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Old 10-12-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
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42 Californian Handling

I come from a more sailboat background and have only been on a few trawler. Recently I've been thinking of buying one around 40 feet though.

I heard a lot of good things about the older (late 70s-early 80s) 42' Californian, but when I found some pictures on the internet, I was a little surprised by how small the keel seemed when compared to the boats I'm used to.

I know the Californian was designed to reach planing speeds, but I was wondering how it handled for long cruises at the lower displacement speeds of around 7 Knots.

Anyone have any first hand experience with them?
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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I heard a lot of good things about the older (late 70s-early 80s) 42' Californian, but when I found some pictures on the internet, I was a little surprised by how small the keel seemed when compared to the boats I'm used to.
The Californian is a motorboat. Motorboats as a rule have much smaller keels than sailboats as they are not troubled with leeway.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:39 AM   #3
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I know the Californian was designed to reach planing speeds, but I was wondering how it handled for long cruises at the lower displacement speeds of around 7 Knots.

Anyone have any first hand experience with them?
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The 37', 38', 42' Cali's were all the same hull design, same beam, just stretched. The extra 5-6 feet in length was all in the main salon. These are all semi planing hulls with about a 24" keel, which ends just ahead of the props, and a hard chine. 99.9% were all twin 6.354 Perkins and later Cat 3208's and ran comfortably cruising between 9 - 14 knots depending on engines. When not in a hurry, I will often run around 7.5 knots on one engine. (Not necessarily for reduced fuel consumption, just quieter and less vibration.) We usually can make 8.5 knots on one engine. The boat doesn't handle any different at 7 knots as at 10 knots. They are big beamy boats for their size, built in Santa Anna, California and designed for cruising the open coastal waters of the Pacific Coast.

Good solid fiberglass hull and decks which is typical of Marshal built Californian and Navigator hulls even today.

Larry B
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Would you consider the Californian a blue water boat? With extra fuel, would you say, take it to Hawaii?

Bill
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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Would you consider the Californian a blue water boat? With extra fuel, would you say, take it to Hawaii?

Bill
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Not unless you have a death wish.

No trawler this size, with big windows, is intended for long range blue water cruising. They're fine as coastal cruise boats, where if it blows up you can duck in someplace and get out of it. But when you're talking about open water, big seas, ocean crossing, you're talking about a completely different size and class of boat.

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:41 AM   #6
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I had a 1980 42Lrc for five years in the early 2000s. 3208 twin cats. A great well made heavy boat. I had a slip that was abeam to the wind in the afternoon and it took a good twenty docking before I got the hang of that. All in all a wonderful boat. Don't know about planing speeds, that wasn't my experience, I could get 14 out of her, but I wasn't on top of anything.

The only negatives: Teak, lots of teak. I swore I would never buy another boat with exterior teak. She was a handful to single hand. But all in all, I loved that boat.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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I own a 1979 Californian 42 LRC with twin 3208 NA's. You will never get this boat to plane. It is essentially a full displacement hull. We cruise comfortably at 8 knots with a max of 12 knots. At 8 knots we are turning 1600 rpm and our fuel economy is roughly 1nm/gallon. With the orginal 4 fuel tanks at 125 gallons each for a total of 500 gallons, the cruising range is then 500 nm.

I love all the teak on the outside and mohagany on the inside, wouldn't have it any other way. The 42 is great for fishing, cruising and just hanging out.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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I own a 1979 Californian 42 LRC with twin 3208 NA's.
___________________________________

Nice boat!! Do you have two full size beds port and starboard in the aft cabin and double bunks up front with forward shower and head combo?
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:21 AM   #9
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I don't believe a Californian 42, was design to plane. Sure is a nice looking craft.

Bill
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:01 AM   #10
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No, but the 34 with the 3208's is said to be able to reach the low 20's on plane. I'd love to see that someday!!
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:10 AM   #11
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I don't believe a Californian 42, was design to plane. Sure is a nice looking craft.

Bill
--------------------------------
Semi planing hulls don't usually plane in the sense of a true planing hull which gets up on the step. It's somewhere in between, more like the bow comes up a whole bunch and the stern squats a bit. I sea trialed a 42' with 3208's twin turbo's and she would get up and scoot pretty good. The dealer claimed it would do 16 or 17 knots, I was thinking it felt more like 14 k. There was no GPS then, just a water flow speedo, but those engines were around 375 HP each. The 3208 n/a's are only 210 HP.

Thankfully, the fuel consumption talked me out of it and diesel was less than $1.00 per gallon then.

Yes, that is correct Al, the 34's would do an easy 20 k with 3208's.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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___________________________________

Nice boat!! Do you have two full size beds port and starboard in the aft cabin and double bunks up front with forward shower and head combo?
Larry B,

Yes that's correct, two doubles in the aft stateroom, two bunks forward and in the salon instead of the L settee there is a straight settee hiding another fold out double on the port side. The galley is aft in the salon in an L configuration starboard. The aft stateroom has the shower tub combo.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #13
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Ok, pretty much a straight up configuration. Except for the salon about the same setup as my 37'.

The 42' I tested was probably the most unusual setup I have seen, other than the 375 hp engines. In the aft cabin, one double bed on the starboard side and built in bunk beds on the port side. Behind the lower bunk bed was built in storage locker space. The little stern built in cabinet was a fold up/slide out desk/dressing table with the ladder removed.

Main salon was like yours and the front cabin had double bunks with a half bath. The shower stall was a stacked washer dryer. I don't know if this boat was a custom order from the factory or modified by the buyer? It looked pretty professional, so could just be a different configuration.

Ever seen a 42' Cali with no flybridge or a single diesel? Look through some of the earlier topic lines. There are several very unusual configurations there.
Larry B.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:21 PM   #14
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Ever seen a 42' Cali with no flybridge or a single diesel? Look through some of the earlier topic lines. There are several very unusual configurations there.
Larry B.
I've been lurking around for a short while so I've read through most of the Californian posts, just registered yesterday though so officially a newbie to the site.

I saw the single diesel, would be interesting to hear the story of that one.

The one without the flybridge I have to say doesn't look all that bad. Plenty of room for a nice tender up top too.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:35 PM   #15
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I saw the single diesel, would be interesting to hear the story of that one.
---------------------------------
Yes it would. Everyone wants to see the shaft and keel to see how they handled that?

Larry B,
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