Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Of the three, price and condition being reasonably equal, in my mind the Valiant 37 would be the clear cut winner. These were boats that were designed to do just what you are proposing and they have done it well. I have always been very impressed with the Valiant 37's in terms of thier overall design, offshore capabilities and their reasonable levels of performance.
While the Tartan 37's have done a lot of offshore cruising, they were really optimized for coastal sailing more than offshore and so have rig, deck hardware and interior layout details that I would consider less than ideal for what you are proposing.
Cabo Rico 38's were a nice boat for thier day, but I really have never really liked their deck layout and I found the interior a little uncomfortable dockside. My biggest gripe with the C R 38 would be sailing ability (pointing ability, leeway, and ease of shifting gears in changeable conditions, not to mention overall speed which I know is less important to many cruisers than it is to me) but which seems very limited compared to the other two. I also personally think that primary headsails tacked to the end of a bowsprit have no place offshore. That would be a deal killer for me.