Make: Calkins 50
Owner: Sage and Kelly Marie
City: Newport Beach
Owned for the past 34 years by Marion and Jim Jordan, who spend summers sailing this beautiful ketch throughout the Channel Islands. Carefully maintained to preserve the workmanship and beauty of a classic wooden yacht, Zapata II has been the winner of Opening Day awards numerous times.
Zapata II’s history is interesting: Skip Calkins did a lot of sailing in west coast distance racing circuit and had been developing his own ideas about the ideal custom offshore yacht. Chuck Ullman asked him to put the design on paper and the result was a 50 foot light displacement, fin keeled yacht called Legend, the predecessor of the Calkins 50. Legend won the 1957 Transpac. As the first ultralight displacement yacht to go on the race, it was subsequently banned from the next two Transpacs for being out of the “norm,” In the end, Legend was the catalyst that permanently changed yacht designs for downwind racing. The boat was a rocket ship downwind. After Legend was lost aground in the fog in the Channel Islands, Stuart MacDougall had Zapata built in 1964 to exactly the same plans to have a very competitive boat – and did very well in many races, as did Andy Zimbaldi, who was an owner prior to the Jordans.
Zapata is 50 feet overall, 10 feet 6 inches beam, and 7 feet 6 inches draft. Her overall displacement is a very light 22,000 pounds. Engine is Perkins 4-108 diesel; generator is Fischer Panda 7 kw. Construction is strip-planked mahogany.
The great sailing vessel accommodates 2 couples for cruising, or a larger group for day sailing with the large center cockpit.