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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Soñadora

Cal 39 Owners

28 posts in this topic

Our friends at GOB (Good Old Boat, for those who are unwashed) are looking for Cal 39 owners for an upcoming article. If interested, PM me and I'll put you in touch with the guy in charge of that stuff.

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You are going about this all wrong. Go to the Sailing Anarchy forum and start a thread something like this

 

Cal 39 - worst or just terrible ride?

All versions in express lane to landfill

 

 

Post something off the wall and sit back and pm all the owners.

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ok, now that's just damned funny (but sadly enough would work)

 

and why only 39s? couldn't you make do with a nice little 2-25? ;)

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I remember a few years ago on sailnet or CF Jeff_H made a few negative comments about the Cal 39. That got some owners busy.

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You are going about this all wrong. Go to the Sailing Anarchy forum and start a thread something like this

 

Cal 39 - worst or just terrible ride?

All versions in express lane to landfill

 

 

Post something off the wall and sit back and pm all the owners.

 

I like

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ok, now that's just damned funny (but sadly enough would work)

 

and why only 39s? couldn't you make do with a nice little 2-25? ;)

 

Hey nub, you ever read Good Old boat? or did you even read the o.p.?

 

The article they're asking input for is Cal 39, not some POS 2-25

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I remeber my uncle owned the local cal dealership back in the day, and spending a TON of time on these boats going to boat shows doing demo sails an the like. I recall back then (being only around 10?) how can anyone person own a boat so big, and just how big the boat seemed. I recall they sailed pretty well during the deliveries, and the few times we raced her she sailed to her rating with ease. I got on one two years ago when one of my customers was looking for a good used boat, now thinking how small they are on the inside, and layout being so-so. however I wouldn't think twice about getting on a properly prepped one and sailing offshore to the islands

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My parents had a Mk II in the early 80's. Boat sailed nicely. We took it all over the East Coast and to Bermuda. Nice layout, Perkins diesel. After we traded it in in the mid 80's, it sat on the hard for a while and then it was bought by someone locally after a few years. Don't know if it was the neglect or the build quality, but time did not treat that boat well. Balsa deck went soft and it was a bit of a mess. There's been a sistership around for the better part of 30 years, and she still looks pretty good.

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Hey nub, you ever read Good Old boat? or did you even read the o.p.?

 

The article they're asking input for is Cal 39, not some POS 2-25

 

who you callin' nub, bub?

 

and is my POS 2-25 too new for ya? oh wait, it's older than yours!

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Great design.

Great design.

 

Just curious, Bob. Which version(s) does your comment refer to? I sailed against a 39 in the (very) early 70's and it seemed quite fast at the time. Definitely gave our local Cal 40 everything she could handle. I'm guessing that was version 1. Always have had positive thoughts about the boat in general. Probably a great buy if you find one well cared for.

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Hard:

I'm only aware of one version of the Cal 39. If there were other versions then I suspect that it was the same hull with some minor changes made to either rig or layout. The 39 I know was a fast boat and a very capable cruising boat. There was a surveyor in SF who had one and he did a lot of offshore work in his. I think it was Jim Jesse. There was one 39 in Seattle that was totally gussied up. I mean this 39 looked like a Hinkley. In the PNW one of the 39's had the distinction of getting caught between the girders under the Hadlock canal bridge.

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I spent a week on one and it's a favorite for sure. For me it's a frontrunner as a liveaboard.

 

The main thing I don't like is cockpit seats too short to stretch out on. And no good bicycle storage.

 

Prices had been coming down, so not too much buzz, please!

 

Who is that Jeff H. character anyway?

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There were actually three different Cal 39's.

The first in 1970, by Lapworth. (just before the introduction of the IOR which may have killed it for racing at least)

The second, MKII, (1979), an entirely different design, but also by Lapworth, the most popular, I think.

A third, relatively rare version, from Hunt & Assoc, came out in the late 1980's.

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GLX:

You are correct. There was another 39 before the one in question. But I thought we were talking about the second one. I had totally forgotten about the first 39. I'm not even sure I ever saw one of those first 39's.

