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Old 08-10-2014, 03:39   #1
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Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

Hey Folks,
I'm looking for thoughts & feedback on the Cal 39 MK I, especially for live aboard & long term cruising. So any & all thoughts & experiences are welcomed.

Also, does anyone know if they have a real bilge, given their external keel? That, and how is the integrity of the hull to deck joint? Meaning, how's it built, and how does it hold up over time, especially vs. leaks.

Thanks

PS: This is the early version which came out right after the Cal 40, & has pilot berths etc. As opposed to the later MK II, & III, which are wider & more modern styling wise.
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Old 08-10-2014, 13:52   #2
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Re: Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

Really nice sailing boat. Friends sailed around the world in one. Boats this old have to be very carefully inspected but the design is a good one.
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Old 08-10-2014, 14:13   #3
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Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

Good boat from what I can tell. There is one just north of San Diego what the wife and I considered buying it but it was a bit of a project with an old dead tranny.

Should be a fairly fast boat give the high sail area.

I assume the hull/deck joint is the same as the Cal40, inward flange with a flat lid on top. Thru bolts are probably also holding the toe rail on so spacing would be easy to check from outside. At this age the sealing in the joint is probably brittle so the boat will likely leak once you go offshore and it starts flexing. Given the above joint it should be relatively easy to fix, though not very fun.

Many Cal's have a steel beam under the mast and just above the hull. This both good and bad. If previous owners haven't done a good job of keeping the bilge pumped mostly down it may have corrosion problems. On the other hand the beam does a really good job of resolving mast compression forces and there will be a lot less hull flexing.

Are you assuming the boat has bolt on ballast or have you seen it? All the larger early Cals have internal ballast: 25,27,28,29,34,36,40 with decent keel sumps.


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Old 08-10-2014, 23:26   #4
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Re: Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

Adelie, Thanks for stepping up. I'm juggling too many projects as it is, & me helping one of my mates find a boat's a bit of a drain. Albeit, for one's mates, for me at least, there isn't much I wouldn't do.

Anyway, I think I know the boat which you're talking about with the jigsaw puzzle transmission, though I haven't seen it live. What kind of shape was she in otherwise?

On the mast beam issue, thanks for the heads up. It was one of the things which I turned up early on when I was doing some homework on Cals. Evidently it's an issue in the 40's, & some others as well. Though for boats that old it's kind of hard to fault them, especially given that from what I can tell, relative to other makes, a LOT of their owners race & cruise them extensively. And even had they made the beams out of stainless, after 40yrs a lot of them would be suspect... just look at your average 304/306 chain plate of that vintage.

As to their keels. I haven't looked at the boat in question, or spoken to the owner as yet. However, in the factory literature for this model, it's plainly stated that the keel's a bolt on external casting.
The masts are deck stepped which is a BIG help in terms of keep Neptune outside. But these boats are definitely pre dripless packing, that, & hey, it's a boat, so keeping the bilges dusty is nigh on impossible. So if they lack a sump, it's both a lot harder to keep everything inside, dry, & to have s spot to mount a pump which will be up to the task of dealing with things properly.

The owner of the one with the transmission in pieces was/is a fanatical racer, & went so far as to install lexan floor boards so that they could spot & sponge out any water, to keep her as light as possible when racing. Never did get to asking him if he had a bilge sump though.
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Old 08-10-2014, 23:36   #5
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Re: Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

The boat we know about is in Oceanside CA, a bit north of San Diego. Didn't actually go and look at the boat, I know how project boats go. I want something sail-able from the beginning and we don't quite the money currently. This is not to say I wouldn't be willing to replace the engine, but that is something I would want to plan out and execute in a more limited time span. Without the on-going sailing the boat just becomes a drag so enthusiasm wanes and the project stalls.

Your location sounds like UP Michigan. What kind of boat do you have? Where's your mate?
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:14   #6
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Re: Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
The boat we know about is in Oceanside CA, a bit north of San Diego. Didn't actually go and look at the boat, I know how project boats go. I want something sail-able from the beginning and we don't quite the money currently. This is not to say I wouldn't be willing to replace the engine, but that is something I would want to plan out and execute in a more limited time span. Without the on-going sailing the boat just becomes a drag so enthusiasm wanes and the project stalls.

Your location sounds like UP Michigan. What kind of boat do you have? Where's your mate?
I understand completely, meaning the part about how much of a drag it can be to have a boat where all you get to do is work on her. It can be really draining (emotionally, physically, & fiscally), as opposed to the opposite of how boats are "supposed to be".
Honestly, right now, I'm in need of a good sailing "fix" in the WORST way. In addition to a steady supply of it from there onwards. Time for me to get to scheming .
The catch being that for/at the moment I'm back in the Midwest... long story.

"Home" is the Pacific NW, sailing on Puget Sound mostly, including up into Canada when the mood strikes. And my friend's in NorCal. So yeah, having projects in 3 locations so far apart geography wise is a pain. But for those close to the heart... well, you know how that goes.

I was/am curious about the boat in/near San Diego, as I lived there for close to a decade. So more or less, I know where most things nautical are. Which helps.
But for me, "pulling into a new port" & searching for the place which has waffles like ambrosia + the world's best coffee, is one of the best perks of travel IMHO.
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:40   #7
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Cal 39 MK I - Thoughts & Feedback

Where are you in the mid west?
Where abouts in the PNW is home?
I'm actually a Seattle boy and would move back tomorrow if I could.
We have been reduced to joining one of those commercial sailing "clubs" to get a regular fix. I'm hoping to buy a Cal36 next year.

Adelie
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