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The Cabo Rico 40

What separates the new Cabo Rico 40 from many other cruisers is that it was intended for a special group of sailors: those who want to go far off soundings and who love blue-water sailing. It is clearly intended for sailors looking for more sailing pleasure out of their all-out cruiser.

Fraser Smith, co-owner, with his wife Edi, of Cabo Rico Custom Yachts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, wanted the new 40-footer to be a veritable modern seagoing yacht. It had to be more than capable in ocean-going conditions. The new 40 had to also feel less like a heavy displacement cruiser and more like a spirited cruiser-racer design. It had to sail well, too.

Smith engaged yacht designer Chuck Paine for this mission: maintain the seakeeping qualities of a long-keel design, but mine the feel of a fin keel while gaining as much of its performance as possible.

Paine came up with an unusually long — not full — keel and rudder configuration. The long Naca foil keel has a very big aperture where the propeller shaft exists. The stock of the slightly balanced rudder dead ends to a bearing at the vestigial end of the foot of the keel. It has the effect of making the helm lighter in feel while improving maneuverability. When the wind pipes up, the helm doesn’t load up, according to the designer.

"In light conditions, the boat feels like a fin-keel boat," Smith said. "In heavy conditions, it’s light and very nimble to handle. It’s quite an accomplishment," Smith added.

Cabo Rico 40
Principal dimensions

LOA: 44’6"
LWL: 32'.0"
Beam: 12’8"
Draft: 5'.3"
Displacement: 26,800 lbs.
Ballast 10,400 lbs
Sail Area: 931 Sq. Ft.

Sailaway Price: $390,000

Cabo Rico Custom Yachts, 2258 S.E. 17th St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL.   33316

Interior Layout

The Cabo Rico 40 breaks with the slack-bilge-design approach. There is reduced wetted surface area with its cutaway forefoot. The small filet at the tight turned bilge-to-keel sections will also contribute to the 40’s turn of speed. But the Cabo Rico 40 is a moderately heavy displacement design of 26,800 pounds. Its sail area to displacement ratio is only 16-plus on 931 square feet working sail area. But with the double headsails unfurled, the 40 flies 1,156 square feet of horsepower off its 52-foot cutter rig.

As a passage-maker, load carrying capacity is a major issue on the Cabo Rico 40, which has voluminous storage areas and caverns throughout the boat, They include the cockpit area with a sail locker capable of stowing three sails. Aft of the helm is the large double-hatched lazarette.

Keeping with Cabo Rico’s reputation for building tough and durable boats, the 40 is strong enough to withstand accidental groundings. The fiberglass-resin construction is cored Baltek or Corecell. In general, the construction is specked to an overbuild level, according to the designer. To provide good impact resistance, the average hull thickness is one inch.

The internal ballast is encapsulated in the hull, so if a grounding occurs, the heavy fiberglass hull will absorb the collision.

With seakeeping abilities an overarching requisite in the design development of the Cabo Rico 40, the cockpit is somewhat small, with deep seating and adequate space for sailhandling. Most of the sail controls, including the main halyard, are led over the coach roof on the starboard side. The 40 is available with a club-footed self-tending staysail. The 40 has the Edson Space Saver steering system, which features a short run, pull-pull system that was specially customized by Edson for the 40. Forward, the bowsprit has double anchor rollers for the CQR with windlass (optional electric) and the anchor/chain locker just aft on deck.

The Cabo Rico 40 has two private cabins and a minimum of 6’4" headroom throughout. The interior features the solid teak joinerwork that Cabo Rico Custom Yachts has become famous for. Many builders have given up building out of solid wood construction these days, even though veneers on marine plywood can be heavier than the solid wood joinerwork. Cabo Rico Yachts uses 5/16’s-inch-thick, honey-colored teak. It is plantation grown at Cabo Rico’s boatbuilding plant in Costa Rica. Cabo Rico harvests, kiln dries and cuts boards from their teak tree farm.

The layout features a serious galley designed for long hauls and seagoing meal prep. There is even a dish dry rack under the inboard counter, which happens to be just above the auxiliary enclosure. It allows dishes to drain and dry securely under the counter.

The dinette in the main cabin is set off so crew can walk through without making people seated at the table get up. The berth opposite the dinette is a proper sea berth where lee cloths can be installed. The head has a separate shower compartment en suite. A total of six ports open in the main cabin and there are seven opening hatches on the boat.

The auxiliary is a Yanmar 62 turbo turning a 3-blade, 21-inch propeller on a 2 to 1 reduction gear. The owner can opt for a three-blade feathering type prop. Tank capacities are: 72 gallons fuel and 130 gallons water with an optional additional 70-gallon tank. The fuel and water tanks are in the sump area atop the molded-in ballast.

From the exterior, the Cabo Rico 40 strikes a graceful pose with clipper bow, finished teak caprail and molded-in stainless rub strake. In all, the Cabo Rico is a reflection of a boat that wants to be no less than a sea-going yacht that can move well through the water, that can track like a full-keeler, turn by a keelboat and sail well in all points of sail.

The Cabo Rico 40 comes in nearly any customization the owner may prefer. The "sailaway" package price, which includes main genoa, staysail and electronics, is $390,000 FOB Ft. Lauderdale.

Micca Hutchins is offline  
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