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post #29 of Old 11-29-2009
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Cal 22 design and history

Here is some history about the Cal22 from some personal coorospondence I had with the boat’s project manager, Robert W. Stringer, about 3 years ago...

“… I was the head of New Product Development @ O'Day/Cal in the late '80's. The Cal 22 was my first Job there. It was started in the Cal plant in Tampa and then moved to Fall River, MA in the O'Day plant in 85. There were about 100 22's made and all the info on them was destroyed when we went into Chapter 7. The 22 was a great boat with no signif. warranty problems. As you know she is simple but elegant and we designed her to be a fast day boat. The most boats were sold in CT (by Milford Boat Works) and in Charlotte NC. We had just formed a class organization and were about to hold our first nationals (in NC) when we folded. The deep keel was the best sailor and accounted for about 75%. The only thing I would do if i bought one (and it's on my list to do) would be to replace the Cruising Designs furler with a Harken. It was designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates (Peter Boyce) on Long Wharf in Boston and they probably still have a little info.

Ray Hunt was long dead, (1970) when these boats were built but his design firm, C. Raymond Hunt Associates pressed on and did all the modern designs for both CAL and O'Day. Jim Hunt, one of Ray's sons was President of the company at that time. Peter Boyce was basically the in house designer at CRHA for both O'Days and CAL along with help from John Deknatal (who worked with Ray) and Winn Willard. John and Winn did most of the custom stuff and powerboat stuff while Peter worked with us on the sailboats.

The CAL 24 was also a CRHA boat. We discontinued it when we brought the 22 out. While I have a real soft spot for the 22 if I had my choice at about the same price I would get a deep keel 24.

Almost all the C-22's were built at the O'Day plant in Fall River, MA. The prototype (on the brochure) and first few were built in the CAL plant in Tampa, FL before we closed it down. At the time the C22 was started we were owned by (but up for sale by) Lier Seigler Corp. We were in the "Starcraft" division at that time which was all the retail recreational marine products (Starcraft powerboats, Prindle Catamarans, CAL and O'day). Jim Hunt was president of the Sailboat division.

In regard to downwind speed, Peter Boyce of Hunt Associates who did the design was convinced when we built the boat (cause I asked him specifically) that you could fly a masthead kite with no mods. Yeah, the keels were pretty rough. They were done by Mars Metals who did all of our keels and we weren't willing to pay a whole bunch to have a really fair keel made.

Soon after Jim left we underwent a leveraged buy-out (very popular in the '80's) with management participating and with most of the money coming from a LBO guy named Lance Funston. Lance was a Texan who had done one other LBO with a furniture company.

At the same time the market was going to hell due to inflation in the '80's and the "Luxury Tax". Things went downhill pretty soon after that. Our mast and rigging supplier and our cushion manufacturer all sent us into chapter 7 bankruptcy. When I heard, the first thing I tried to do was get into the plant and save all the plans, R&D stuff and MCO's (manufacture change orders: which told when we did what on each boat) but it all was shredded in the first few days on the bank's orders !!!!)

When the auction finally came, most of the molds were bought by Pearson. The unfinished boats were sold off to the general public (watch out for some of these that were finished by guys in their backyard!). Pearson tried to build s couple of the O'Days, but sold off the CAL molds to a guy in Little Compton, RI. He built one 39 a couple of years later and showed it at Newport and Annapolis, but had no bites and went under. I have no idea where the CAL molds are now.

No O'Days or CALs were (to my knowledge) ever built in Canada.”

- Robert W. Stringer
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