Updated Cabo Rico History
A lot of buzz about Cabo Rico return..as updated Wikipedia has reflected recently..
In the 1960s, John Schofield started building power boats in the corner of the British Leyland assembly plant in Costa Rica. In the early 1970s, their first sail boat was a 36-foot ketch designed by W.I.B. Crealock, the Tiburon 36. In 1977, the 36-foot design became the now legendary Cabo Rico 38. Some company literature erroneously credited Dennis M. Garrett, general manager of the company Fibro Tecnica S.A., as the designer of the 38. In 1983 a separate company, Cabo Rico USA, Inc., opened in Fort Lauderdale, FL to offer sales of new Cabo Rico boats. 1986 saw the introduction of the Chase 38 sport fishing boat designed by C. Raymond Hunt and Associates of Boston. In 1987, two Canadians, Fraser and Edi Smith, purchased the factory in Costa Rica. They also arranged for a corporation in Ontario, Canada to purchase the sales company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. First, the new owners introduced the XL version of the 38 and then a smaller 34-foot Crealock designed sistership to the 38 the following year. This was the first new sailboat design in ten years and long anticipated.
The first European dealer came on board in Oslo, Norway in 1988. Other foreign dealers were added over the years in: Antebes France; Osaka, Japan; Toronto, Canada; Port Zelande, Holland; South Hampton, UK; and Istanbul, