Cal 31

Not a Boat Building Story

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to re-evaluate one's sailing needs from time to time. Having tested ourselves on a bareboat charter, my bride and I decided that it was time to move up. Most people get their feet wet on a smaller boat, then work themselves up to progressively larger boats until their budget has been exceeded or the boat gets too big for them to comfortably handle. Not being like most people, we chose to go straight to the maximum size that had everything we wanted. After researching and looking, we settled on a 1984 Cal 31.

The Boat

The Cal 31 is the 13th design that C. William Lapworth made for the Cal line, built by Jensen Marine/Bangor Punta. When our boat was built, the production factory had been relocated to Florida from California.

Here are the specifications.

31.5 ft.
Waterline Length:
25.7 ft.
10.0 ft.
5.0 ft.
9170 lbs.
3600 lbs.
Sail Area:
490 sq. ft.

When we looked at Hull No. 198, we saw that it was well maintained and provided a good start to what we wanted. The boat was purely in a bare-bones configuration, i.e. no spinnaker gear, small 110% jibs, no self-tailing winches. Since I like spinnakers and wish to race the boat on occasion, there were a number of additions I was destined to make. Naturally it's probably cheaper to buy a boat already setup with this stuff, but nothing was available that we liked at the right price. Besides, starting off at scratch is a great way to insure that everything is installed the way you want it.

So the list of improvements are:

  • Change the name to Melantho,
  • New Lewmar 30 self-tailing primary winches,
  • All new suit of sails, 154% genoa, 105% jib, main, reaching spinnaker,
  • All spinnaker gear,
  • Autopilot, and
  • Improve traveller arrangement.