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Old 27-06-2012, 13:50   #1
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Opinions on CAL 3-30

Tomorrow I go look at a Cal 3-30. I am very serious about this boat and will view for the first time tomorrow. The boat had a brand new diesel (Universal 23), rigging (standing and running), new furler, sails, speed-depth-wind-vhf , new toilet system with holding tank all 4 yrs ago. It is my understanding that it has been sitting since then in the water. Bottom needs paint and re-bedding is needed of all topside hardware. I am not afraid of hard work or investing some money and I am very handy with tools. I know to check to mast support beam (steel).

Had my mind on a 27' NorSea, but the Cal seems like it would get the job done and leave a larger sailing kitty.

Questions are how hard is it on the gear when sitting idle for so long and would the 3-30 make a good full time single handed cruiser for east coast and Bahamas? Draft is 5.5', not as shallow as I would like, but the price is very good asking 8k, 2 yrs ago asking 23k, then 15k. I have no problem dumping another 10K into her, but obviously less would be preferred.
I have read these are well made boats, but have never been on one--till tomorrow


Thanks for any and all input,
Mike
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Old 27-06-2012, 14:09   #2
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

You may not find many folks on this forum who have experience with the 3-30. They were only built in '73-74 for the 3/4 ton racing class. That's not a cruising-friendly design, and racers from that era tend to be prone to broaching. It will probably feel like a battleship compared to the West Wight Potter 19 you currently sail, but it's not going to be as well mannered as most of the other Cals that were built. It's clearly not a NorSea 27, not in any regard. If that's the type of boat for which you are looking, keep looking.
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Old 27-06-2012, 14:33   #3
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

Thanks Bash, thank is the kind of input I was looking for. I came from a Nonsuch 26 which was very easy to sail and had lots of room, before the Potter. Most of the info on 3-30 involved racing heritage and tenderness, neither of which I am familiar with. I want a more relaxed cruising boat, so this may not be the one. I mentioned the NorSea because I could lay it up on a trailer and spend summers in the mountains on my airstream, a Flicka would probably also do the trick.
Again Thanks!
Mike
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Old 27-06-2012, 14:37   #4
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

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Most of the info on 3-30 involved racing heritage and tenderness, neither of which I am familiar with.
Understand that the tenderness is designed into the boat, as it was in many boats during the days of the IOR rule. That rule penalized stability, so many boats were designed to be twitchy, with such things as undersized rudders. This helped the better crews, of course, but produced a whole class of IOR "broach coaches."

A shame, because Cal was otherwise making some nice boats back then.
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Old 27-06-2012, 15:31   #5
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

Step down to the 28 for a nice pocket cruiser, or up to a 34 for a better alround boat.

Cals are pretty bullet proof so long as the deck is good and the steel is still solid ; -)
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Old 27-06-2012, 15:57   #6
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

I single hand a Cal 3-30 on the east coast and hope to someday make it down to the islands. It's definitely a little twitchy compared to other models, but it's a very solid boat with a strong hull and rig. Tall mast, deep keel. Fast for a 30 footer. Most cruisers will prefer the Cal 2-30 or Cal 29 because they are a little more mild mannered and the interior is a bit more comfy, but I'm happy with my 3-30 thus far. The 3-30 mast is supported to the keel unlike the other models which have deck stepped masts.

Like you I found one for a good price and jumped on it. Check the condition of the steel beam, the replacement will cost you about $800 and a weekend of work (but it can be done in the water).

There was a Japanese man who successfully completed a circumnavigation in a Cal 3-30.

There is a fixer-upper on eBay right now which will probably go for under $4k. cal 30 sail/motor cruiser small care needed not much cal 30 sail/motor cruiser small care needed not much | eBay
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Old 27-06-2012, 16:00   #7
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

I know this thread is about a 3-30, but I delivered a 3-34 or maybe it was a 3-35 from Hawaii to SF in the 90s and about 4 hours after departure, I turned around and went back to Hawaii and called a surveyor. The rudder tube and surounding hull were flexing so bad that I thought there was major damage somewhere in the rear part of the boat. The surveyor came down and looked it over and said"They all do that and they dont break so dont worry about it". We left the next day and had a pretty good trip, but the movement was unnerving. A survey or normal sea trial wont show that up. Your first bash to windward might show it. I would reinforce the hull around the rudder tube if you feel flexing at all. I think the earlier Cals were built stronger. My 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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Old 27-06-2012, 16:34   #8
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

Sara the Cal 28 Flush Deck would be perfect; however, they are hard to come by on the east coast. I will probably pass on the 3-30, and look for something a little more cruise orientated. Just getting the fever and the 3-30 seemed like a deal with the newer engine and rigging, but even without seeing it, it is not tugging at my heartstrings.
Mike
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Old 27-06-2012, 17:18   #9
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

Well hell, pick one up in San Diego and sail her home ; -)

Our baby is just totally torn up right now, ports all out, rewiring happening blablabla, but they are sweet little tanks ; -)
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Old 27-06-2012, 18:24   #10
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
You may not find many folks on this forum who have experience with the 3-30. They were only built in '73-74 for the 3/4 ton racing class. That's not a cruising-friendly design, and racers from that era tend to be prone to broaching. It will probably feel like a battleship compared to the West Wight Potter 19 you currently sail, but it's not going to be as well mannered as most of the other Cals that were built. It's clearly not a NorSea 27, not in any regard. If that's the type of boat for which you are looking, keep looking.
I doubt the boat is as tender as most of it's contemporaries. For comparison the 3-30 is 10500lb, 5000lb ballast, 5.5' deep and 10'2" wide vs Cal 34.1 which is 9500lb, 3750lb ballast, 5' deep and 10' wide. So the 3-30 has more ballast, set deeper on a slightly wider hull, it should be pretty stiff.

