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Old 05-08-2011, 08:24   #1
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CAL 28

Hello All,

My husband and I are considering making an offer on a CAL 28 this weekend. It is a 1986 in really good shape.(engine has been rebuilt and has 90 hours on it) Does anyone else out there sail these? Would love to hear the good and the bad. We are going to be sailing it off the coast of Maine and NH. It needs a few things but overall it seems like the perfect fit for us.

Thanks
Alice
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:39   #2
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Re: CAL 28

CAL 28's are excellent boats... You may want to check out the CAL 28 page (Cal 28 Sailboat Cal Sailboats Cal Boats Cal Yachts Classic Plastic Jensen Marine Cal 28 Bill Lathrop Jack Jensen Good Old Boat) as it is the best online resource for things CAL 28
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:53   #3
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Re: CAL 28

Thanks Bob, I really took a liking to this boat. We are trying it out next weekend but have been on it and I like it. I thought the interior would suit us perfect also as we will be cruising with the two of us and our 10 year old daughter.

Thanks again for the link.

Alice
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:58   #4
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Re: CAL 28

Hi Alice,

We bought an '87 Cal-28 a couple of years ago and couldn't be happier with the decision. We looked at 6 different examples before eventually finding 'ours'.

As the younger sister to the Cal 33, the 28 shares many of the same systems and hardware. As a results, much of the rigging is overbuilt and heavier duty than you may find on other 28' cruisers. The cockpit is arranged with the necessary lines led aft and good access to the 4 winches. An experienced sailor can easily single hand the boat. She handles well under full sail up to about 15-20kts, above which we tend to put the first of two reefs in the main. The reefing system on ours is maddening (single line jiffy through boom), and it's on my list of things to change. She points OK for what she is (cruiser/racer), and we don't find evidence of much weather helm.

We've had as many as 7 people aboard for day sailing, but no more than 4 adults is a realistic number for everyone to be comfortable in the cockpit. Cockpit comings are well designed for back support and the distance between benches is close enough to allow for purchase when heeling. The lazarette storage is very large and well laid out for access to the fuel tank/filter, hot water heater and head discharge plumbing. These boats do seem to have a very slight list to stbd, probably due to the fuel tank and other systems being located on that side. Decks are wide enough to move fore and aft, but it gets a little crowded when going around the lower shrouds.

Ours is the standard keel and draws 5'3", a shoal draft version was also made which draws 3'9". I assume you will have the boat surveyed prior to purchase. On each of the Cal 28-2's that we've seen out of the water, the keel to hull joint is visible. This may or may not be a problem, but it is something to look for prior to purchase.

At 13HP, the engine is able to push the boat at hull speed through some chop, but it may be underpowered under rougher conditions. Engine access is fantastic after removing the companionway base. I will say that the engine is noisy and I wouldn't want to spend an extended period of time down below while under power. It isn't well ventilated either and retains heat after motoring - great for the Fall/Spring, not so good in the summer. We have a feathering prop on ours and as a result, she handles very well in reverse.

As you've seen, the cabin layout with the head aft is generous and laid out well for a couple or small family. The cabin table can fit 4 adults, but it's a little tight. There's plenty of light in the cabin during the day and the layout of the 12V lighting system provides excellent illumination at night. The ventilation is adequate but you may want to supplement it with some 12V fans on very hot days. Be sure to check the condition of the opening port lights and surrounding areas for evidence of any leaks. Sleeping in the fwd v-berth is comfortable for two (I'm 6'2") and the quarter berth is a great spot for 1 or 2. I think the settees are too shallow to be used as bunks. Storage is good for a boat this size, but check all the drawers and cabinets to ensure the latch mechanism is working properly. The galley works out well for us, but the oven is overkill for how we use the boat. Some were made with just a 2 burner stove top - that would be my preference if given the choice.

Water/food/fuel/waste capacity has never been an issue for us, but we typically day sail or take weekend trips with her around Boston and the North Shore. The battery bank is sufficient for our needs, but we don't put a heavy demand on it either (radio, lights, water pressure, instruments).

While overall it's a well built boat, time does take it's toll. In addition to what you'd look for on any boat that was 25 years old, here are some other items that we observed on several of the 28-2s we looked at.

  1. Checking of the teak toe rail Starboard - Aft. Pretty common, maybe half of the boats had this and may be a result of the slight stbd list.
  2. Quadrant steering - this had been rebuilt on a few of the boats we looked at and would be considered a normal maintenance item after 25 years.
  3. Hull to Keel joint as mentioned above.
  4. Leaking around quarter berth port and pedestal stand - we saw evidence of this on many of the boats we looked at.
  5. Head seacock - located just forward of engine. This was badly rusted on some of the boats as a result of water pooling in that bilge area.
They're nice boats and people tend to like the layout when they come aboard. I hope it works out for you and your family. I have a lot of other information on the 28-2 if you need it (pictures/manuals/specs/brochures), just let me know.

