Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Plainville, MA
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Re: Cal 21 Owners
I did use a short-shaft outboard temporarily a couple of times on our CAL 21, it will work in a pinch, but is FAR from ideal! Even with a long-shaft the prop will sometimes come close to coming out of the water as you move forward to the bow to pick up a mooring or other line handling tasks. At hull speed the short-shaft will be deep enough usually, but at slower speeds the transom rises enough that without having everyone sit near the aft end of the cockpit, you will barely get the lower unit and prop deep enough. A 20-inch (long-shaft) is definitely needed, a 25" Extra-longshaft is not really needed, but would nearly always prevent the prop from coming out of the water, Still I'd have confidence in the 20" as long-enough (standard, or short-shaft is 15"). We started out in 1970 with a British Seagull "long-shaft" SILVER-CENTURY (about 4-5HP) model that actually had a 22" shaft. Replaced in 1981 with a 20" shaft Johnson 4.5hp which worked fine 99.9% of the time. Replaced that (after overheating damage) with a Johnson 4 DLX with the 20" shaft (4DLX was really same as the 4.5 HP, just slightly less HP). When we sold our CAL 21 in 2008 that 4DLX was still running fine, but new owner ultimately moved up to a 6hp. I wouldn't put more than a 6 HP on a CAL 21, more HP really won't push her any faster (and I'm not sure how much faster a 6 would be than the 4.5 we had, but the extra "oomph" would be good in reserve). Incidently, I didn't notice that the owner of that CAL 21 with the short-shaft outboard replaced the decals at some time, that is a 6hp or 7.5, maybe an 8hp.. but NOT a 9.9 <GRIN!>.
In the picture of the top of the keel well: the brass plates on each side were added by my Dad to better secure the bushings for our modified keel locking bolt. Original fiberglass bosses (reeforcements) had sheared off many years prior when we hit a rock with the keel. New locking bolt was 1/4" brass and designed to shear on impact, unlike the original 5/8" stainless bolt (or even hte 5/8" monel bolt that we replaced the ss one with. The Monel bolt bent from the impact. CAL 21 keel really does need to be locked down under sail for proper use and saves some wear and tear on the pivot since keel stays fixed instead of constantly moving against pivot.
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1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
1979 O'DAY DS II
1969 O'DAY Widgeon
Last edited by rjohnson; 03-10-2019 at 01:56 PM.
Reason: added pictures and further explanantions