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OH, and Rippy, you mentioned the surfing ability of the 21...... believe me, even with the keel locked down...given the right wind and sea conditions (in otherwords...typical Buzzards Bay afternoon!) the 21 will take off and surf on a broad reach or run very well! Not as much of an "afterburner" effect as on my O'DAY Day Sailer II...... but still a thrill!
Still, I felt like she was performing like a true CAL yacht! Maybe not quite as exciting as the CAL 40 below..... but.....
 

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Terrific Rod! Thanks a bunch. Narrative and pics extremely helpful. Can see what you mean by a bit high off the ground. Do want to examine the keel bolt, pin and keel though.
 

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Hmmm. Not sure the pictures tell the story. But you have given me an idea, how about healing her about 75 degrees on the trailer? Nope, I bought some jacks and gonna pull the trailer out from under her. I hope w/o damage.
 

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The 2nd picture is when we removed the keel. We tried to block the keel up under the trailer as best we could (its heavy). We knocked out the pin, lifted the stern off the trailer and the keel "dropped" onto the ground (again we did block it up to try and protect as much as possible). A small bit of the edge broke off in the process but nothing detrimental. We had planned on filler and faring the keel anyhow.

When we put it back in, we blocked up the stern off the trailer then lifted the bow and scooted the trailer out from under the boat. We dropped the keel onto a piece of ply and pushed it under the boat. I used the winch to hoist the keel from the back and then we kept blocking it up until it was back in place...this required a bit more strength to get in up high enough to get the pivot bolt in place.

It helps to have a neighbor with a backhoe too.
 

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Right on man! A backhoe is a worthy assistant. Did you find any damage to the pivot point or the pivot? What about the locking pin? Is there really such a thing? I wish I could just launch her and not worry! But would just be my luck that it would fall into the river. Besides I want to put the little hook back in the keel so I can remove the wire when it's down. Best rippy
 

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Tough question to answer. We didn't do anything major to the keel other than clean it up = bonding and faring filler to the entire thing and then a new paint job. The pivot pinhole was in decent shape nothing like you see on the Cal21 website about replacing that piece. My real problem was with the trunk not the keel...but we did sail it with the new trunk and keel in place. I managed to get a locking pin through but it broke. I was using a piece of 1/4in brass which couldn't handle the weight of the keel. I plan on making something with a bigger OD for this spring.

Hopefully I will be posting some more of the rebuilding process pictures soon. We just put in new chain plates. It was pretty scary when we pulled the old chain plate tabs off and found essentially saw dust inside the fiberglass.

Check out the "Cal 21 Keel" page that I originally started for some pics that rod posted...
 

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I have an article fro man old SMALL BOAT JOURNAL magazine that shows how someone removed his RHODES 19 off the trailer each year to paint the bottom and the centerboard. I use a modified version of his method to paint the bottom on my O'Day Day Sailer. It might be possible to use this way to access the keel on a CAL 21, we had our boat at a boatyard with a Travel-Lift, so never tried this idea...... But it does work great for my DS II. I have pics of how the yard re-instaled our keel the last time it was out during our ownership (2001).
If you save the R19 painting file, then open it it should come out bigger, worked on my computer at least. Basically, you lower the tongue of the trailer, block up the stern of the boat (I use a semi-fitted support beam), then jack up the trailer tongue, that lifts the bow while the stern rises off the trailer, then insert a crossbeam between boat and trailer, block up that beam above the trailer ,and move the trailer out. I only move my trailer forward enough to allow the CB to drop ,bow stays supported by the trailer roller. (Guess I should have added a pic of my DS II lifted?)
 

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Sailnova, the key to using the 1/4" brass rod for a locking bolt is to set it up right.
First, we inserted a bushing into the hole in hte keel for the locking bolt, reducing the hole to just over 1/4" I.D.
Second, we used a pair of metal disks on hte outside of the trunk (replaced the original fiberglass reenforcements that ripped off the trunk when we bent the 5/8" monel bolt). These were sized to have a lip that fit the now over-sized holes in each side of the trunk.
Third, the brass rod/bolt needs to be snug (tight enough to need a wrench, but not cranked down)
Fourth, the pivot bolt needs to be snugged down after the keel is lowered to semi-clamp the keel in place. This prevents the keel from moving fore and aft. We once snapped the brass rod when a powerboat wake rocked us on the mooring before my Dad got the pivot bolt snugged down. Yet...with everything set up, I softly grounded a few times (actually nudged a rock at least once!) with out shearing the brass rod off. We set the brass rod up to shear off if we ever clombered a rock again like we did when we bent that 5/8" monel bolt. It worked a couple of times when we ran aground, preventing the damage that occured before.
 

