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Old 22-02-2012, 19:31   #1
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Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Out of curiosity, I looked at a Cal 34 the other day. It's supposed to be a pretty bullet proof boat for the size. It certainly seemed well built, but I noticed the cabin windows on the sides seemed very weak with lots of flex.

I looked at Zach Sunderland's old Islander 36 last month, which is for sale in Marina Del Rey. It had the windows removed and thick plexiglass put in their place. It was a pretty rough job with lots of silicone, but obviously they were more concerned about utility over how nice the finishing was. Thinking back now though, I realize this must be a point of weakness on many boats including the Cal above. Can anyone recommend options to beef up the strength while still keeping the boat looking good? Do they sell new windows to fit and if so, where can you find them?
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Old 22-02-2012, 20:03   #2
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

You could cut plywood shutters to cover the windows. Keep a charged battery operated screw driver on hand and install them with self drilling screws should the need ever arise. For the vast bulk of people there will be no need to worry about these fixed ports.

Another option would be to have thicker plexiglass ports cut and install with flathead screws and washers like Zac did. If you make an attempt to do a good job, they can look as good as OEM windows. In fact, quite a few manufacturers install larger fixed parts via that method. There is a very nice looking pilot house that just sailed in from Mexico that has plexiglass over their large ports. They did not replace the stock window but installed the plexiglass over them with stand off washers. Looks really professional and Bristol.

On my old Pearson, the windows are NLA, but I understand the plastic gasket as used on Catalinas will work as a replacement and is available from them. If the frames are still in decent shape, might investigate whether the Catalina gasket fits other window frames.

Did you ever get anything back from your stolen backpack??
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Old 22-02-2012, 20:20   #3
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Thanks for the info. No I never heard back form the police on my backpack or gear. I think it's long gone. Maybe one day. Like I said, I hope the guy learns how to use the stuff and becomes the latest/greatest photographer/cinematographer or director instead of selling it cheap for drugs or something. Maybe one day when he's famous he'll look me up. Then again if it was the cleaning staff, then it was pieced off and sold for sure. Every time I get a voice mail notification though I anxiously check and hope it's the police with good news, and every time I see a backpack, I think of my gear, but such is life. The Cal 34 would mean a much different approach to the project but at least I can still go ahead and buy some replacement equipment. That's why I'm considering it over a large boat.
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Old 22-02-2012, 21:02   #4
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

I've sailed a Cal 34, and it's a delight. But it won't carry much weight, at least not well.

Check this thread: Cal 34s - Interesting Reports
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Old 22-02-2012, 22:05   #5
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

I sailed a fair bit on a friends Cal 34 over a 20yr period. Very happy with it. Would be getting one for offshore if I didn't have 2 kids.

This boat went to Hawai'i in 1985 and did just fine with 3 people and their gear aboard one way and 4 the other.

Of note, I was told the boat sailed better in with full water tank up under the v-berth. Apparently the boat was originally designed with the engine farther forward, under a dinette seat I believe, before being moved back under the cockpit. A full water tank puts the boat back on it's original lines.
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Old 22-02-2012, 22:10   #6
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Met a guy a couple years ago in Mexico,sailed his Cal 33 from Seattle and now is in New Zealand.
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Old 23-02-2012, 12:34   #7
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I sailed a fair bit on a friends Cal 34 over a 20yr period. Very happy with it. Would be getting one for offshore if I didn't have 2 kids.

This boat went to Hawai'i in 1985 and did just fine with 3 people and their gear aboard one way and 4 the other.

Of note, I was told the boat sailed better in with full water tank up under the v-berth. Apparently the boat was originally designed with the engine farther forward, under a dinette seat I believe, before being moved back under the cockpit. A full water tank puts the boat back on it's original lines.
Cool. This boat has tanks up front under the V-Berth, so that's good to hear.

High Seas: Even better to hear. I'm waiting to hear back from my broker until 4pm. Then I'm making a move.

I'm so sick of sitting on my hands waiting! I was a real estate broker for 8 years in the 90's and I can't help but think I would have had something long ago if I could have done things myself. The middle men sure bog things down, but I guess that's the nature of the beast.
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Old 23-02-2012, 19:35   #8
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Diamond Sea Glaze in BC Canada and Marks Plastics in Long Beach, CA make replacement windows, you can find many others they just need a template once you remove the existing windows. The lead time and cost however would make me think that option is a no go for you, unless you want to keep the boat afterwards.
I have noticed you have been looking at racer/cruisers and with Australia as your final destination that might prove to be a good move, the asking prices for these type of boats down there seem to be 50K higher then here. There are few CAL 39's that might be worth a look in your area one in Wilmington the other in San Diego. I know someone that works for the broker in SD if you would like his contact info. I also noticed what appears to be a Newport 41 in nice shape up near the tartan your looking at. Both these boats would be worth a lot more down under. If the big windows don't scare you off an Islander Freeport 36 might be worth taking a look at, if your interested you can check mine out this weekend in Long Beach.

