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Old 17-03-2016, 07:08   #1
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Cal 39 vs 40

Hi all,
I am currently a 15 year old sailor who has been running with family and singlehandedly running a cal 25 and i will soon step up to seafaring and will definitely stay with cal and ive always wanted a 39 but the 40 is so well praised what do all fellow sailors have to say about the 39 vs 40? All help is appreciated happy sailing
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Old 17-03-2016, 07:37   #2
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Which Cal 39 do you mean? There is 60s-early 70s model, then mid 70s-early 80s model and mid/late 80s one. Three somewhat different (though not entirely) boats.

I did 5 seasons of charter club sailing in the 90s on late 80s Cal 39 and it was a great sailer, very robust and could take a lot of abuse from club members, although it's motion was somewhat squirelly for it's size. But I guess that was the price of its speed and agility.

In the late 90s-early 2000a it was going to be my first boat purchased but my sailing buddy who was to be a partner in this balked at the last minute and became a power boat tuna fishing guy. There was a time on the late 90s-early 2000s, during the dot.com crash when you could buy a 15-20 year old Cal 39 in a good shape for well under $50K, sometimes even under $40K.
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Old 17-03-2016, 08:03   #3
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Thanks for the reply island time,
I was speaking relatively broadly but as the 39 is newer in general i think any of the marks is a fair comparison to the 40 but how would the 39 and 40 handle in rough weather i heard the 39 handled better in rough seas, any opinion? Did you ever take yours in foul weather?
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Old 17-03-2016, 08:56   #4
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

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Originally Posted by Ben_c_g View Post
Thanks for the reply island time,
I was speaking relatively broadly but as the 39 is newer in general i think any of the marks is a fair comparison to the 40 but how would the 39 and 40 handle in rough weather i heard the 39 handled better in rough seas, any opinion? Did you ever take yours in foul weather?
As Island Time says, there are 3 Cal 39's, all different designs, 2 by Lapworth, and the most recent, by Hunt Assoc. (rare). They are all good. By far the most common is the second Lapworth version. (1978>?) None were built to a 'gold plate' standard. So as always, a thorough inspection is advised, (as per any boat this age.) All these boats were considered relatively light at the time but not compared to more recent models. I've sailed on orig. C40 and second C39. In heavy seas they both pound upwind maybe more than the average long keel traditional cruiser but still keep going as long as you will. Both are relatively fast upwind and down especially in stronger winds and controllable. The deeper keeled version of the C39 will of course, sail better. The Cal 40 has surprising shallow draft considering it's status as a racing legend.
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Old 17-03-2016, 09:15   #5
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Thanks barney,
And yes if it was a 39 it would be a mark II regular draft and i am now leaning towards the 39 so thanks and to anyone who sees this and its off topic why wasnt the 39 put in the hall of fame while the 40 was the 40 had great history but so did the 39
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Old 17-03-2016, 10:57   #6
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Always liked the Cal 39...inspect the rudder carefully
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:19   #7
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Ive heard of rudder issues on cal 39s never really looked into it what are your personal experiences robert?
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:19   #8
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

The 3 Cal 39s we had at the club were Hunt designed. Hunt and Co. were practically in-house NAs with O'day for most of their career and ours were built in O'day plant in MA. They were literally the last 3 built as O'day was going out of business at the time. The sail club owner bought those 3 at a liquidation/bankrupcy auction at the last stages of the build, he just had to finish up rig and may be steering and such. I recall he was gloating that in the late 80s he paid for them about $20K each, almost finished.

In the 5 seasons which I sailed them we were in 2 or 3 decent storms as we always had a tight schedule, etc. Several were bad enough for the hangers on (gfs, non sailing buddies, etc) to bail out at the first opportunity and me and my sailing buddy had to deliver the boat back to the club by ourselves for the last 80-100 miles. I actually liked that experience and gained a measure of respect for these Cal/O'day boats. When they would slam off of a wave we were not worried as she felt solid and robust.

Don't have any experience or thoughts about their maintenance, etc as being club members we were not concerned with it. But I do recall that one of the three was constantly not available due to this or that issue. Not sure if it was something structural or just that boat's bad luck to be out of commission so often. That was our major point of contention with the club owner - that he advertised and collected memberships to 39 footers based on 3 of them in the fleet but realistically there were only which made for some scheduling issues to be sure. Some club members didn't even realize that there were three 39s.

Also I remember how we once had an engine issue, it was stuck in hi revs due to some linkage breakage, and were able to remedy it by jury rigging some piece or other. The engine access was pretty good from the aft cabin. It was PITA of course if you had to sleep there while motoring.
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:22   #9
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Thanks for the insight and experience, much obliged. Haha that one boat must of had a bad christening or was carrying bananas
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:40   #10
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

[QUOTE=robert sailor;2074628]Always liked the Cal 39...inspect the rudder carefully[/QUOT

It's a known weakness on this model but it may have already been attended to or it may be fine but if you do buy one have this area of the boat carefully inspected. The design is a good one and its hard not to be attracted to the design if you have an eye for good looking boats.
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Old 17-03-2016, 12:18   #11
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

I certainly will thanks
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Old 18-03-2016, 07:47   #12
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Watch "All is Lost" to see all you need to know about a Cal 39
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Old 18-03-2016, 08:37   #13
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_c_g View Post
Hi all,
I am currently a 15 year old sailor who has been running with family and singlehandedly running a cal 25 and i will soon step up to seafaring and will definitely stay with cal and ive always wanted a 39 but the 40 is so well praised what do all fellow sailors have to say about the 39 vs 40? All help is appreciated happy sailing
While I appreciate your loyalty to the CAL brand, I think you should open up to other makes and models. There are lots of good boats out there. Most people use price or local availability as the deciding factors in boat selection. If you are rich enough that this is not a concern, then pardon my comments. If you are 15 years old, then I have to wonder where the money is coming from?

BTW, Cal 25...great boat...had one myself! Surprisingly fast, and roomy below. I think a couple named Dave and Jaja sailed on around the world. Actually, Dave started alone, met Jaja along the way, and they had babies enroute...one actually born on the boat at sea.
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Old 18-03-2016, 08:52   #14
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

Hamburg,
Yes i looked at a catalina but this is all hypothetical and i have a job and saved 2000 for a 25 and it was in good condition i am looking for the future and have just always loved the 39 i don't exactly know why some things just are
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Old 18-03-2016, 08:53   #15
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Re: Cal 39 vs 40

P.S. Thanks for the story hamburg yes shes a great boat but that couple is pretty great honestly a great story haha
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