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This Cal 40' has had the benefit of some great owners. The current owner is the president of a boat building and service yard. The previous owner was a yacht captain. They have been able to invest a lot of time and quality work into this boat. Towhee has had major work done in almost every area of the boat: canvas, rigging, carpentry, paint, heating, fiberglass. The boat will be in the water this summer and ready for her next steward.
The Cal-40’s special features and general characteristics provide a distillation of much that Lapworth had been practicing since the early ‘50’s, and the design philosophy he had always worked by was well embodied in it. Typically, he had gone for speed and performance, with little regard for rating under the rule. Their ratings looked a little high based on their 30.5’ water-line, but they sailed up to their rating in most conditions.
Perhaps the biggest eye-opener of all was how the design exceeded all previous expectations of what speeds a boat that size could attain and maintain at sea. A 40-foot boat surfing along for hours on end at 14 – 16 knots, with wings of water arcing out from her hull like a water-skier’s wake, was mind-boggling to traditionalists, and virtually a new breed of sailors was created by this type of sailing. Young athletic crews who could stand the constant tension and exhilaration of rides like this drove the Cal-40s as ocean racers had never been driven before, and TransPac was their special place to shine, with its days of down-wind surfing.
Scott F. Layton