We just pulled our Santana 20 for the winter so it is time to start working on our Cal 24 restoration. The boat had been stored until 4 years ago full of water in the interior (up to the gunwales). So a lot of the interior needs redoing.

On to my question; benches and flooring are relatively easy to replace, (I think). We need to strip the boat from the front bulkhead all the way back due to wood rot. But there are two bulkhead type panels that run from the floor up the side of the boat, glassed in to the sides of the boat, that are partially rotted out. They may be supports for the roof just abow of the opening hatch area. Does anyone know if these bulkheads are necessary support structures for the roofline? Or are they simply decorative panels? If we can remove them and not suffer structural strength, then we can make longer benches for sleeping inside (going to use the boat for a weekend cruiser).

Anyone out there with experience or knowledge about this boats' design who can help out with ideas?

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Hi Martin,
I used to own a 1967 CAL25. My friend Bill owns it now and I still sail and work on it occasionally. We've done a lot of work on it. If your CAL24 is the older version and not the 1984 one, and thus similar to the older CAL25 then the bulkhead you are referring to is structural and will need to be replaced. On our CAL25 the chain-plates were attached to it and the beam supporting the mast too! Generally speaking, if a bulkhead is glassed in, it is probably structural.
Thank you CaptRick. I had stripped all 4 bulkheads out of the boat (all were rotten) and am now removing most of the "ceiling" wood (screwed into the interior ceiling). It looked to me that all 4 of the bulkheads were necessary for structural strength but I was not certain. The hull on the boat (a 1964 hull) seems incredibly strong, but the carry through pressure of the chain plates and the mast will probably need the support of both bulkheads as well as the mast support "square" at the front bulkhead. I am replacing the bulkheads with Marine Plywood and glassing them in, but was considering Oak (also coated in Resin) for the Square supports up front. Is there another type of wood I might use for those supports?
I'm not familiar with the differences between the 25 and the 24. On the 25 there is a laminated beam at the top of the front(v-berth) bulkhead. the mast support "square" is above the beam. It is a common problem on the 25s to have rot in the mast "square" and or the beam. The mast step needs to be re-bedded periodically to prevent water from going down the screw hole. Another way for it to get in is through the forward hatch. Where the 4 pieces that make up the hatch frame are bedded to the deck it can leach into the deck plywood and travel laterally into the mast support block.
As far as what king of wood to use for the blocks, any good hard wood will work. I probably would stay away from plywood as it can compress. If you want to go nuts, use a naturally rot resistant wood like Ipe. Remember that rot is caused by a fungus that feeds on the moisture. If you don't remove all of the wood at least 6-12inches from it then treat the area with a fused borate treatment. Fused so that it can't "wash" away. I'm not an expert on this stuff so keep that in mind but hopefully this will give you some info to look into. Also check out
Thank you again. Excellent forum and resource, already have learned some new techniques. I am taking my time going from the "destruction" phase to the rebuilding phase as I learn the extent of what I will need to do. This forum is going to help that phase go much smoother.


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