The Cal 20

Beauty in Simplicity

The California 20 was designed by C. William Lapworth in 1960 and went into production in 1961. It quickly became the most popular of the Cal line of fiberglass sailboats and 1,945 of the boats were built. Most of the production occurred throughout the 60’s when the Jensen Marine Factory in Costa Mesa, California was turning out as many as one boat a day!

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′ long and is self-bailing. For her 20′ length, she is one of the most practical boats imaginable. With the advent of expensive fiberglass resin (during the fuel crisis of 1973) and the new I.O.R. rule, Cal 20’s gained rapidly in popularity. A lot of people wanted an active, simple, inexpensive one-design class boat that wasn’t going to be outdated by the next measurement rule change.

Today the Cal 20 enjoys popularity throughout North America as both a competitive and fun one design racer as well as a stable and forgiving day sailor. The beauty of the Cal 20 is its simplicity; it can be raced with just two people in lighter air and three people in moderate to heavier winds. The Cal 20 offers something to every sailor, from the landlubber beginner to the seasoned salt.


LOA: 20’0″
LWL: 18’0″
Beam: 7’0″
Draft: 3’4″
Displacement: 2,040 pounds
Ballast: 850 to 900 pounds
Sail Area: 196sq. ft.