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Cal boats was founded by Jack Jensen and the yachts originally known as Lapworths, the first being the very popular Bill Lapworth designed Lapworth 24, the name was later changed to California and then shortened to Cal. The association between Jensen Marine and Bill Lapworth continued and the Cal 40 introduced in 1963 went on to become one of the most famous cruiser / racers of all time, and the very successful 1971 Cal 2-46 of which 95 were built reportedly Bill Lapworths favorite boat and one which he himself owned.
In 1965 Jensen Marine was bought by Bangor Punta, who also owned Prindle Catamarans and O'Day Yachts, although production continued at Jensen Marine plant in Costa Mesa, California for a number of years before being moved to Tampa, Florida in 1981 and then Fall River, Massachusetts in 1985 until the company closed in 1986. There followed a series of take overs, which if all included Cal Yachts continued to be built until 1989.

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