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Sons,

 

I sailed a lot on version 1 hull #1 Cal-39, TABASCO, back in the day. It was owned by George Griffith. He sold it to Robbie Haynes, who has been with North Sails in So Cal forever, and who just sold the boat a few years ago. George died recently, but Robbie would have a lot of thoughts on the design. They'd be good input as Robbie is one hell of a good sailor.

 

I never set foot on the newer versions of the Cal-39. Version 1 was a poor choice of design by Lapworth. It sailed well, but it went heavier, wider and bigger at a time when the ULDB craze started, in part, by the Cal-40 was just really taking hold. Bill should have done a 50' version of a Cal-40 (sort of what a Santa Cruz 50 is) and instead did the Cal-48 and Cal-39. In his defense, many buyers were really fearful of ULDB boats. Calkins did the Calkins-40 and it would just sail circles around the Cal-39.

 

BV

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Calkins 40?

 

Beau, can you post any pics of that design. I don't know it at all.

I hate it when I don't know.

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GLX:

I am amazed that I have never seen that design before. I like to think I have seen most of them. I clipped and saved almost all of those designs from the variouis magazine design sections.That's a narrow and light ( for the time) boat. It should have been very fast inits day. And,,,it's a double ender. Look how far aft the keel is. I had quite a coolection of design section cut outs all well cross referenced and kept in a wine box. Unfortunately my cat decided to use the box as her cat box and that was the end of my collection. Wish I had it today.

Thanks for calling my attention to that boat. I still start drooling whenever I see a Calkins 50.

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Bob GLX beat me to it.

 

The Calkins-40 I sailed on didn't act like it was heavier than a Cal-40, although it seems to have been at 18,000 lbs. It was VERY light on the helm and easy to sail. We used to race double handed and on the upwind legs of long ocean races we'd steer with the main traveler and let the tiller float free. On our Signet speedO, high tech for 1967, it was faster to do this than it was to steer the boat. Flat water. Down wind the Calkins gave away a bit to the Cal-40 because the skeg kept the stern from moving sideways when you wanted to hop up on a wave. As a result, to be really "hot" downwind you had to have the feel to line the boat up with the wave before it got to you. This meant diving deep a lot of times and scaring the mashed-potatoes out of the crew as you went DDW on the wave face to catch a ride. Good times!!

 

The long boom (CCA rule type of rig) and relatively big foretriangle meant that she was quick off the wind - could easily hang with the Cal-40 and take her in moderate air. In extremely strong winds for her local area, she was a bit overpowered but flew downwind. The quick ticket upwind in a blow was the full main and a 100% jib. This was the opposite of the common wisdom of the day which was to carry a big genoa as long as you could and reef the main.

 

Because these were strip planked boats I believe they cost about 20% more than a Cal-40, so they didn't win in the market. They were every bit as good a boat. I don't think anymore than four were ever built - which is really sad.

 

I haven't thought about racing the Calkins in years. It's small wonder that the 50' version is still winning races in So. Cal. they are sweet sailing boats.

 

More Info HERE

 

I really like the 40'er's looks a LOT better than the 50' version. The gigantic windows in the 50 don't do it for me. Prior to buying S'AGAPO, the Admiral and I looked at LEGEND which is also a Calkins design and was basically unbeatable in her day. Come to think of it, LEGEND goes in the Best Center Cockpit Boat thread also. I can't find a pic, but she is a flush deck version of the Calkins 50 with a bit less beam. Also a yawl if I remember right. She won the Transpac in 1957, I think.

 

BV

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Thanks BV:

With that keel that far aft and the double ended hull I imagine this boat would be a peach on the helm.

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Bob GLX beat me to it.

 

The Calkins-40 I sailed on didn't act like it was heavier than a Cal-40, although it seems to have been at 18,000 lbs. It was VERY light on the helm and easy to sail. We used to race double handed and on the upwind legs of long ocean races we'd steer with the main traveler and let the tiller float free. On our Signet speedO, high tech for 1967, it was faster to do this than it was to steer the boat. Flat water. Down wind the Calkins gave away a bit to the Cal-40 because the skeg kept the stern from moving sideways when you wanted to hop up on a wave. As a result, to be really "hot" downwind you had to have the feel to line the boat up with the wave before it got to you. This meant diving deep a lot of times and scaring the mashed-potatoes out of the crew as you went DDW on the wave face to catch a ride. Good times!!