With the hull weight as high as it is the boat is one of the heaviest cal's for it's length and beam so it should be plenty strong for cruising.

In regards to broaching the bow and stern are somewhat pinched but not excessively so like a lot of IOR boats of that vintage. Of biggest concern would be the slightly undersized rudder. I agree that the boat might not be terribly cruise-friendly, but I don't see it being unfriendly either. If you want a very docile boat, this isn't it, but I don't think it will be very badly behaved either.
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Old 27-06-2012, 20:34   #11
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

You're spot on Adelie. I would not describe the boat as tender. It is much more stiff than many of the other comparable Cals. It's easy to sail, and most of the time I just take it easy, but you can push it and really cruise!

The only "big" gripe I have in regard to the cruising ability is the salon layout. It has a pilot berth behind each settee, which takes up a fair bit of space. I haven't done any passages so I haven't gotten much use out of the pilot berths (except for storage). I have seen a couple 3-30's where the owners removed the pilot berths and rebuilt the settee's so they were pushed back and made wider - it really opens up the cabin. I'll be doing that eventually.

Zeta - the particular 3-30 you're looking at looks like a great deal to me. Sounds like it's had a lot of money poured into it recently. But I may be a bit biased .
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Old 27-06-2012, 23:55   #12
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

I recently bought a cal 2-27. It was a decision between a cal 3-30 and a cal 2-27. here is my reasoning.

both boats were in similar condition.
27 has encased lead keel....30 had keelbolts
27 has outboard..30 had inboard (smells like gas inside)
I like the feel of the interior of the 27 better. Sailed both and liked the rudder and steering on the 27 best, especially under power maneuvering around.

to me it was a no brainer.

Also, the 27 was half the asking price of the 30. I have already spent 3 times what the boat cost in upgrades and marina fees. Very happy I got the 27. Just sailed it this evening to test the new tiller pilot. Great boat. You won't go wrong with the 30 and I did not think it felt ..tender...thats just me, I'm no expert.
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Old 29-06-2012, 12:51   #13
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

I had a cal 3-30. It was a great boat and I loved it. I didn't find it twitchy or difficult as some who are replying on this thread, but I have to say in fairness I mostly sailed very small boats before it. It felt rock solid to me.

One concern with these is the steel crossbeam that holds up the mast. Its in the bilge and will rust out. The repair is possible with a gentleman in Canada making the part, but it is a difficult repair and I would believe expensive. When they are going you can see rust in the bilge and the floor under the support folds a little.

This is a sailors boat. One time I was sailing with my kids and behind us we saw some boats putting up spinnakers and I told them that soon they would get to see a lot of colorful sails. After a while my kids asked about the colorful sails and I looked back and could hardly see them, we only had the genoa and main up and pulled away with ease.

My family of 5 also found the boat very comfortable to live in for cruises of weeks on end.

If I could afford one, I would buy another one tomorrow. No other boat I have been in gives me the same feeling. It sailed so well, the cabinetry and interior was great. I really miss tjamar, our cal 3-30.
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Old 31-07-2012, 08:36   #14
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

I have sailed my Cal 3-30 since 1995 and I think it would be a GREAT boat for what you want to do. I have single-handed the boat lots (won the single-handed race sponsored by the Hampton Yacht Club several times) cruising and racing. It is a stiff boat and very well balanced. True, if going dead down wind with the spinnaker up in a big breeze, one needs to shift weight aft or fly a blooper. This is only an issue for racing. The boat has a big J (mast is stepped back far) of 13.5 feet, so for cruising, we often just set a second head sail for down wind and then the boat is rock steady. I replaced the original steel beam mast step with one made of stainless frabricated by the artist in BC. It was not such a big job. I also had Foss Foam in CA fabricate a new rudder (eliptical design) for about $1,500. My boat was built in 1976, perhaps about the last one as most are 1973-1974. I like the pilot berth and the rest of the interior design. One apprecieates it best when beating thru a have sea rather than sitting at the dock. This was one of Bill Lapworth's favorite designs and he sailed one with his family in the 1970's. The boat is really tough and excellent at going to weather in a strong blow. Yet, is also sails great in light winds, owing to its big head sail. For cruising we tend to use the smaller jibs and still move right along. We are on the Chedapeake Bay. If you want to get there fast, in saftey and comfort, get the Cal 3-30.
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Old 31-07-2012, 09:12   #15
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Re: Opinions on CAL 3-30

As sarafina mentioned, if you are looking for solid and something big enough to live on but single hander friendly, check out the Cal 34s. Absolutely perfect for the east coast and Bahamas.
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