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Old 08-12-2013, 11:43   #1
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1987 Cal 33-2

Does the shoal draft affect these boats in a negative way other than they may not point as well as the deep keel model?

Also, one guy said his boat "oil canned" in the forward hull area, but he's the only one whose said that.

Otherwise I'm hearing these boats are very nice boats. Does anyone have any more info on them?
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:54   #2
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

A Cal 40 I raced on oil canned in heavy chop. Kinda felt like I was in a power cruiser with the pounding. I guess it doesnt hurt anthing though. Bendy Boat...
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:59   #3
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
A Cal 40 I raced on oil canned in heavy chop. Kinda felt like I was in a power cruiser with the pounding. I guess it doesnt hurt anthing though. Bendy Boat...


When you say oil canned does that mean the hull bent inward on the exterior near the bow?

I had a wooden Chincoteague Scow as a kid. The hull was made of plywood. Each wave you hit it would bend up on the bottom. Trust was definitely key.....
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:35   #4
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

I looked at a Cal 33-2 around that year. The owner had been preping it for a trip to Bermuda. Among the usual upgrades they reinforced the deck in the area around the mast. Some cross bracing below. I can't remember the particulars, but I think it had to do with flexing in the deck. Maybe to prevent this oil canning phenomenon. I really like the boat as a coastal cruiser. Nice layout below, the deep keel points relatively high similar to most of the fin keel production boats of that era. The shallow draft a little less so. The fiberglass on the decks also tended to craze. I really liked it but was out of our price range.
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Old 08-12-2013, 13:14   #5
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
When you say oil canned does that mean the hull bent inward on the exterior near the bow?

I had a wooden Chincoteague Scow as a kid. The hull was made of plywood. Each wave you hit it would bend up on the bottom. Trust was definitely key.....
Yes, although I have to say it's pretty subjective.. not like I could measure it! probably typical of many production type boats I suppose.
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Old 23-12-2013, 12:52   #6
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Does the shoal draft affect these boats in a negative way other than they may not point as well as the deep keel model?

Also, one guy said his boat "oil canned" in the forward hull area, but he's the only one whose said that.

Otherwise I'm hearing these boats are very nice boats. Does anyone have any more info on them?
I was the engineering project manager for putting that boat into production and it has always been one of my favorites. An 87 would have been built in the Fall River plant and that line had one of the most meticulous line foreman I've ever met. The care boats receive over the years has a lot to do with how they hold up over time, and it was built 26 years ago, so you need to look it over well. But there are two of them side by side at my yacht club and they each look pretty good. Both owners have owned them since nearly new and really love them. The owners have cruised the Bahamas in them many times.

The hull construction is single skin and the bows do flex a little in waves. From the outside look at where the hull shell passes over the Vee-berth top and over bulkheads. If there is no cracking, then its fine. The style at the time was for very tight corners on the deck. You may see some small cracks where the coamings meet the cabin house. Both boats I mentioned have these but they have not grown larger in the last 10 years. One had a blister repair done to the bottom six years ago and other has never had blisters. I'd buy either one if they ever come up for sale.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:51   #7
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

Any more comments on this boat.

I've looked at quite a few boats but this 1987 Cal 33 Mk II is in excellent condition. Only problem is this oil canning business ........
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Old 14-10-2015, 09:49   #8
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I purchased a 1989 CAL 33-2 earlier this summer. It has spent its entire life on Lake Ontario and has been very well maintained. It is a deep keel, 6'2" and sails extremely well to wind. I have seen no oil canning in the hull even in 6-8 foot seas. (By the way the waves are much closer together on Lake Ontario than they are in a typical ocean environment.)

Some of the things I really like about the boat:
  • Sails extremely well. I often leave similar sized boats far behind.
  • Wide side decks for easy movement forward
  • Excellent motion even in very rough seas. No pounding.
  • Secure cockpit with high and very functional bridge deck. Definitely designed to take a broaching wave and stand up. Also well sized cockpit drains.
  • Significant rudder and tiller control for smooth control even in following seas
  • Lots of interior room. It is usually confused with a 36' boat
  • Kitchen access is out of the way for anyone moving from the front to the back of the boat.
  • Kitchen feels secure underway and well laid out. My wife prefers the layout over our home kitchen.
  • Lots of room in the head
  • Outstanding engine access under a shell just below the ladder
  • Tons of storage space.
  • Outstanding access to the stuffing box, batteries, tankage etc.
  • The boat came with a Kiwi prop that provide great thrust forward and back with little propwalk
  • We have had 12 people on the boat in the cockpit and below for diner and drinks. It was tight but everyone fit. I actually like the central table layout below. Both my wife and I have worked (laptop and phone) on our boat with lots of room to spare. And we routinely fit 6+ people around the table.
  • 2 Excellent propane storage lockers. I just replaced a tank while underway last weekend with no drama or difficulty.
  • I have a hydraulic back-stay. Also the mast is tapered. The combination makes putting a bend and reducing weather helm very easy.
I have not found any significant issues yet. Mostly just regular maintenance stuff, and I want to install solar panels. One last thing to note, the previous owner installed a larger holding tank under the v-berth. That and the foam he installed around the tank likely reinforced the bow of the boat and reduced any oil canning.


I wouldn't take her off shore for a ocean crossing but we have done 50-60 mile days on the lake with relative ease so I would be confident island hopping. The best thing I can say about the boat is that my wife who is relatively new to sailing loves taking her out on a rough day and sailing it with the rail down. She feels very confident on the Cal 33-2.


If you are looking at a CAL 33-2 or already own one I would be more than happy to hear from you.
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Old 14-10-2015, 13:31   #9
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Teamfoxy, and Kohlmann.
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Old 24-08-2016, 05:23   #10
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

Somewhat old thread, but I'd thought I'd add my 2 cents. I've had my 1985 Cal 33-2 shoal draft for 6 years now. Fourth owner. I've been very happy with it. Fast, comfortable, decent in light air and handles the rough stuff well. I've not experienced any oil-canning issues and I've been out in some pretty rough weather. While I'm sure there is some compromise with the shoal draft keel, I haven't noticed it. Boat is stiff and goes to weather well. Base PHRF rating in western Long Island Sound is 132, same as the deep keel version.

The layout below is very functional as has been said by others. The large quarter berth with a privacy curtain and opening ports to the cockpit and stbd side is much better than an aft cabin in a boat this size. The engine access is exceptional - best I've ever seen in a sailboat. Makes engine maintenance a piece of cake.

Nice to hear from Teamfoxy the project manager for the boat above. Great info!
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Old 24-08-2016, 05:30   #11
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Re: 1987 Cal 33-2

My CAL 28 (1986) does have a bit of an oil can issue. The rig tension under a heavy load will compress the entire hull, the deck and keel sags, the hull becomes a bit more narrow. In the 30+ years I've become used to it; even surviving a knock-down without structural failure. It does unnerve newcomers to the boat who are astute enough to actually notice the change.
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