Good Luck,

Joe
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:18   #5
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Re: CAL 28

Grass....
I’ve been sailing one for 20 years! Great boat (mine’s an ’86 as well)

Jake’s stuff above is spot-on. We’ve added a few creature comforts along the way and have about a 5 day-at-sea endurance.... then the cold beer runs out, so we come to shore! The only improvement left to be done on ours is refrigerating the ice box.

If you have any questions, just PM
George
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Old 10-08-2011, 20:31   #6
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Re: CAL 28

Thanks for the replies. Still haven't bought it yet but did take her out sailing today with the current owner. It was great. She handled great and we had a good time. I loved it. It needs a few things done to it, but what 1986 boat doesn't?

I will keep you posted on our progress. We are looking at one more boat(and IP 27) this weekend and then will make our decision. At this pace, the season will be over before we get her in the water.

Thanks again
Alice
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:39   #7
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Re: CAL 28

So Grasspack,

What happened? Did you get her?
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Old 01-09-2011, 19:36   #8
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Re: CAL 28

Hello

No, we haven't yet. Some things happened with the previous owner and we couldn't come to terms. But he did email us tonight and lower the price so we are going to reconsider. We are going to look at her again this weekend. Our sailing season is almost over but if we end up buying her, we might get a couple of trips in before the season is over. I will keep you all posted.

Thanks for asking,
Alice
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Old 11-06-2012, 16:43   #9
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Re: CAL 28

Hi gang, I'm another Cal 28-2 owner. I've had Nauti Dog for 6 or 7 years now. and couldnt be happier. I have one "tuning" issue that I'm looking for input on. Based on the fact that I can run the westerbeke all the way to 3400 rpm in gear, I think I'm "under wheeled". I had the prop tuned this winter, but they either didn't add enough pitch, or the prop is just to small. Would any of you know what size prop you use and how high you can rev to get to a given speed. From what ive gathered, 2500 or so is the right speed to run her at. I have A 2 blade michigan 13rh10. I intend to poll the other Cal 28 owners in here in Milford CT too. Must be 7 or 8 in our harbor. Thanks.
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Old 19-07-2013, 07:35   #10
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Re: CAL 28

Dug up this old thread while researching Cal 28-2. Just wondering how it turned out.
And have a question. Is the keel lead or cast iron?
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Old 20-07-2013, 20:59   #11
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Re: CAL 28

Hi, I never resolved the "under-wheeled" problem. Had a much larger problem to deal with since that post! Nauti-Dog was on the hard, laid up slightly early for the winter last season. When hurricane Sandy hit the North-East, we had some very high storm surge. It was so high, that power boats in our marina floated off their stands. Unfortunately, a rather large one ran into the line of sailboats. Nauti-Dog was knocked off her stands, and had a fallen sailboat on both sides of her beating her up.

Bent the rudder stock, small crack in the port topsides, wiped out the stanchions, squished a few turning blocks, and wreaked a few other odds and ends.. The worst part of it was having to recreate the entire starboard side teak toe rail. Finding a large enough piece of teak to do the job was tough, and expensive! Ended up having to buy a 2"x8"x17' piece to do the job.

Anyhow, after a solid two months of weekends, a pile of money, and a few vacation days, she's back in the water, shiny, and sailing beautifully. Just came back from a full week on the water..

So, after all that, I never got to the prop. The Cal 28-II has a lead keel, which took a slight bit of damage while she was lying in the gravel, but that was the easiest part of the whole repair job..

Enjoy the season..

Nauti-Dog
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Old 25-01-2015, 11:39   #12
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Re: CAL 28

Greetings, Joe! I'm in the process of finding a very-good used Cal 28-2 (1986-89), having happily owned and sailed a 1987 Cal 22 on an inland lake for 23 years. I've reviewed your posts both here and on sailnet.com and found them to be very informed, instructive, & comprehensive. Thus & so, I'd like to ask the following:

1. If you were buying now, would you prefer an '88/'89 model over an '86/'87 model as being measurably better constructed or appointed, in one or more ways, by the mfgr? I'm aware, e.g., that the later models were fitted with 18HP Yanmars rather than 13.5HP Westerbekes, which presumably move the boat more masterfully through chop, etc.

2. Can you provide your most up-to-date list of issues to look for when examining used boats for sale?

3. Can you provide your most up-to-date list of asking/sold prices for these boats from soldboats.com?

If you'd be open to chat about any or all of this, or would like an e-address to pass any of the above along, pls let me know and I'll provide direct contact information to you. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide me!

SeaBreather
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Old 27-01-2015, 15:39   #13
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Re: CAL 28

Hi, Marc from NautiDog here,

After she was totaled by the insurance company after Hurricane Sandy, with check in hand, I found myself looking for another Cal 28-II. As luck would have it, I was able to purchase her back from the insurance company and put her back in shape.

