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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

My friend and I want to buy a small daysailer for around or below $1000. My friend has a dock space that we can use to store the boat year round, will this damage the boat?

We've thought about a Lido 14, but found a Cal 20 for $1000. I'm not the most knowledgeable about boats themselves but from what I can gather the Cal 20 seems to be:
- Relatively simple
- Trailerable
- Capable of going on longer trips

I have attached some photos of the keel of the boat in question (have not looked at it in person) but it appears to be both rusty and not flush with the hull itself, I can't see if the rust is only surface rust, but is it something to be worried about? And is it not being flush a sign of something bad.

I know that a Lido 14 would be simpler and cheaper to maintain, so is that what we should really go for? The prospect of being able to sail out farther (Catalina island etc.) in the future if we want to do that interests us.

Can you help us out?
Thanks,
Sebastian
 

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Lido will be by far much easier and cheaper to use. But Cal20 is a great little boat. However - it's heavy keel must be very well secured on the trailer, or it will get damaged in the process. Loading and offloading should be done with a crane to minimize damage. The rust is no biggie, but that crack in the back is likely serious. Keep it simple, go with Lido.
 

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There's a BIG difference between the two boats. The Lido, as mentioned, is a dinghy, and the Cal 20 is not a dinghy. Keel boats like the Cal 20 would be great in a larger lake, an ocean bay, or large river like the Columbia.

I'd encourage someone knowledgeable to look at the Cal 20 keel for you and your friend. At $1K, that's a good price for the Cal... but only if the keel checks out OK and the sails, rigging, rudder also are usable.

Where are you going to be sailing?
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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I have some experience with Cal20s because this is the fleet of choice at the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club near San Francisco where we had raced and sailed and bashed and repaired these sturdy little boats every year and they just (usually) kept chugging along. There is quite the knowledge base of Cal20 sailors up here. You could "easily" remove those keel bolts, drop the keel, and rebed it, then epoxy and bottom paint it again. You might need to replace the nuts and bolts at the most. Offer the seller $500 for the boat unless the trailer comes with it, in which cased I'd snap it up. If these boats have not been maintained, then they pretty much go for free, but that looks like a very good trailer. You'll probably need new rigging and sails as well as some internal strengthening, if you want to sail offshore. Get in touch with folks up on the bay here. They've done this routinely. As to Krisscross's concern about damage of the keel, we left these boats on their keels all the time over the winter months and never had any issues provided the hull isn't free to rock back and forth on the trailer frame. Anyway, we did put wood blocks underneath where the keel sits to cushion it a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have some experience with Cal20s because this is the fleet of choice at the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club near San Francisco where we had raced and sailed and bashed and repaired these sturdy little boats every year and they just (usually) kept chugging along. There is quite the knowledge base of Cal20 sailors up here. You could "easily" remove those keel bolts, drop the keel, and rebed it, then epoxy and bottom paint it again. You might need to replace the nuts and bolts at the most. Offer the seller $500 for the boat unless the trailer comes with it, in which cased I'd snap it up. If these boats have not been maintained, then they pretty much go for free, but that looks like a very good trailer. You'll probably need new rigging and sails as well as some internal strengthening, if you want to sail offshore. Get in touch with folks up on the bay here. They've done this routinely. As to Krisscross's concern about damage of the keel, we left these boats on their keels all the time over the winter months and never had any issues provided the hull isn't free to rock back and forth on the trailer frame. Anyway, we did put wood blocks underneath where the keel sits to cushion it a bit.
There's a BIG difference between the two boats. The Lido, as mentioned, is a dinghy, and the Cal 20 is not a dinghy. Keel boats like the Cal 20 would be great in a larger lake, an ocean bay, or large river like the Columbia.

I'd encourage someone knowledgeable to look at the Cal 20 keel for you and your friend. At $1K, that's a good price for the Cal... but only if the keel checks out OK and the sails, rigging, rudder also are usable.

Where are you going to be sailing?

Thank you all for the help I'm mostly new to sailing except having taken lessons on a lido 14 a few years ago. We would be just be cruising in the harbor to get out off the coast and sail there, so no ocean crossing but not a lake either. Closest ports are Newport Beach and Dana Point, really anywhere on the Southern California coastline. The Cal 20 seems like it could handle these conditions.

$1000 is for both the boat and the trailer, the seller said he had it for $1800 originally. The keel bolts were replaced 5 months ago according to the owner so I don't know if they would need to be replaced or not. If I was to rebed the keel and paint the bottom of the boat, do you know how much it would cost for me to do it myself? Or how hard it would be? Do you think I would need to put back $1000 to get the boat in nice shape?

