Dorsett bought out California Boat Co. in Newport Beach, transferred production to Santa Clara. The Californian line was built in a building separate from the other Dorsett models. Mid 60's this occurred. Market was stalling, so not a high production boat.
This info from founder of Dorsett in January 2010.
I know this is an old post, but just found it. This boat was sold by Eddies Marine Center in Farmington. I'm friends with the son of the dealership owner. This boat was sold new to Bob Jones and put in a slip at Navajo Lake near Farmington. It was sold to George Hankins (maybe Hankinson) who was from Albuquerque. It was really a pretty boat when it was new it had white canvas top over the driver with clear side curtains and tail cover.
It was not the only Californian they sold there was another one it had a flying bridge. It was inside the show room at the dealership and if I remember right it was about $28k. It was sold and sent to the Carribian, I was to later it was sunk on a reef (not sure this is true). Eddie also had a 1966 Chris Craft 31' Commander it set on a wood cradle next to the shop. It also was sold and put in a slip at Navajo Lake it is still there.
The Californian in your picture was taken to Texas and was traded for a Chris Craft 35' Commander that boat is still at Navajo Lake. I think George bought the Chris Craft boat (traded in the Californian) in Corpus Christy but could have been Houston.
It was fun to see that boat it was really pretty I remember it being really shinny and white. There were alot of Dorset boats in our area including Ferlon and San Juan models. Eddie sold Silverline and T-Craft also Gibson house boats. They were a big dealer sold lots of boats during the 60s and 70s. Navajo Lake and Lake Powell (4 hours away) were new and just filling up. Everyone wanted a boat and Eddie was one of the smartest business men around.
How did the deal on this boat work out, where is it now?
I also own a 66 Californian Express Cruiser with all the same specs. I have only seen one other and that was down in Havisu. I have owned this one since 2002, but I don't know much of its history. It's good to find this site and see that there are a few others out there.
Mark, I sent you a contact request. I'd surely like to know more about your boat and it's operations. The 66 that I have is newer to me and maybe you'd have some answers to questions. Is your boat build by C&M? I'm curious of the serial #, they couldn't have built many of these boats.