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  Topic Review (Newest First)
1 Week Ago 01:10 PM
Re: Cal 31

BillRedd1, I had an Adler/Barbour unit on my Cal 35, which has a large box like the 31. My experience is that it is not powerful enough for a box that size, particularly if no additional insulation has been installed. Having said that, the unit was pretty reliable and was not too hard on the batteries.

If I was to install a refrigeration unit, I would strongly consider dividing the icebox up into several smaller compartments, cooling only one of the compartments. So far, we have gotten quite good at doing without one.
1 Week Ago 12:06 PM
Re: Cal 31

My recently purchased 1979 Cal 31 has a Adler/Barbour refrigeration unit installed. I have not focused on trying to getting it going yet. Has anyone had any experience with this unit or have any comments about it?

1 Week Ago 11:57 AM
Re: Cal 31

I saw your earlier post regarding motoring performance. The engine is rated at 16 hp. I can't help you on the transmission ratio or the propeller size. I checked the owner's manual I have and it makes no reference to either. She currently has a 2 blade prop.

I have done very little motoring and she seems to move fine. I will make note of my rpm and speed the next time I'm out. The only motoring complaint I have is the way she backs. Kick hard to starboard.

I have two suggestions for you:

1. Inquire to the C31 community if anyone knows the stock prop.
2. A good propeller shop should be able to recommend a prop based upon the specs of the boat and engine.

Good luck.
1 Week Ago 11:02 PM
Re: Cal 31


Glad to make your acquaintance. Our Cal 31 is now in Carrabelle, Florida. We made the 1000 mile trip from Chattanooga to there in two segments over the last two years. Getting ready to sail her to Ft. Myers, FL in mid October.

Quick many hp is your Volvo, is your transmission 1:1 or 2:1 gear reduction and what size propeller are you running. I noticed with mine, which is 16 hp and 2:1, that the propeller might be too small as I can only get 4.5 mph out of it at 2500 rpm.

Windchaser 31
2 Weeks Ago 08:40 PM
Re: Cal 31

I just joined this site and thread and am delighted to have found so many Cal 31 owners! I too am a new Cal 31 owner. I purchased a 1979 with wheel and Volvo 7D engine. She was donated to a charity and I purchased her from the charity. She was obviously neglected for quite some time. I'm giving her tlc to restore her to serviceable condition. I don't have any questions at this time, but wanted to say Hello.

She is in the Rhode River off of the Chesapeake Bay, south of Annapolis. Sails wonderfully. Look forward to sharing the joys and challenges of Cal 31 ownership with you.
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
Re: Cal 31

Jeflaba, you are right on target about the Cal31 icebox. It is too big and too poorly insulated for a typical add-on refrigeration unit. Our previous owner tried to improve by drilling holes in the box and pumping foam insulation behind it. What a mess!

Depending on what your refrigeration goals and ambient air temperature are, a thermoelectric unit is a possibility. We use our boat primarily in the winter and don't need to freeze anything, so it would fit for us (manufacturers claim it will cool to 40 deg. below ambient). I have used one and it is not at all as aggressive a cooler as a compressor unit, but it is simple, cheap and quiet.

I have also used a small regular home depot 110 ac refrigerator. Will keep foods quite cold, is relatively inexpensive and power use is manageable. Obviously not built for salt water conditions but will last several years. Not a bad option either.

Unless you are going long term offshore I wouldn't bother with improving the existing icebox. We store all of our canned and dry foods in it and it does fine for that.

As always check power consumption and battery/recharge system for compatibility.

11-09-2014 12:15 AM
Re: Cal 31

Just a quick note about refrigeration. The icebox in the CAL31 is huge and very poorly insulated. It would not make sense to install any kind of refrigeration without resolving this problem. There are two solutions I see. One is to build a new box inside the old one with adequate insulation - also making the capacity less which is ok by me. The other is to tear out the existing box (maybe including the cabinet and top) and start over. My understanding is that the icebox was just a plastic insert with foam blown on the outside and then dropped into place as the cabinet was being built. I am leaning on the latter approach even though it would be more expensive. As for the refrigeration system itself I have had quotes from $700 to $2000. I am concerned that the low end air cooled unit would not be up to the task and would really prefer the more expensive water cooled unit (some use a heat transfer system that does not require a pump). The whole project is looking very expensive and will never be recovered at resale. Maybe just a small 110 VAC unit to fit under the drop down table and used only when in the slip or when the motor is running would be a (short term) solution though not very elegant. Has anyone else done this?
09-16-2014 12:56 PM
Re: Cal 31

Hello Tankersteve,

Congratulations on acquiring your Cal 31. When I purchased my 1980 model I found several things needed immediate attention.

1. The boat was in fresh water and had not been hauled out in many years. The hull was full of blisters. Fresh water increases the potential for blister development and should be checked if the boat hasn't been hauled in awhile.

2. The heat exchanger had corroded and the previous owner tried to fill the hole with putty; a really poor fix. I replaced it with a new unit from Toad Marine.

3. The engine hoses looked ok but were rotten. If they haven't been replaced recently, do so. It isn't very expensive if you buy the hose in bulk and cut it yourself. Don't waste money on the hose kits available online.

4. Check the propellor shaft seal packing. Mine was worn out and dry. Pretty easy to replace.

5. Check all through hulls by tugging on them. One of my plastic ones broke immediately with a moderate tug. I like plastic, but old fittings can be really deterioated even though they don't look bad.

6. Check the tanks and tank hoses for leaks and general condition. My fuel tank started leaking in transit down the Tenn-Tom waterway. Not pretty.

Good luck and great sailing.

09-16-2014 10:25 AM
Re: Cal 31

Hi, I just bought a 1984 Cal 31. The PO is my father, and he had the boat for about 10 years, so I feel confident in the condition (plus the deal was pretty sweet).

The boat has been freshwater for at least 2 decades, if not since commissioning. What things shoul I be looking for as I get ready to move her to Virginia and put her in the Chesapeake?

I am thinking replacing plastic thru-hulls, check heat exchanger, replace zincs, and obviously change the bottom paint. I'll also check standing rigging and rudder stuff.

07-14-2014 09:53 PM
Re: Cal 31

Jeflaba, was thinking about refrigeration. I put a 12volt Adler Barber in the icebox on my previous Cal35 and was a little underwhelmed with the performance. I think the box was too big for the capacity of the unit.

If your icebox is as big as the one on my Cal31, I am not sure you will be happy with a typical 12v Adler Barber or Dometic unit (just doesn't get cold enough). Right now I am doing ok without and the icebox is used for canned food storage. However, if I decide to add refrigeration I will either get a much smaller 12v refrigerator or put a higher capacity holding plate that can be run off the enigine in the current icebox.
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