So, what do you think of this boat as a long distance cruiser. I really like the boat for the way it is constructed, the beauty of it, smart solutions and safety it provides. However I have not sailed one yet so I do not know how it sails. The only problem, that kind of bathers me, is the displacement to length ratio which is 366 to be exact, seems to be a little high which suggests that the boat is a little slow. However I intend to cruise, not race. So I guess what I’m asking for is to for any one who has sailed one or had a close contact with it please tell me about your experiences with this vessel.
This is a question that is a little complicated by the fact that Cabo Rico does not publish all of the data necessary to give a good answer on their website. Since I do not sailed on one and have not seen one up close under sail I am speculating a bit more than I normally would prefer.
Here''s how this looks to me. If you compare the Cabo to the Valiant 40 you find that they are nearly the same length. Cabo Rico does not publish its waterline length but scaling the profile drawing(very inaccurate at best)it appears to be slightly smaller than the Valiant 40''s 34'' LWL. The design weight on the Valiant 40 is 22,500 and the Published displacement on the Cabo Rico is 26,800. This is a very big difference. Cabo Rico tries to offset that by having nearly 50% more sail area on a boat that weighs nearly 20% more. (Some of this difference may be in how the sail area is calculated. The Valiant sail area is based on 100% foretriangle which is the traditional method and would not include the staysail, while I suspect that the Cabo''s sail area probably includes the area of the sail area. If that were the case they would ebd up with pretty close to an equal SA/Disp. ratio with the Vailant having slightly more SA/Disp).
Of course the real determinant here is ballast ratio and draft. In order to carry enough sail area to overcome the greater drag of a heavier boat you need to have more stability. The Valiant at 6 foot draft would appear to carry its ballast lower. Cabo does not include its ballast weight so its harder to tell whether it has sufficient ballast to stand up to the greater sail area that is needed to drive its greater bulk and drag.
Without data on ballast weight and the ballast material, its hard to tell why the Cabo Rico is so much heavier, but as I have said here before, weight in an of itself does absolutely nothing positive for a boat. It does not add strength, speed, stability, comfort of motion, nor does it represent higher quality construction. It is simply weight and weight adds drag and adds to the stresses on all parts of the boat. If, say 11000- 12500 of the Cabos weight is in ballast, she might be able to stand to her rig and offer decent performance. BUT without sufficient ballast stability, the Cabo would not even be a decent heavy weather boat.
This is really more important to the cruiser than to the racer. To some extent a racer can make up for lack of speed with their rating. BUT to the cruiser, poor light air performance and a hard to drive hull means longer passages (and the need for more supplies and therefore even more weight), more motoring time, harder to adjust sail controls, and higher loads on the helm. (This wears out crews, and means more battery capacity for the autopilot and more fuel to recharge the batteries and, you guessed it, more weight)
Another component of this is how and where you cruise. There are people who are distance cruisers by which they mean that they run the ICW twice a year and make a 24-38 hour passage over to the Bahamas. And there are distance cruisers who jump the Atlantic on a frequent basis. Obviously these require two different types of boats. If I were a ditch runner, performance under sail is less important than comfort and motoring ability. If I were a go to Bermuda and hang a right type, I would want a boat that really sailed well and frankly the Cabo Rico is nearly twice the weight that I would opt for. The other thing is that even distance cruisers like to daysail and cruise in their venue, a lighter boat will have an easier time and more sailing days doing that in all venues.
Here are some numbers that I have received from Cabo Rico.
Cabo Rico 42/ Cabo Rico45
L.O.A .46’6”/ 50’10”
Deep X / 6’6”
Ballast10,400/ 13.500(material not known)
Displ 26,800/ 35,600
100% foretriangle 909/ 1,103
cutter 1,134/ 1,334
sail area-displ16.6/ 19.7
Now if you ever get a chance, take a look at one. They seem to be very sturdy, functional, well though out boats. In my opinion, what makes them safe in high winds situations in particular is their long keel that makes them more stable to hove-to where modern, short but deep keels, make it impossible, which I think is a big factor. Another thing is the rudder, which is supported by keel itself, which I think makes it very strong. Now what attracts me to this boat is the designer’s approach to solve what could become a problem at sea. Another thing is that this boat received very good reviews by several boat magazines and was named by Sail magazine one of the top 10 best sailboats in the world -the only boat to meet their definition of an ultimate bluewater boat. Now I do not know how much of it is publicity, marketing strategies and how much is true but that’s how it is. However before I make any buying decisions I have to ask myself a lot of “what if” kind of questions to determine the right boat for my needs and that’s way I’m here.
Jeff, if you can, order a brochure from Cabo Rico and you’ll get much more info then I can provide, but that’s up to you.
Thank you for your opinion. I think you are one of those few who really know what they’re talking about. I’ll take a closer look at that Valiant you were talking about.
Thanks for your kind words and the additional information. A couple quick comments here. At 10,400 lb ballast, the 42 falls at the bottom end of a reasonable ballast to displacement ratio for a shoal draft vessel of that weight.
I did want to comment on your point that you felt,"what makes them safe in high winds situations in particular is their long keel that makes them more stable to hove-to where modern, short but deep keels, make it impossible".
I really don''t think that is true. Certainly the fin keel boats that I have owned will hove to. While older literature seems to suggest that you need to have a full keel to hove to, current thinking is that all that is required is a boat that is in dynamic ballance. As a result it seems to be a boat boat thing rather than simply a matter of the length of keel. For example, my 1939 Stadel designed cutter had about as long a keel as a boat could have and yet she would not hove to. My Laser 28 had about as minimal a fin and rudder as you could have and yet she would hove to quite easily.
You also indicated, "Another thing is the rudder, which is supported by the keel itself, which I think makes it very strong. Now what attracts me to this boat is the designer’s approach to solve what could become a problem at sea."
Again, I have a slightly different opinion here. It is not an automatically correct conclusion that a keel hung rudder is stronger than a properly engineered post hung or skeg hung rudder. That claptap has been around for a long time but its not always the case. The two rudders that have been broken on boats that I was sailing were both keel hung. It is actually easier to balance the torsional loads on the rudder post more easily on the boat with a counter-ballanced spade rudder. It was fatigue due to torsion that we believe lead to the rudder post failure on the one boat. I know that the spade rudder has to absorb the large cantilever of the rudder blade but properly designed that is actually not that hard.
I am not sure that I have much more to ad here. I try to limit my comments to boats that I have first ro secind hand knowledge of or to generally inferable impressions that can be gleaned from the ''numbers''. I think that I have made as many conjectures as much as I am comfortable with. Hopefully and owner will pipe in here with direct knowledge.
As regards the rudder, with a stress analysis and strength of materials background and having owned both keel hung (barn door) and balanced spade rudders, it is my engineering opinion (and without going into the mathematics of force multiplication of levers, etc.) the barn door type is very vulnerable especially when the boat is travelling in reverse during a hove-to mode. The spade, especially if balanced, would not see such extreme forces in reverse when held at a hove-to attitude. A barn door rudder stock and hing system because of such reverse flow vulnerability HAS to be built much stronger. .... which should intuitively tell you something. ;-)
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