats about a quarter inch thick, which is pretty thin. Ericksons are another fine boat and well constructed. The other difference is the Hunters and Catalinas tend to have that motor home look with the fake wood where Cals and Ericksons use real teak. I'd by an older Cal, such as the 34. It's fast and strong enough to take you anywhere you care to go.
10-23-2009 07:01 PM
Waltthesalt I've had a '74 Cal 29 for about 20 years. It was built by Jensen Marine and represents mid-grade qualtiy for the era. Most Cals were built to be a good solid club racer/cruiser. I've done a lot og upgrading find it's stick interior easy to work on. A fellow named D'Arcy took one to Tahiti and has a web page devoted to it you can google. As was typical of all 70s era boats Cals can have osmotic bilstering. It helps if you can find a boat that's been pealed and exoxied. But you will find this risk with about all boats in that categroy. Cal 29s can also have a issue with corrosion of the mast step girder. There's photos on this web site showing someone who cut it out and replaced it.... a reely big job. You can see if you have a problem by looking at the tabs that hold the bulkhead to which the mast is stepped. But I reals don't know anyone else who's gone in and done that job and there's a lot of Cal 29s around. All boats have thier soft spot. Of the boats you're takling about it probably means more about how they were maintainde than anything.
10-23-2009 03:06 PM
Don0190 I have a "newer" 1988 Cal-39 that was built at the O'Day factory toward the end. The quality is as good as any boat you will find. In fact I would say that it kind of shows that what sometimes gets talked about as being 'better" doesn't really matter in the long term as "good" holds up just as well.
09-30-2009 09:56 AM
Waltthesalt I like my '74 Cal 29. I consider it to be average quality for the time. If it's an older boat you buy Plan on setting aside money to refurbish the boat whatever you get. I think the biggest hull concern is blistering (osmosis). I don't know when manufacturers addresses it ant that ceased to be problem and that would be a good thing to find out. When I looked for my Cal I looked for a boat that had already been peeled and epoxied. But even that's not a guarantee.
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