looking closer at a couple of boats…

TransPac CAL 20 Black Feathers

I’ve always been a big fan of the Bill Lapworth CAL 20 design and since I linked to another of my favorite designs, the Muscadet, the other day it occurred to me how similar the two boats were…


LOA:  21.26′ / 6.48m
LWL: 18.37′ / 5.60m
BEAM: 7.41′ / 2.26m
DRAFT: 2.46′ / 0.75m- 4.10′ / 1.25m  
SAIL AREA: 205 ft2 / 19.04 m2
DISPLACEMENT: 2646 lbs./ 1200 kgs

CAL 20

LOA: 20.00′ / 6.10m
LWL: 18.00′ / 5.49m
BEAM: 7.00′ / 2.13m
DRAFT: 3.33′ / 1.01m
SAIL AREA 195 ft2 / 18.12 m2 
DISPLACEMENT 1950 lbs./ 885 kgs    

The most important difference between the two boats is the displacement numbers. It’s plain to see that the Muscadet is a bigger boat within the same general size envelope but 700 pounds more displacement. Add to this the fact that Harlé was a true master at shoehorning an amazing amount of sensible accommodation into a design which translates into a boat that also feels a lot bigger and is easier to live on.

The other thing to keep in mind is it’s a lot harder and more expensive ($5-8K) to find a Muscadet for sale and if you do it will be five or six times more expensive than a CAL 20 and I’ve seen a lot of good $500-$1000 CAL 20’s over the last couple of years…

Me, being cheap and all, there’s a lot to be said for the CAL 20. You can always rip out the old interior and do a more Harlé-like one with the savings.

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