Just bought a Cal 39 MKII... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-08-2017 Thread Starter
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Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

Hi all, just bought (well, only the survey left) a Cal 39 MKII. I have tread so much about this boat and it seems everybody is super enthusiastic. Mine has a practically new engine (54 HP) and all rigging (both 2010), fridge, electronics etc. I think I made a good deal at 42.5K, but let's await the verdict after the survey. I have some questions, maybe someone here can help out:

1- Mine is a 1977 model, launched 1978... Now that sounds weird, because the MKII only started in 1978. Maybe I have the first one, which they started building in 1977 and finished in 1978? How to check?
2- How do I check if my Cal 39 is a tall rig or a short rig?
3- I can't find a Cal 39 owner forum. Anyone knows if there is one?
4- What to check for during the survey? I read up a lot and found the following, but it may be incomplete:
-Rudder issues
-Serious blistering on some Cal 39ís
-Whole mechanical steering system (exterior and interior)
-Steel beam for the mast step (encased in the boat's structural fiberglass pan) is prone to rusting, being that itís made of galvanized steel. Some boats have a screw in type inspection port, with others, youíll need to use a borescope. Should the beam need replacing, you pretty much have to disassemble (destroy) the entire internal fiberglass structure inside of the boat in order to do this. Along with all of the furniture, & bulkheas as well.
-The hull to deck joints are crap. And leak a lot. Some have been re-glassed, which fixes the problem
-Stringers and floors and exterior trim (cabin soles are weak and flex, and thus the table wobbles, exerting undue leverage on the sole).
-Original traveler systems were low quality.
-The deck is balsa-cored. Check for rot/ soft deck
-Deck delamination and leaky hull-to-deck joints issues
-The nonskid is likely well worn
-Teak toerail
-Be sure to check the wire terminals on the standing rigging for cracks and crevice corrosion
-Many boats have plastic portlights, be wary of broken dogs and cracked frames
-The original teak-and-holly cabin sole is not well supported and may need work

Thanks so much, any reply is appreciated!
Bart
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-08-2017
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

Welcome to the CAL family! Well, almost.

As to if you are looking at a Mk1 or a Mk2, they are completely different boats. Sailboatdata.com says the Mk1 was only made for a few year in the early 70s then replaced by the Mk2 in the late 70s. I suspect this is a Mk2. Here's the data on the Mk2.
CAL 39 MK II (1-147) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
And here's the Mk1.
CAL 39 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Note the different keel, rudder, etc.

If the listing doesn't specify if its a standard or tall ring, have the surveyor take some rig measurements with a tape measure to confirm.

Good luck!

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1985 Cal 33-2
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-16-2017
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

I too am thinking of buying a Cal 39. There is definite confusion regarding MKII and MKIII.
One clue is the HIN identifier on the hull.
The big question from this is the model number (designated as a letter but no reference to correlation of letter to model number)
and the actual sequence number - supposedly from the sailboatdata website the MKII was hull numbers 1-147 however this does not make much sense because they said that the final hull number of the MKIII is 151.
The hull number year is the year and month the hull was laid in the mold and not when it was finished - so how do you tell which model you have.
The sailboatdata website also said that the MKII was made from 1978 to 1982 and the MKIII is 1983 on but again there is discrepancy on this. Any expert out there know the truth of the Cal 39 models?????
Thanks
Andy
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-16-2017
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

I don't pretend to be a Cal 39 expert, but I think the dates listed for the Mk2 and Mk3 are correct. The Mk3 being 1983 on. And the total production is about 150 boats, so 1-147 for the Mk2 is probably not correct. The differences between the two are subtle. I believe the Mk2 had an open quarterberth while the Mk3 had an enclosed aft cabin. If correct, that would be an easy way to determine which you are looking at.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-02-2018
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

I have the Cal 39 mark III, which was built in 1979. It is the three cabin layout with 2 heads. Very fast and strong. The couple we bought her from "moved up" to a Beneteau 393. They called a few weeks later and wanted to buy the Cal back. Seems they got into a little weather and the Mrs. didn't like the way the bulkheads were flexing on the Beneteau. She didn't feel safe, we declined the offer.

Interesting thing on mine is the hull number is shown as #529. I think it's probably #129 based on the dates of others on the web.
We had intended the Cal to be a transition boat to something "better" but liked her so much we decided to put some money in her and keep her. Had the hull/decks Awlgripped, new engine, new Anderson 52 self tailers, new Autohelm prop and shaft, new furler, etc. I can strongly recommend the Autohelm prop, it pretty much eliminates any walking when you put the boat in reverse which makes it a dream to back up. On the rudder "issue", I'm not sure if it is one. When I haul out for bottom paint, I have the yard drop the rudder and inspect the shaft. So far, no problems and the shaft looks like it did on day one. I've had the boat for 16 years, no blisters or anything like that.

Very much enjoy the Cal 39.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-03-2018
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

Thanks so much for your response.
I delivered my CAL 39 MK2(?) a couple of weeks ago from Southern RI to Mid-Coast Maine - Had some really tough weather that truly tested the CAL and showed her sea worthiness (up to 30 kts wind and 6 ft seas). Have taken her out several times for sails since and am really beginning to feel how special she is. I have had a Whitby 42, Pearson 365, two Pearson 30's, and an assortment of other smaller sailboats prior to the CAL, and I like her sailing (though some would say anything sails better than a Ketch), but also how she sets a groove in the wind and can handle higher winds and rough seas. My hull # is 144 and she was built in 1981 - but she has a separate aft cabin but only one head. From measurements I now believe she is a standard rig (55'6" mast length and 55' from the waterline). She is also a shoal keel (5'5" below the waterline). Boat was repowered with a 55 Hp Yanmar but has a 2 bladed martex prop that I am not wild about (drops to 4 kts in headwinds above 20). Would love to be able to chat off line with other CAL 39 owners to discuss some of the nuances of this boat (including engine access and upgrades. My e-mail address is: [email protected]
Thanks and best regards
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-03-2018
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

Don't ask Robert Redford for sailing lessons!
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-03-2018
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

I have a three blade auto stream prop. Once you get the pitch right it delivers plenty of power, eliminates prop walk in reverse and feathers when you are sailing so no drag. Two blade props are generally not that great in reverse and probably donít deliver full horsepower for your engine. I think of them more for speed and not power.i
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-23-2018
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

I'd also like to connect with other Cal 39 owners.

I own a Cal 39-2 in Australia, having bought it in Panama and sailed it here in 2010.
I'm also looking to connect with other 39 owners to discuss boat projects etc.

Jamie

( I have to get up to ten posts yet though before I can include my email or PM anyone.. )
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-08-2018
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Re: Just bought a Cal 39 MKII...

I am thinking of switching from a 2 blade feathering MaxProp classic (17inch diameter 16 degree pitch) to a fixed 3 blade prop for my CAL 39 Mk2 with a 1.25 inch diameter shaft.
Would really like to know what other CAL 39 Mk2 owners have for a fixed blade prop.
I realize I would give up speed while sailing (maybe .5 knots) but I don't want to immediately drop $3,000 on a folding or feathering prop until I know what my engine (4JH4E) can provide as speed. With the Maxprop I barely make 5.5 knts at 2800 rpm.
Anyone have any recommendations for the fixed blade prop.
Gladly trade my MaxProp
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