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We have been trying to figure out if the pivot bolt was to be tightened after lowering the keel...This is the first confirmation that I have seen of anyone actually doing that. I like the idea of mounting the plates on the keel. The lock pin may have broken when we winched up the keel (obviously important to remove this).

I can't thank you enough for all your input even though you haven't had your Cal 21 for several years. It seems like there are several of us looking to make improvements and since this is my first boat I have had a lot to learn! I want to say that I am enjoying every minute of it but the sanding was brutal.
 

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The 21 seems to be an odd little boat...sort of a black sheep in the Cal family. Just my style. :D

How many were even made?

I don't even know how many is alot...500? 5,000? 50,000?
They're not like cars...most people don't own boats...most boat owners don't have sailboats.
Exactly how many CAL 21s were built is hard to pin down exactly. Jensen Marine (aka CAL Sailboats) had 2 plants at the time that the 21 was in production, one in Costa Mesa, CA and one in Marlboro, NJ. They assigned sets of Hull#s to each plant, if the firsts digit is even, the boat came fro mthe East Coast plant (NJ) and if the first digit is odd, the boat is a West Coast (CA) built boat. The HULL# refers to the number of CAL 21s built, and for the boats built after November 1, 1972, that number was part of the 12-digit HIN. As I say, blocks of numbers were assigned to each plant, and they were used as boats were produced. Our boat was #285, delivered to us in March 1970 from the New Jersey plant. Because of the way Hull#s were issued, our boat may have actually been built before Hull # 199, or after Hull# 300. I am pretty sure that there were some hull#s in the 700s, but don't know how many boats in the 600s were built. Is everyone fully confused now?? Well, join the club! From 1967 to 1978 or so, many (but not all) CAL models were being built on both Coasts and the Hull# sets were set up the same as for the 21, even first number for East Coast, Odd first number for West Coast. That unfortunatelt makes it hard to pin down total number built.
 

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A few more thing to address the low number of CAL 21s built. I don't think it was problems stepping/unstepping the mast that "killed" the CAL 21. I know of many other similar trailerable sailboats that have had longer production runs than hte CAL 21 where the mast is not easier to deal with. My thought is that the 21 was JENSEN Marine's answer to the Venture 21 and maybe the Catalina 22, in some ways the CAL was better than either of those, in other ways less desirable. I know that for my family, the CAL 21 was much better set up for our use/needs, but the other boats had there good points too.
The CAL 21 was a sort-of "entry-level" CAL and was built (structurally) to the same standard as her larger (and in hte case of the CAL 20, slightly smaller) sisters. However, the CAL 21 was slightly more expensive than the Venture 21 and slightly less featured compared to the similarly priced Catalina. The CAL 21 was more or less "built to a price" and thus lacked a few nice features of more expensive boats, like drains for the cockpit seats (we eventually added some to prevent the typical puddles in the aft corners), a sliding main hatch, and access from the cockpit to stowage space under the cockpit. For us, the low price, yet great quality of a CAL, made the 21 very attractive, but the one feature that I still, to this day consider to be the Best/Worst feature of the CAL 21 may have potentially soured sales. THE KEEL! I feel that the CAL 21 is the only "True" RETRACTABLE KEEL boat from that era. Almost all other similar boats had "swing-keels", and thus would suffer drag from the always there keel cable, more drag from the always wide-open (on the bottom) keel trunk, and most others had cast-iron keels (contrary to the sales brochures, the keels on our CALs are fiberglass and lead, the only iron/steel is the backbone inside the keel). To be honest, MacGregor changed to a fiberglass encased keel eventually and the Cat 22 now has a lead-ballasted keel).
I have a feeling that the 21 was (after the first year or so) a low-production boat, and maybe not one that the dealers were pushing (unless located near a Venture Dealer?) and it may be that CAL couldn't hold the price down as low as they felt necessary after a few years?

Suprisingly enough, if you look up copies of YACHTING Magazine from the early to mid 1970's.... you will find that the CAL 21 was a pretty active RACING class! WOW! The CAL 20 was always know for racing......as is the 25 and the 40.....but the CAL 21 was active enough to have a National Class Association at one time. Racing should have brought some sales......but, apparently not? Now, I also don't know how much Jensen Marine promoted or assisted these Class (One-Design) racing activities, and that can affect popularity. Unlike other classes (O'DAY Mariner, Venture 21, Catalina 21, San Juan 21, CAL 20), I don't think CAL-Jensen ever mentioned the Class Association in their brochures.

