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Alan H

I had a Cal 20

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Share your Cal 20 stories here.

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My first boat was a Cal 20.  I got it from a marina that was closing, they donated it to the nonprofit I was working for at the time and I bought it for $600.    Some long-gone rigging shop was running a contest in Latitude 38, our local rag that year for a free rigging job and I won it.  I probably won 'cause mine was the smallest boat to enter.  Whatever, I got a completely new standing rigging job.  My wife bought me a "new" used jib and we were stylin'

My outboard was shite, and most of the time didn't work, so I sailed that thing all over SF Bay.  I can't count the number of times I sailed all night, usually sitting for two hours in the South Bay, just off of San Bruno mountain in the usual hole, waiting for wind.    I couldn't get people to crew with me more than about 2, 3x so I got into singlehanding....without an autopilot.  The rudder was a lump of mahogany, was warped as hell so I made a new one from a stack of used 2 x 4's I found at an empty lot a couple doors down from our apartment building. It didn't even vaguely resemble the profile of the stock rudder but I didn't know enough that I had to declare that on my PHRF certificate. I still got spanked in the racing.

I remember sailing the Cal up to the main  Bay from Redwood City once. I got a late start so I was going under the San Mateo bridge about midnight. There was a big flood running and it was blowing something fierce. The swell stacked up, really steep under the bridge.  So we hit a wave and I launched off the windward seats. The boat dropped into the trough, so when my ass came down, there was no boat to land on....ergo, I kept going.  When ass finally met fiberglass,  my legs were in the water, off the leeward side of the boat. I barely had a grip on the tiller, yanked it some way or another and the boat rounded down. whoooieee...green water to the waist, about 50 gallons in the cockpit,  scared me witless.  I was tethered in, but still.

The boat shook it off, the skipper hauled himself and his soiled panties back into the cockpit and we kept on going.  I remember the race that weekend. I got crushed but hell, I had a lot of fun.

I remember sailing up to do some midwinters, and getting to the Bay View Boat Club. It was about 1:00 AM when I got there.  I took everything down, tied up to the launch dock figuring that nobody was going to launch until morning and then went below to discover that I'd forgotten my sleeping bag.  I didn't know any better back then, so I wore my blue jeans under my foulies..AND...I couldn't afford breathable foulies so the blue jeans were soaked.  I wound up sleeping with a couple sailbags over my  legs. That was the FFFf'ing COLDEST night I have ever spent.  I STILL remember how cold that was.

When I got the boat it leaked through the keel bolts when I sailed it. It didn't leak at the dock but it'd leak as soon as we got going.  Atter two seasons it got pretty bad, like 5-6 gallons in an afternoon.  Look, 5-6 gallons of water in a Cal 20 gets EVERYTHING wet.  That year, when I did the haulout....you could do DIY haulouts in those days....I dropped the keel, scraped all the crap off the top of it and rebedded it with 4200 and new keel bolts.  The haulout maxxed out my finances so I had to put "regular" steel bolts in, not S.S. ones.  I wonder if they're still on the boat.  Dropping the keel on that boat scared me to death.

I had a crapload of fun with that boat, and learned a lot. I had no money, was young and stupid and that boat let me get away with ANYTHING and it sailed pretty good, all things considered.

Once, I went for a visit to the Sequoia Yacht Club.  Some old arrogant shithead asked me what kind of boat I had.  "Cal 20" says I.  *PFFFTTT**...He scoffed,  "That's kid stuff".  Funny thing, but I saw him and his Hans Christian about a month later. He'd wrapped a shroud around a channel marker in Redwood Creek.  I looked back, as I cruised by in my Kid Stuff Boat in time to watch his mast come down.  Karma is a bitch.

 

....don't go disrespectin' no  Cal 20's.

==============

 

What's your Cal 20 story?

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I was having sundowners in King Harbor Yachtclub on a beercan race night, watching the boats heading out. My Cal 2-30 was tied to the guest dock there and I watched as some dude in his Cal 20 rammed into my hull, leaving two scuffs on the Awlgrip, which are still there. That's my Cal 20 story.

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Just now, Sandpipper said:

I was having sundowners in King Harbor Yachtclub on a beercan race night, watching the boats heading out. My Cal 2-30 was tied to the guest dock there and I watched as some dude in his Cal 20 rammed into my hull, leaving two scuffs on the Awlgrip, which are still there. That's my Cal 20 story.

So, Sandpiper...after a couple of years, I quit my job at that non-profit where I got free dock space...which went completely dry-mud at any minus-tide...and moved north about 9 miles to a real marina.  One of the first times I came in the harbor it was blowing the usual summertime gale.  I thought I'd be smart by reducing sail, and staying under control on the way in. So while still out in the Bay, I struck the main and sailed in under jib alone.

Inside the harbor it was still blowing 25, and I cruised along towards the row of biggest boats in the harbor. The "BIG SLIPS" are out by the entrance. I got to the point where I always tacked about.  I eased the sheet and pushed the tiller over.........

..........and nothing happened. She would not come up.  I had three seconds to choose.....ram the transom of the 60 foot, 2 million dollar powerboat that was in front of me at about 3 1/2 knots, or turn down a bit and ram the concrete piling at the end of the finger at about 3 1/2 knots.  I chose the piling.

It was a fucking hellacious crash. The boat stopped, sails flapped, the mast swung over and the port shroud slammed down on the top of the piling with an enormous thrumming TWANGGGG. .  I managed to get the jib down, and by some miracle the outboard started and I motored away from this nightmare.  End result?


 ---Nothing. Not a scratch.  Damn boat was idiot-proof;.