Cheers,
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Old 23-02-2012, 20:05   #9
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

I did a lot of soul searching over the last few days, and used a spreadsheet to help out with that. I calculated the prices I though I could get the boats for and then added the costs of essentials. Then I compared them, and subtracted the totals from my declining budget, then subtracted the cost of replacing my camera gear.

There is a Tartan 38 that I would love to pick up. I already know what it would take to buy it. It's loaded up with everything I need including a spectra watermaker. Although much of the electronics are 10 years old or more, they are all there. Unfortunately, it's just out of reach of what I can afford and still make the trip. If my gear had not been stolen, I would buy it, ad I have been struggling with that realization for the last couple of weeks. It's been tough to wean it down based on the new reduced budget, but I had to face the facts.

Doing the spreadsheet really put things into perspective and since I don't want to rely on sponsors, which is a big unknown, I don't want to end up boat poor with a bigger boat but unable to afford the trip itself. So, I'm going small and more affordable and changing the plan to support that. I need to put in a lot of equipment but it will all be new. It will take some time, but I'd rather leave later and know the systems. And i'll take the time to learn to sail it and make the overall trip shorter.

I want to replace my film gear and do a lot of photos an filming myself. I will bring a cameraman, but i want to be self sufficient just in case, and that includes being able to sail single handed.

And while making a bigger profit on a bigger, better, more saleable sailboat at the end of the trip factored into my decision making process, i just can't afford to play that game now. I'm focussing on the trip, the footage and the experience first. I don't really have a choice right now.

As for the Cal 34 vs. the Islander 36, I have been on one and didn't find it much bigger inside. In fact, I found the layout of the 34 better with two quarter berths. The one thing I didn't like was that there was no dedicated chart table, which means hop bunking depending on who's on watch. Since I'm unlikely to use the v-berth on crossings, it may be the place for storage, but with water tanks there and the need to level things out weight-wise, that could be a challenge. There's not much storage in general either, but my budget is what it is, and if that means myself and one other person, so be it.

Thanks for all the info guys. I really appreciate it. Oh and sorry if there are typing mistakes. I'm using my iPhone.
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Old 27-02-2012, 13:59   #10
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

The surveyor is meeting me on Wednesday. He looked at the listing and immediately said that he didn't think this was the boat for me. Ouch. I asked why, since he hadn't even seen the boat yet. The only thing he had to say was he didn't like the Captain's chair. Lol. We'll see what he has to say about the mechanical aspects of the boat.
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Old 27-02-2012, 14:24   #11
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

I agree on the captain's chair. Looks like a sailor wannabe set up. Only thing missing is the white captain's cap. Set up for dockside liveaboard but a real fuel hog out cruising. Generator on a 34' boat!!!! A poof sailboat.

I'd look at this boat. It has serious cruising gear and is already part way there.
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Old 27-02-2012, 14:31   #12
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

I don't think it has a generator, at least not that I saw. Where did you read that? All it has that I know of is a high output alternator. And the inverter/charger is broken, so they have a small inverter only. $2000 for a decent replacement pure sign inverter/charger.

Are you saying the Cal 34 is part way there for cruising or did you mean to include another link? And yes I'll have to remove the chair and fill the holes I guess.
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Old 27-02-2012, 14:42   #13
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

It may break your budget but I replaced all my plexi ports with stainless steel/tempered glass from Newfound metals. Was a litttle more expensive then going back with factory plastic brand but looks better and much more substantial material. And after 1 year- no leaks- which is a first on my Watkins.
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Old 27-02-2012, 14:57   #14
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Oops!!!! http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=76449&url=

The one you're looking at doesn't have self steering gear. Something that should be #1 on your list if you are really going to go anywhere. Has a serious amount of chain and anchor, also something that is at the top of the list for living away from the marina. Solar panels and windcharger to try and keep up with the refrigeration and water maker if you still think it's worth cost and cost to run. It's also got a bunch of other gear that are valuable for a cruiser. Of course, haven't seen it and pictures don't always tell the truth but the gear list is outstanding.

The listing on your boat says it has a generator but none of the serious cruising gear on the other boat. Inverters are nice to have items but real electron hogs if you use them.
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Old 27-02-2012, 15:17   #15
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Re: Cal 34 Cabin Window Upgrades

Roverhi.

I plan to spend about $20-25,000 in gear for the boat, including a wind vane. Trying to buy a boat just for an included wind vane has proven to be very difficult and/or expen$ive. I'll check it out though. In the meantime, survey is booked for Wednesday on the Cal 34.
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