C. William Lapworth

1919 - 2006

C. William Lapworth photo

Excerpts from an interview conducted in 2004:

William "Bill" Lapworth was perhaps the foremost West Coast Naval Architect in the post World War II period. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he attended and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in marine engineering and naval architecture. After serving in the navy during World War II, Lapworth settled on the west coast and became partners with Merle Davis who had a yacht design office in Los Angeles. Davis died less than a year later.

At first, Lapworth paid the bills by doing surveying work.
Soon he was designing a series of light displacement racing sailboats that began to win or place highly on the East and West Coasts, beginning with Flying Scotsman and Nalu II, 46' -- a four time Class C Transpac race winner and first overall in 1959. Next came the 50' sloop Ichiban, second overall in the 1961 Transpac. By 1958, more than 70 of the wooden L-36' sloops had been built; but, by then fiberglass was becoming the material of choice.

All this attracted the attention of boat builder Jack Jensen who, one day walked in to Lapworths office and, with a handshake, was to form one of the most successful relationships in yachting history.
The first boat boat for Jensen was a 24 footer which Jensen proposed to be called the Lapworth 24. But Lapworth felt that since he had previously designed a 24 footer for someone else, a new name was called for.
According to Lapworth, this is when they decided on the name 'Cal' boats.

Together, Lapworth and Jensen produced thousands of boats including the Cal 20 (the most successful with more than 1,900 boats produced from 1961 to 1972), 24, 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 36, 39, 40, and 46. The Lapworth/Jensen association continued until the Jensen's death in 1980.
In is later years Lapworth kept his own Cal 46 which he said was the favorite of all his designs.

Sailboats Designed By C. William Lapworth

Model LOA First Built
CAL 39 MK II (1-147) 39.00 ft / 11.89 m 1978
CAL 39 MK III 39.00 ft / 11.89 m 1983
CAL 40 39.33 ft / 11.99 m 1963
CAL 43 42.65 ft / 13.00 m 1971
CAL 46 III (1975) 45.50 ft / 13.87 m 1975
CAL 48 47.75 ft / 14.55 m 1966
CAL CRUISING 36 35.50 ft / 10.82 m 1968
CAL CRUISING 46 45.50 ft / 13.87 m 1967
CAL T/2 27.42 ft / 8.36 m 1972
CAL T/4 24.17 ft / 7.37 m 1971
CALGAN 23 23.00 ft / 7.01 m 1970
CROWN 23 23.00 ft / 7.01 m 1969
CROWN 28 27.75 ft / 8.46 m 1976
ENDEAVOR 26 (LAPWORTH) 25.75 ft / 7.85 m 1963
GLADIATOR 24 24.00 ft / 7.32 m 1958
GLOUCESTER 16 15.58 ft / 4.75 m 1986
ISLANDER 44 43.83 ft / 13.36 m 1962
LAPWORTH 24 24.00 ft / 7.32 m 1958
LAPWORTH 32 32.25 ft / 9.83 m 1951
LAPWORTH 36 (L-36) 36.00 ft / 10.97 m 1953
LAPWORTH 39 39.00 ft / 11.89 m 1959
LAPWORTH 40 40.00 ft / 12.19 m 1960
LAPWORTH 48 48.00 ft / 14.63 m 1970
LAPWORTH 50 49.77 ft / 15.17 m 1962
MARTINIQUE 25 25.25 ft / 7.70 m 1979

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