Cal 20s

The Cal20 fleet of 11 boats at the start of the regatta.

This week Mary Beth Ives shared a Cal 20 report that her son Jeff had prepared.

I got to thinking about the California 20 that was designed by C. William Lapworth in 1960 and went into production in 1961. Most of the 1,945 of the boats were built locally at the Jensen Marine Factory in Costa Mesa.

Cal 20 production ceased in 1975, and my brother John Goodman was hired as the company’s first Director of Data Processing about that same time.

He told me, “Jensen Marine owned no computers. The day I started they had one tabulating machine; they used it to process punch cards for inventory and accounting.”

It was a pretty cool gig for my brother to be on the ground floor of developing a computer system. John’s office was in the loft above the production floor. The smell of resin was always in the air.

The best thing about working for Bangor Punta/Jensen Marine was the employee discount offered. In 1978, the Lapworth designed Cal 31s were introduced, and John’s discount, along with our dad co-signing on a loan, meant John could watch his boat being built from the comfort of his office chair.

They were great boats — with plenty of space below deck and leaded glass liquor cabinet doors standard on every boat. He tricked the boat out with all the snazzy gauges and every creature comfort.

“The one drawback on the design was there was a rubber bladder in the bow that was the holding tank for the head. Some owners claimed the tank would explode if it was overfilled.” My brother explained. “The first thing I modified on the boat was installing a fiberglass holding tank.”

He never raced the boat, but we all enjoyed some great cruising on board. The Long Beach Cal 20 fleet includes a hearty group of racers and folks that truly appreciate them.

According to Alamitos Bay YC’s website, “Cal 20’s were (and still are) inexpensive to buy, own and maintain. The base price was $3,200 throughout most of the ’60,s which put her within reach of just about everyone. The cockpit is nearly 8 feet long and is self-bailing. Below she has four bunks, a head and storage bins.”

According to Jeff Ives's report:

The Cal 20 Practice Sail on July 1 included 11 boats. First time to officially sail with the group was hull #66. Also, first time out this summer was 441.

As boats started sailing past ABYC and turning the corner to head out the jetty, we were met by a strong current moving in. Sailing on starboard tack was good, but port tack had us going sideways as much as forward. Everyone made it out to the meeting area of Mark 38 with westerly winds of about 7 to 8 knots.

The skippers meeting over Ch. 68 decided a course of 37, 32, 38, finish. Chedder agreed to be the Rabbit, and shortly thereafter, they initiated the rabbit start procedure. As Chedder executed the rabbit start perfectly and hardened up to close-hauled around mark 38, it was game on.

The final leg was down the jetty with the tide in our favor and one last chance to pass before the finish. Turning the corner and finishing the sail between the ABYC flagpole and the north end of the Ballast Point dock. We were fortunate to have Chuck Harden recording the finishes.

Cal-20 practice sails are on Wednesdays with an on the water skippers meeting at 6 p.m.

Results: first-Rubber Dog (Keith Ives & Chuck Stevens); second-Lickety Split (Ron Wood & Dave Pemberton); third-461 (Chris Wells & Michael Wells); fourth-Bravura (Jeff Ives & Damon Kunkle), fifth-441 (Bill Durant & Dave Oborn); sixth-Veintiseis (Chuck Clay & Pat McCormick); seventh-Shifty (Mike, Wendy, Sophia, and Oliva Corzine), eighth-Party Bucket (Neil Rietdyk, Hayden Rietdyk and Wally Gordon) ninth-Chedder (Bryce Hans & Keith Polmanteer); 10th-Spar Wars (Dave & Carol Kofahl); 11th-66 (George Cooper & Ray Pynn).

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