 

The long boom (CCA rule type of rig) and relatively big foretriangle meant that she was quick off the wind - could easily hang with the Cal-40 and take her in moderate air. In extremely strong winds for her local area, she was a bit overpowered but flew downwind. The quick ticket upwind in a blow was the full main and a 100% jib. This was the opposite of the common wisdom of the day which was to carry a big genoa as long as you could and reef the main.

 

Because these were strip planked boats I believe they cost about 20% more than a Cal-40, so they didn't win in the market. They were every bit as good a boat. I don't think anymore than four were ever built - which is really sad.

 

I haven't thought about racing the Calkins in years. It's small wonder that the 50' version is still winning races in So. Cal. they are sweet sailing boats.

 

More Info HERE

 

I really like the 40'er's looks a LOT better than the 50' version. The gigantic windows in the 50 don't do it for me. Prior to buying S'AGAPO, the Admiral and I looked at LEGEND which is also a Calkins design and was basically unbeatable in her day. Come to think of it, LEGEND goes in the Best Center Cockpit Boat thread also. I can't find a pic, but she is a flush deck version of the Calkins 50 with a bit less beam. Also a yawl if I remember right. She won the Transpac in 1957, I think.

 

BV

Very cool. Much more interesting to hear from someone who has actually owned/sailed one. Never spent much time on the west coast so I've never even seen any of the Calkins designs other than drawings and pictures.

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You guys are killin' me with the Calkins 40. The 50 is my dream waterfront home and office, big windows, freeboard, and all. The 40 looks great -- I've seen that page before -- but I've never seen one for real. How many, and where might they be?

 

I've seen square-transom boats like the 50. Blurocket said they're a Lapworth 50, and indeed are similar, above and below the water. I used to see a light blue one around the PNW, and a beautiful white one at Van Isle. Know anything about these?

 

There's also a double-ender Lapworth 50, which I used to see in Gibsons (maybe this very boat).

 

A flush decked yawl Calkins 50, Zapata II, was for sale in Newport Beach. I wonder if this is Legend, renamed.

 

Original Cal 39 here, and here?

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Blurocketsmate,

 

I think only four Calkins 40s were built, but I could be wrong. I know there were four as the one I sailed was hull #4. They weren't common even in their time.

 

The Calkins 50 was always a double ended boat (to the best of my knowledge), except for the one shown earlier in this thread (which was a surprise to me). All the Lapworth 50s were double ended too except for SUMATRA. Al Martin modified his boat to put more beam in her aft sections trying for more righting moment and a better chance of surfing. It make SUMATRA faster than other Lapworth 50s, but not enough faster to really make up for the ratting hit.

 

Both the Lapworth and Calkins were really good sea boats. They could take truly tough weather and just shrug it off. I remember sailing up to San Nicolas Island on a Lapworth 50 in 35k winds with gusts to 40k, the 100% jib up and one reef in the main, the boat leaping out of the water on every fifth or sixth wave, crashing down. Then, once we turned around, she just flew downwind. It took a good hand on the helm - and Willard Bell who owned the Lapworth 50 WESTWARD was one of the best - to keep the boat under the chute. Willard's measure of just how bad the weather was is that if it put his cigar out - it was rough. The sailors who sailed these boats would go on to be the backbone of the crews who did so very well in the Cal-40s when they arrived and then in the ULDB boats when they showed up in the 70s.

 

BV

 

I think the LEGEND that was for sale was the original LEGEND. The one that won the TransPac in '57.

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BV,

 

Now you're really killin' me! I'll just have to make more money. I've heard there were only 6 Calkins 50s built, but that may be wrong. I'd love to see a 40.

 

I saw a Lapworth 50 in Gibsons being restored over 2-3 years. A very pretty boat.

 

I'm still trying to figure out what those square tailed Calkins-like things are. Same cabin house, cockpit, deck, etc.

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Back to Cal 39s -- drawings show a cutter rig, but I've never actually seen one until now.

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