About our boat

February 27, 2011

Warning: the following treatise is a rather dry and detailed accounting of Convivia’s specs and equipment. If you’re not interested in this type of thing, may I suggest one of the following: Why I love boat life, But Planes are Faster, or maybe even hellO 2011.

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Convivia is a 1970 CAL 43, hull number two. The hull is round bilged, has a raked stem with anchor roller, an internal lead ballast fin keel, a spade rudder, and a transom stern with swim ladder. There are (natural) teak toerails, stainless steel bow and stern rails, and double coated lifelines. The deck layout is a typical cabin trunk with an aft cockpit.  There is a forward skylight hatch, and opening companionway hatch over the galley, and a primary companionway hatch on the starboard side of the cockpit.  There are two windows and four ports on each side.  The cockpit has coaming seat backs and tiller steering.

The forepeak contains a chain locker that opens to the V-berth.  The V-berth is followed by a starboard side bureau. Next aft are the port side head and starboard side hanging locker with a passage between.  The main cabin has port and starboard settees with pilotberths outboard.  There is a folding table in the center, aft of the mast.  There are four  drawers under each pilotberth and water tanks under each settee. Aft of the saloon is the  L shaped galley to port with the fridge to starboard (also used as a chart table underway). Next aft is a hanging locker to starboard and the engine compartment center.  There is another head on the port side.  Last is a starboard quarter berth and a port double quarter berth.

We have a 50 HP Westerbeke 4-107 with about 600 hours, a 16″ three blade bronze feathering Max propeller. We have a tiller for steering and a tiller pilot for self steer.  We’re looking into electronic autopilots as well as windvanes for additional self steer capability.

Our ground tackle includes a Lewmar V3 windlass with the (5/16″) 002 gypsy.  We have 300 feet of Aco 5/16″ G40 HT chain (marked every 25 feet), and a Rocna 33 anchor (of my dreams).

We carry 110 gallons of water in 2-35 gallon monel tanks and 1- 40 gallon stainless steel tank. We have an Aqua King Junior made by Shurflo that pumps  no more than 2 GPM at 4 amps. There is a Whale manual fresh water pump at the galley sink, plumbing (but no pump yet) for salt water, and a Multipure drinking water filter with a separate tap. We have a new 6 gallon AC/engine powered water heater.

We currently have 2- 6 Volt Lifeline batteries GPL6 CT in series and we need a new starter battery.  We have a Magnum MS2812 inverter charger.  The entire AC system has been re-wired.  Some of the DC system has been re-wired. We’re shopping for solar panels and thinking about upgrading our alternator.

The galley has a small single sink, a 3 burner Princess LPG stove with oven, five drawers and lots of cabinet space.  We installed a Frigoboat system when we bought the boat and have a large top loading refrigerator with a separate freezer compartment. The boat came with an engine driven cold plate system which remains in place in case we need a backup.

For heating we have two electric space heaters, wool hats, wool socks, lots of polar fleece, hot tea, and the warmest comforters from IKEA.  We’ve never needed to cool off but we’ll shop for fans before we head south.

All of Convivia’s rigging is relatively new for her age.  She was dismasted and rebuilt by her previous owner in 2005. We have a painted Lefiel mast and boom (and one brand new spreader from November 2010). Our shrouds and stays are SS 1×19, our turnbuckles are open bodied, our toggles are stainless, and our chain plates are stainless steel. Most of our blocks are Lewmar, our clutches are being quickly replaced with Spinlocks, and our halyards and sheets are Warpspeed (most new in 2006, jib sheets new in 2010). We’re hoping to win all new Dyneema running rigging (and you can help).

We have 12 winches to maintain: 2 Barient 32, 2 Barient 32 self tailing, a Barlow 24ST, a Lewmar 50ST and 44ST, 2 Barient 10H for mainsheet controls, and 2 Barient 10s.

We have a new North Sails 110 furling jib (on now), a 2005 North Sails Fully battened main, a North 155 furling genoa, a North 175% reacher, drifter, North .5oz spinnaker, 3 other .75oz spinnakers and a 1.5oz spinnaker.

We have the usual sail covers for hatches, a dodger, an African Queen (sunshade that we’ve never set up) and a full boat cover. There is no bimini due to the mainsheet and traveller configuration.

Our dingy is an Achilles inflatable with a 2001 Mercury 3HP motor.


The original brochure for CAL 43s say “She was designed and built as a sophisticated package for the more experienced sailor who wants proven racing performance along with traditional functional features that make extended cruising or blue-water racing pleasant and comfortable,” and better than that, “She is virtually maintenance free.”  Here we are 41 years later preparing her for extended cruising.  She is lovely, but not, absolutely not, maintenance free at her age.









  1. Comment by B. Douglas

    B. Douglas March 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I love the techie talk. Even the stuff I don’t understand.

    And the photos are excellent.

    Great blog. Very interesting adventure. Very ballsy. Keep writing.

    Be well!


  2. Comment by Dan

    Dan November 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Cal 43 is one of my favorite classic plastics. My friend Leah turned me on to your travels and I hope to convince my wife to leave our life on land and return to the sea.

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