Again, I suspect it was the well-intentioned, but maybe slightly complicated Keel set up that hurt sales more than mast raising. For our use, where we launched the boat in hte Spring, kept her on a mooring all Summer, then hauled out in the Fall. The Keel was a good feature, we had a "fixed keel" boat with all the performance and stability of a fin-keel boat. Yet, while hauled out.....we had a "centerboard" boat that sat long to the ground and was easy to work on without a tall ladder (storage cost at the boatyard was also based partly on height in those days, so with the keel retracted we saved $$). We could have even bought our own trailer and hauled/launched ourselves and stored boat in our own own yard (in fact for first 3 seasons we had a home-made cradle on wheels that we used to haul the boat out on the beach at my Grandparent's summer home).

Jensen "jumped on hte bandwagon" of small, entry-level, trailerable boats when they introduced the 21 as a 1970 model, but I have a feeling the 21 was never a major product in the line up. More than a few owners of larger CALs were introduced to CAL-Jensen by the 21, but the 21 may not have really fit the CAL focus. One last theory, the 21 may have been an attempt by Jack Jensen and Bill Lapworth to enter (actually, re-enter) the trailerable sailboat market, but perhaps Jensen's parent company, Bangor Punta felt the boat was not selling enough.....and dropped production. Perhaps it is the other way around? BP was pushing the idea, Jack Jensen didn't like it and thus didn't push the model. I tend to lean more towards Jensen and Lapworth being behind the boat 100% at least to try the idea! The original CAL, the California 24 was a trailerable boat, but with a shallow, full-keel that housed a centerboad, a good example of the early trailer-sailers, more "trailer-transportable" than really "Trailerable". More set up to allow visting other sailing areas by trailering than as a boat that was dry-sailed. Perhaps the 21 was seen the same way, better for exploring new waterways reachable by trailer than as a dry-sailed boat? Read the advertising copy and you get the feeling that Jensen Marine (or at least their ad agency?) knew little about the reality of trailering, now read a Venture/Macgregor brochure, which one makes that "15 minute" prep and launch sound realistic? I get a kick out the idea of using the CAL 21 as a camper while travelling, great idea...except with the mast carried like in hte brochure picture (I will post later), the jumper shrouds prevent opening the hatch! <GRIN!>

One last bit of "trivia" CAL used the same ramp for this photo shoot as used for years by Venture/Macgregor!
 

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mahogany tiller

Can you leave a wooden tiller in the water at all times? I have been removing mine after each use and am wondering if it is really neccesary.
 

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Re: mahogany tiller

Can you leave a wooden tiller in the water at all times? I have been removing mine after each use and am wondering if it is really neccesary.
I assume that you are refering to the RUDDER, since the tiller is unlikely to be in the water since it is attached to the top of the rudder. You could leave the rudder in the water all the time, but it would require painting the part imersed in the water with antifoulant paint (even in freshwater) to repel slime and other nasties. Even then the rudder and the paint and/or varnish finish will last a lot longer if the rudder is sealed with a few thin coats of a good Epoxy before painting. However, by removing the rudder when not using the boat, the life of the rudder and fittings will be extended tremendously! Especially if you stow the rudder inside the cabin when you are not aboard. This allows the wood to dry out between uses and reduces exposure to the harmful UV rays of sunlight. With the rudder staying in hte water 24/7 it will slowly absorb water through any crack in hte paint/varnish finish which will tend to lift the finish off the wood and could lead to dry rot, but definitiely will soften the wood leading to the edges being more vulnerable to damage. Taking the rudder off and at least laying it in the cockpit will help to reduce that water penetration.
We always removed the rudder on our CAL 21 before going ashore each day, and during hte week the rudder was stowed in the cabin. This kept the rudder looking good for 38 years with a yearly application of 2 coats of varnish. The lighter colored patch is epoxy filler where I faired the damage caused by the outboard prop contacting the rudder. We added a plexiglas plate to the side of our outboard later to prevent that damage. The plate extended out from the "anti-ventilation" plate/fin on hte outboard just enough so that plexiglas fin hit the rudder before the prop would (sorry, don't have a good pic).
 

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Hey, we are trying re-bed our chainplates. Does anyone know or can anyone measure the distance from the deck to the top of the chainplate or to the eyes of the chainplate? If you are browsing and see this post, we are trying to get this done today, 6/24! Thanks for your help!
 

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Thank you for the information. I too have hit the prop with the rudder and had to repair the gouge.

The question is now unimportant as I hit something with the rudder leaving our canal into the river. This caused the rudder to jump off of the bottom pin and bent the top. Minor repairs ensued but entering our river with the rudder on is now unadvisable.

Thanks against for the information. I have read several of your posts and replys and you seem to possess a wealth of information on the Cal 21.
 

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Hi, my husband bought a 1970 Cal 21 a few months back. We are trying to get her seaworthy, and now I think I'm more obsessed with the boat than he is.

Quick question: the end of the boom broke where the main sail tacks in at the mast, does anyone now of a decent place online (or near Sarasota, FL) that would have replacement parts? Thanks!
 
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