Do you know how I could get someone to help look at the boat? No one I know knows much about boats themselves. I have heard that sometimes when you buy a boat you test it out to make sure it floats and all but with the complexity of ramping a cal20 and a price of 1000, I don't know if that is something that I would do.

Thanks.
 

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If this is your first boat, getting a boat that requires keel removal is not, in my opinion, a good way to get started sailing.

You would have a blast in that Lido in any of the places you mentioned. You're familiar with it. Get it and go sailing. There will be another... actually many... Cal 20 for you in the future.

Again, all of the above is my opinion.

Peace out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If this is your first boat, getting a boat that requires keel removal is not, in my opinion, a good way to get started sailing.

You would have a blast in that Lido in any of the places you mentioned. You're familiar with it. Get it and go sailing. There will be another... actually many... Cal 20 for you in the future.

Again, all of the above is my opinion.

Peace out.
I understand completely but I will explore all the options and ultimately see if I have the skills even to do anything with a keelboat. I'll probably end up with a Lido. I appreciate your input!
 

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Stay away from that Cal 20. that keel looks like the mount has be modified. there should not be a big bump on the leading edge of the keel mounting. the keel flange should fit flush into a recess in the hull. and the trailing edge looks like it is not mounted properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stay away from that Cal 20. that keel looks like the mount has be modified. there should not be a big bump on the leading edge of the keel mounting. the keel flange should fit flush into a recess in the hull. and the trailing edge looks like it is not mounted properly.
Yeah this has the potential to turn into too much a project for me. Would it be a better idea to save a bit more and get something under $2,000 instead or do you think I should stick with the $500-$1000 Lido?
 

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Yes ditto on Overbored, something is not right there especially if the keel bolts were serviced 5 months ago and they were not able to get the keel back all the way up into its correct position.

You can easily put an additional $2,000 into cleaning up a $1,000 or less boat without the issue with the keel not seated correctly so even for free that particular one may be no bargain.
 

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No mention of the condition of the sails or the engine. Replacing those can easily be several thousand dollars.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Thank you all for the help I'm mostly new to sailing except having taken lessons on a lido 14 a few years ago. We would be just be cruising in the harbor to get out off the coast and sail there, so no ocean crossing but not a lake either. Closest ports are Newport Beach and Dana Point, really anywhere on the Southern California coastline. The Cal 20 seems like it could handle these conditions.

$1000 is for both the boat and the trailer, the seller said he had it for $1800 originally. The keel bolts were replaced 5 months ago according to the owner so I don't know if they would need to be replaced or not. If I was to rebed the keel and paint the bottom of the boat, do you know how much it would cost for me to do it myself? Or how hard it would be? Do you think I would need to put back $1000 to get the boat in nice shape?

Do you know how I could get someone to help look at the boat? No one I know knows much about boats themselves. I have heard that sometimes when you buy a boat you test it out to make sure it floats and all but with the complexity of ramping a cal20 and a price of 1000, I don't know if that is something that I would do.

Thanks.
Given your level of experience and not knowing anyone local to help, I'd also suggest waiting until you find a better boat. There's really no such thing as a "good deal on a cheap boat."
 

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No mention of the condition of the sails or the engine. Replacing those can easily be several thousand dollars.
Cal 20 sails thankfully range from around $250 to $800 so those would add another thousand or two depending if you want to carry a spare set on a 20 foot boat. Motors unless you really have to have a new one are usually well below $1,000 and likely below $500. However once you start adding up all the nickle and dime stuff even if you do all the work yourself it does escalate quickly.

Even on a small picnic boat you can easily spend a few additional thousand to get out on the water regardless of it being old or new.
 

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Had a Cal 20 on San Francisco Bay. Loved it. I'd rent a trailer to haul the boat out for painting. I needed a crane to get it in and out of the trailer.
 

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I suggest you save up and buy the most expensive cheap boat you can find. As said there are no such thing as a cheap boat. A $3000 cal 20 is likely going to be a better deal in the long run than the $1,000 one. If you want to keep it cheap buy the most expensive Lido you can find. Don't spend all your money on the purchase of the boat either, you should have another $500 to fix whatever might come up.

If you plan on trailering it and launching each time you go sailing, you don't want a fixed keel boat. Better off with a centerboard or retractable keel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I passed on the Cal 20 and I think I am going to hold on and save until I can buy something better upfront and have money left over. Thank you all for the help and for steering me away from this one!
 
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