Cal Yachts

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Cal Yachts (aka Jensen Marine) was a manufacturer of performance oriented fiberglass sailboats from the 1960s to the 1980s. The Costa Mesa, California, headquartered company was founded in 1957, among the earliest of all-fiberglass, mass-production sailboat builders. Although the brand has been out of production for two decades, the existing fleet is still substantially active in racing and cruising.


Cal Yachts was originally named the Jensen Marine Corporation after the founder, Jack Jensen, a pioneer in fiberglass boat building. He sold his company to Bangor Punta Corporation in 1968. Jensen later produced Ranger sailboats and a line of molded fiberglass recreational vehicles.

Nearly 18,000 boats were built under the Cal brand name. There were many different models, but perhaps the most famous is the Cal 40. The first of the ultra-light, production ocean racers, the Cal 40 was inspired by ocean racing legend, George Griffith, of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, and was purportedly first sketched by him in 1962 on the back of a cocktail napkin. Following Griffith's inspiration, the Cal 40 was designed by the prolific and ground-breaking naval architect, C. William "Bill" Lapworth and was lofted by Willis Boyd. A major undertaking for its time and radically different from other production racing sailboats with its fin keel separated from a spade rudder mounted well aft, the Cal 40 continues to rack up an impressive string of ocean racing victories more than four decades after its initial launch, winning major competitions such as the Newport-Bermuda Race as recently as 2008. Among other ocean racing classics, Cal 40s still compete as a class in the Transpac from Los Angeles to Honolulu and in 2005 recorded 14 entries, more than any other production sailboat at any time in the century-long history of this, America's longest-running ocean yacht race.

The Jensen-Lapworth collaboration resulted in some amazingly competitive racer/cruiser sailboats. If the PHRF ratings below are compared to those of recent hull designs it will be found that the Cal designs are relatively fast boats. This is one of the reasons these ruggedly built and surprisingly affordable boats remain popular nearly fifty years after they first appeared in the recreational marine marketplace.

The Cal-25 Fleet of SF Bay, which used to be one of the largest, has diminished over time and no longer races a one-design fleet in the SF YRA Season. However the boat is still very competitive and active, sailing in both PHRF Divisions and in a new SF 180 Fleet with other boats that have the same PHRF rating (180)


File:Cal 29 Bluejacket.jpg
Cal 25 Bluejacket in Berkeley YC, race on San Francisco Bay

PHRF handicap Based on Southern California Buoy Rating

  • CAL 9.2 - PHRF 174
  • CAL T/4 - PHRF 252
  • CAL20 - PHRF 276
  • CAL2-24 - PHRF 228
  • CAL24 - PHRF 234
  • CAL24-2 - PHRF 228
  • CAL25 - PHRF 222
  • CAL25-2 - PHRF 216
  • CAL27 - PHRF 198
  • CAL27-2 - PHRF 204
  • CAL27-3 - PHRF 192
  • CAL27T - PHRF 186
  • CAL27T2 - PHRF 195
  • CAL28 - PHRF 192
  • CAL28-2 - PHRF 192
  • CAL29 - PHRF 180
  • CAL29-2 - PHRF 180
  • CAL30 - PHRF 192
  • CAL30-2 - PHRF 180
  • CAL30-3 - PHRF 168
  • CAL30-3T - PHRF 153
  • CAL31 - PHRF 162
  • CAL33 - PHRF 156
  • CAL34 - PHRF 174
  • CAL34-1 - PHRF 174
  • CAL34-2 - PHRF 168
  • CAL34-3 - PHRF 168
  • CAL34T - PHRF 165
  • Cal35
  • CAL36 - PHRF 150
  • CAL36T - PHRF 141
  • CAL37 - PHRF 114
  • CAL39
  • CAL39-1 - PHRF 102
  • CAL39-2 - PHRF 114
  • CAL39-2T - PHRF 108
  • CAL40 - PHRF 114
  • CAL43 - PHRF 108
  • CAL43T - PHRF 102
  • CAL 44
  • CAL46-1 - PHRF 162
  • CAL46-2K - PHRF 156
  • CAL48 - PHRF 96
  • CAL9.2 - PHRF 165
  • CAL9.2R - PHRF 159
  • CALCR35 - PHRF 192
  • CALCR36 - PHRF 156

Cal 25

The Cal 25 is one of the most popular and successful Cals ever built. Over 2000 hulls were constructed, and although they were designed over 40 years ago, they remain one of the more popular one-design racing yachts throughout the U.S. with fleets in Detroit, Mi; Port Huron, MI; Annapolis, Md; New Orleans, La; San Diego, Ca and more. They are also one of the first boats to be designed as Racer/Cruisers which have both a cruising interior, but are set up for racing. They are also quite affordable, and relatively inexpensive to maintain. A well equipped Cal 25 can be had for around $4000. Problem areas include the plywood cored deck, and transom. But the hull is solid glass and rarely has any problems. [1]


  • Spurr, Daniel. Heart of GLASS, Fiberglass Boats And The Men Who Made Them, Ragged Mountain Press; 1999 ISBN 0-07-157983-4
  • Mate, Ferenc. Best Boats to Build or Buy, Albatros Publishing House, 1982
  • Jones, Gregory. The American Sailboat, MBI Publishing, 2002

See also