A boat I’ve always wished I’d had…

Once, a long time ago, I was a poor starving college student and found myself living on a CAL 20…

Fact is, living on a CAL 20 was not such a bad thing and with a little creativity/zen was actually quite comfortable. Made better because the CAL 20 is a very capable boat and could take you places when the rat race and dock politics became tiresome.

I mention this because while I truly loved my CAL 20 I lusted after a much bigger boat down the dock…

Yes, the Thunderbird.

Twenty-six feet of hard-chined plywood awesomeness.

I figured that if I had that extra five feet and change I could pretty much sail anywhere I wanted to go in a great deal more comfort than my CAL 20.

My dock neighbor in Sausalito with the Thunderbird disappeared for about six months and when he returned he’d sailed up the coast to Seattle, then did a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island followed by a voyage up to Alaska where, apparently, the salmon simply jumped right into your cockpit. He came back a happy man and last I heard he’d pointed the boat towards Hawaii…

Yeah, I really, really wanted a Thunderbird…

The thing is, it’s still a really awesome design and it is more than capable of taking you where you want to go.

As it happened, I saw a fixer upper for sale on Craig’s List up in Seattle the other day going for $750.

For more information on the design and its class a good place to start is the Thunderbird Class Association

Maybe not a boat for everybody but it certainly deserves a spot in the VolksCruiser honors list.

Share this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top