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About 4 years later I finally sold the boat to a guy who lived nearby. For some reason I was back at the non-profits dock, I don't remember why any more. Anyway, that dock was a downwind approach. Unless you had a really high tide you couldn't get to the shore-side of the dock, all the single-finger slips were downwind slips.  So I sell the boat, sign the pink slip and take the cash. This guy takes the boat out for a spin. It's all good.

I'm sitting on  the pier about 3 hours later and I see him coming back in. He's about 150 feet directly upwind of the slip and he turns downwind....all the sails up, and heads straight for the dock. HOLY SHIT...I scream, and start to run down the ramp, but there's no way I'm going to get there in time.  I watched him ram that Cal 20 into the dock at full speed. It slid up over the wooden dock all the way up to the keel....

......slid back down again, and settled. No leaks.  I put on my swim trunks and a mask and dove in the water to check out the damage. NONE...just scraped up bottom paint.

Idiot proof.

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Had hull #424, bought it from Dana Harbor Yacht Sales when it was traded in on some Catalina they sold, Jeff the broker held the note until I paid it off...though I was crewing on other boats I was so beyond stoked to finally have a real boat! Such a simple basic boat, bow and stern pulpits, Johnson 6 outboard, one battery for the running lights...couldn't have asked for more at the time. Bought a hatch at Minneys for better forpeak lighting and interior ventilation, refinished the mast and boom in my apartment complexes driveway and repainted the interior. It was built with the full bulkheads, I've seen later models with support struts and would probably want to go that direction if I was able to get another one.

Day sailed the sh*t out of it and often anchored in the West basin near the Pilgrim for Bar-b-Que, beers and Pirates of Penzance music. Honeymooned in Catalina Island aboard it too (that last two hours motorin' took forever). We were side tied to a friends 42' CC in Avalon when the taxi boat came by, the wake caused us to really slam against their hull...I was inside and had never seen such a flex! damned surprised the window didn't pop out!

Like Alan's story...no damage, truly a Dork proof boat!

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Oh wow, one of the most rad memories of my life revolved around racing a Cal 20

It was the second day of the nationals. Obviously we were in first place as I was trimming main and the tactician. After a long hot day on the water I was at the club pool when the boat owners identical  twin daughters unexpectedly showed up as they were on summer break from college. We were hanging out drinking wine coolers. It got late and the club had closed. All of a sudden one of the club bar tenders appeared. She was nice looking for an older woman . Surprisingly at around 29 her double D's looked pretty solid in her skimpy top. It was still hot out so she slipped out of her dress and hopped in the pool.  Anyway after all four of us consumed a few more cherry fizz coolers the twin with the  slightly shorter long blond hair jumped in the pool with the bar tender. The two of them started   ........    oh wait this is a family site never mind.

 

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15 hours ago, hobot said:

Had hull #424, bought it from Dana Harbor Yacht Sales when it was traded in on some Catalina they sold, Jeff the broker held the note until I paid it off...though I was crewing on other boats I was so beyond stoked to finally have a real boat! Such a simple basic boat, bow and stern pulpits, Johnson 6 outboard, one battery for the running lights...couldn't have asked for more at the time. Bought a hatch at Minneys for better forpeak lighting and interior ventilation, refinished the mast and boom in my apartment complexes driveway and repainted the interior. It was built with the full bulkheads, I've seen later models with support struts and would probably want to go that direction if I was able to get another one.

Day sailed the sh*t out of it and often anchored in the West basin near the Pilgrim for Bar-b-Que, beers and Pirates of Penzance music. Honeymooned in Catalina Island aboard it too (that last two hours motorin' took forever). We were side tied to a friends 42' CC in Avalon when the taxi boat came by, the wake caused us to really slam against their hull...I was inside and had never seen such a flex! damned surprised the window didn't pop out!

Like Alan's story...no damage, truly a Dork proof boat!

Were you the "Plastic Surgeon" in the harbor at that time? If so, I remember you.

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TWO Cal 20 threads at the same time.   SA is redeemed...LOL

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Apparently I posted in the wrong Cal 20 thread before I found this one. Here's my story:

Surfed a Cal 20 over the Potato patch in SF. We go the boat going so fast that it blew the outboard motor cover off the bottom of the boat. We had a good laugh until the next surf when a 2 foot square column of water came gushing out and right into the cabin. Once we got that fixed we were back to laughing about it.

I think the only way to break these boats is with an angle grinder.

 

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3 hours ago, Irrational 14 said:

Were you the "Plastic Surgeon" in the harbor at that time? If so, I remember you.

:ph34r:

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21 hours ago, VWAP said:

Oh wow, one of the most rad memories of my life revolved around racing a Cal 20

It was the second day of the nationals. Obviously we were in first place as I was trimming main and the tactician. After a long hot day on the water I was at the club pool when the boat owners identical  twin daughters unexpectedly showed up as they were on summer break from college. We were hanging out drinking wine coolers. It got late and the club had closed. All of a sudden one of the club bar tenders appeared. She was nice looking for an older woman . Surprisingly at around 29 her double D's looked pretty solid in her skimpy top. It was still hot out so she slipped out of her dress and hopped in the pool.  Anyway after all four of us consumed a few more cherry fizz coolers the twin with the  slightly shorter long blond hair jumped in the pool with the bar tender. The two of them started   ........    oh wait this is a family site never mind.

 

You've been into your stash of Penthouse Variations again haven't you.

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40 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

You've been into your stash of Penthouse Variations again haven't you.

No

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3 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

You've been into your stash of Penthouse Variations again haven't you.

I thought it was LR for a moment!

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I first boat I ever sailed was a Cal 20...the sail school had 3 of them...tough boats … like a bowling ball with sails.....

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