Jake Tanley's post from 08-08-2011, 13:58 is a great description. Mine is an 86'. As noted by some, the Yanmar may be preferable as the Westerbeke is fairly loud. Loud, but VERY reliable and easy to work on. I'm satisfied with it, but if I was looking, given my druthers, I'd go Yanmar. The only issues I've had, aside from the hurricane damage, were:

1. A somewhat wet rudder. Very common on most boats of that vintage. Solved with a brand new rudder from Foss in Newport Beach, courtesy of the insurance company. I probably wouldnt have replaced the old one if I didnt have to. The new one is from a Shock 30/30 mold. Perfect fit, and better performance.

2. A fair amount of gelcoat crazing. This bugs the heck out of me. Not something that can really be fixed, so I live with it.

3. Too much teak. A pain to keep in Bristol shape, but its a labor of love. Too many let their just go gray..

Add these to the few Jake mentioned. Its a solid, reasonably fast, very comfortable racer/cruiser. My wife and I go on a 7-10 day cruise every summer and she's roomy enough for that, and has enough storage and water and fuel capacity. I added new sails, an autopilot, and a bimini which make life more bearable, and gauge to keep track of the holding tank level. That's a story I won't get into!

Great boat. Should be able to find a nice one for $15-$17K...
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Old 27-01-2015, 21:32   #14
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Re: CAL 28

Thanks for the very informative reply, Marc!

>>As noted by some, the Yanmar may be preferable as the Westerbeke is fairly loud. Loud, but VERY reliable and easy to work on. I'm satisfied with it, but if I was looking, given my druthers, I'd go Yanmar.<<

That's partly what has me tending now towards looking for an '88 or '89. I will be viewing a used '86 this coming weekend, and will use the opportunity to check out the Westerbeke engine, among other things.

>>A somewhat wet rudder. Very common on most boats of that vintage. Solved with a brand new rudder from Foss in Newport Beach, courtesy of the insurance company. I probably wouldnt have replaced the old one if I didnt have to. The new one is from a Shock 30/30 mold. Perfect fit, and better performance.<<

I'm not sure what a "wet rudder" means and why this posed/es a problem. Please explain.

>>A fair amount of gelcoat crazing. This bugs the heck out of me. Not something that can really be fixed, so I live with it. <<

I found this on my 1987 Cal 22 too when I bought her in 1991. I had the most egregious examples (on the coaming-cabintop corners) re-gelcoated and they've held up very well since then. There must have been problems in the f-glass mfg'g process at the time for cracks have appeared elsewhere; I have allways used my boat in very strong blows, though, so this may be a readily contributory factor. I wonder if that was ever fixed before Cal closed it doors in '89?

>>Too much teak. A pain to keep in Bristol shape, but its a labor of love. Too many let their just go gray.. <<

Indeed, same for the 22, but it's all part of "CALs' charm," I suppose. I've been very diligent on that score since '91, either personally or professionally (;->), and so it all still looks sharp.

>>It's a solid, reasonably fast, very comfortable racer/cruiser. My wife and I go on a 7-10 day cruise every summer and she's roomy enough for that, and has enough storage and water and fuel capacity. I added new sails, an autopilot, and a bimini which make life more bearable, and gauge to keep track of the holding tank level.<<

Good editorial, thx! I've really loved my 22, a great 1984 24 MkIII I've seen is equally rudimentary for cruising, and so a good used 28 is on my search radar.

>>Great boat. Should be able to find a nice one for $15-$17K...<<

Indeed, that's my prayer! Thx again for responding.

SeaBreather
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Old 31-01-2015, 10:39   #15
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Re: CAL 28

Good luck on your search. I'm sure you'll fine a nice one.

With regards to rudders, a wet one is fairly common. My old Cal 25 had it, most C&Cs have it, every Cal 33 I've seen seems to have it, and heck, I bet more than half of all boats over 20 years old have it.

Water often gets into the core from the around the rudder post. It's tough to seal a joint between fiberglass and the stainless steel post, and over time, many absorb water. You can often see it trying to find its way out when the boat is on the hard, dripping through small cracks or holes. Many try to make a simple patch repair, but if the foam inside is wet, it'll likely re-appear. I had pretty good luck fixing mine before the hurricane wiped it out and I had to replace the whole thing. I drilled some holes at the bottom of the rudder and let it drain all winter. In the spring, I stripped the rudder down to clean gelcoat. Then I ground out a few spots where there were water was weeping out, and also a couple of spots where I could tell it was delaminated, or worse, bulging from water having froze and expanded. After drying it out as much as possible, I then built up the ground out areas using layers of glass and epoxy, and then sealed the rudder with a barrier coat; and sealed the rudder post with 5200. It stayed nice and dry for a couple of years until the storm.

I was able to prove my repair was a good one, because after the storm, I removed the old rudder the easy way, with a reciprocating saw! I cut it in half and was able to inspect the foam and the stainless, and it was all in quite good shape (except for the bent post from the storm).

Anyhow, if you walk through any boatyard in the spring and look at a host of rudders, I bet you'll see many weeping water from somewhere. Don't let a small spot or two bother you too much, just plan to repair it. If one looks really bad, it can still be rebuilt, or at worst case replaced with a new one.

Google "wet rudder repair" for lots of info... Happy sailing.
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