Nov 9, 2015

The Story of a Legend: Remembering Cal Fuller

As sailors we take everything for granted, boat builders are there to suit our boat needs and we are the ones investing to make the Class what it is. But the reality is a little bit different, for sailors to actually being able to buy a boat, there is another passionate sailor working and investing on his own to provide us our precious toys. Getting to know the background behind Cal Fuller story, remind us why we sail A-Cats and make us appreciate even more boat builders & pioneers work.

Text & article I published at IACA web was sent by Michael Gruber to Bailey White to remember Calvin Fuller, a key sailor in the history of the US A-Class scene, and the name behind the 'Cal Fuller Regatta' annually held by Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.

There is a common thing among sailors getting hooked with Catamarans, whichever discussion apart  on monos vs multis (rather old by now..), is that cats cannot pass unnoticed, and the reason Cal Fuller got into multis is the same reason we all sail Cats:

..."Cal Fuller can still remember the day that would change his life. He was sailing a Flying Dutchman on Lake Hopatcong, sometime in the 1960s. A young boy in a catamaran came sailing by,” he said. “I had never seen a catamaran before. But here we are, trapezing, thinking we’re going fast. And there he goes, having a great time, sailing right by us.
And that was all it took for Fuller, to decide that he needed to start sailing catamarans. Shortly after, he went down to the Jersey Shore and saw a catamaran towing a waterskier. “That got me really excited,” he said.
Excerpt above from an article published by Lake Hopatcong News sent by Michael Gruber along text below. Read Cal's full story  at IACA web
The Cal Fuller Story:
On May 2nd 2015, Paul Calvin Fuller passed away at the age of 91. Cal, as we all called him, was known as the Father of the Modern A-Class Catamaran. Enclosed is an article from 2013, which was the last official interview with Cal and his lovely wife Ruth.

A few Notes of interest:
- Calvin started building and sailing A Class Catamarans in the mid 60’s.
- In 1973 he developed the 'Catnip', which was a modified Unicorn A-Cat from Great Britain
- The first 'Catnip' weighed 210 lbs fully rigged and had a 27’ mast—it was sailed with a boom, and the boats were made out of tortured (very flexible) plywood
- Cal produced a total of 31 Catnips
- Cal won the North American Championships in 1973, 1974, and 1975
- His boats have won 8 North American Championships, and he has mentored all the sailors from Lake Hopatcong, NJ who have won a total of 9 North American Championships
- His vintage boats are still being sailed today...
Read full story at