“I’ve always thought it’s a great-looking boat, and it’s incredibly versatile…designed…as a performance cruiser.”
INTERVIEW WITH THE SKIPPER – Chris Foley
Why did you choose to buy a sailboat?
I never really considered anything else. As a family we have done a lot of camping: New Mexico, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming. A cruising sailboat was like a camper, except a thousand times more beautiful, and the Cal 28-2 was a perfect choice for us!
What boats have you previously owned?
A no-name 23’ sailboat called the Lockley Newport, which I learned to sail on. When we moved to Marblehead from Park Slope in Brooklyn in 1986, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I should get on the list for a mooring. My plan was to first get a mooring, then buy a sailboat, and then learn how to sail. I guess that’s the reverse of what most people do! I kept Lockley for two years.
What other kinds of boats did you consider buying before this model?
I looked at several Bristol 30s from the late 70s and had surveys done on two of them. They both had quite a bit of deck delamination from water leakage. I decided then to up my budget from $15,000 to $25,000 (this was in the year 2000), and I spoke to Paul Chasse at Sailboats Northeast and told him I wanted a 30’ boat. He told me he had a 28 footer that was more like a 30’ because it had almost an 11-foot beam. I connected with it immediately!
What are the features you like most about your boat?
I’ve always thought it’s a great-looking boat, and it’s incredibly versatile. I didn’t know this at the time, but it was designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates as a performance cruiser, and after a few years I started racing it in the Marblehead PHRF Fleet. After finishing dead last in all the races the first summer, I decided to get serious, and during the off-season stripped the bottom down to the gelcoat, installed a folding prop, and bought a new square-weave mainsail from Piranha Sails in Marblehead and a UK Tape-drive genny. Combined with the growing experience of my crew and me, we started rising in the fleet immediately. Like most modern boats, all the lines and halyards go back to the to the cockpit, so it’s very easy to single-hand. Hunt put the head aft, so it’s much easier to get to and saves a lot of wasted space closer to the bow. I’m 5’10” so there’s standing headroom to spare. There’s also a quarter berth that easily sleeps two. For racing it has a double-spreader rig and all the usual stuff to tweak the sails, outhaul, reef line, boom vang, and other gear.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
For cruising, a new Seafrost refrigerator and a Simrad autopilot. For hanging out at the mooring, a Bluetooth stereo with Bose speakers and a 1000-watt subwoofer. To brighten up the cabin, white leatherette cabin cushions.
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
Well, I’ve had the boat 20 years, so that’s changed quite a bit over time. When my kids were in school and hadn’t scattered to the four winds (two are now in New York and one in London), our favorite destinations were overnights to P-Town, Scituate, and Gloucester, especially up the Annisquam River. I’d reserve a mooring at the Annisquam Yacht Club, and we’d eat dinner on the deck and watch the sun go down over Wingaersheek Beach and the marshlands behind. Is there any spot closer to heaven than this one?
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Keeping ahead of the exterior teak, especially the toe rails.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Cal sailboat?
Don’t believe the myth that sailing is big $$$. There’s a sailboat for every budget. Life’s too short. Just get out there!
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
It came with the boat. I researched the name and found out Morning Star was a northern Cheyenne outlaw warrior, similar to Rob Roy and William Wallace. I wanted to get a combination comic book/graffiti look with the lettering, and I was able to get in a subtle reference to the boat’s namesake with an arrow pointing down in the M, which means peace. I hope the fierce old warrior would approve!
CHECK IT OUT
Chris is a realtor with Spirit of ’76 Homes/Coldwell Banker. To learn more about Morning Star, click the gallery below. To see other boats like this, simply type in Cal in the manufacturer’s drop down list in the Harbor Directory.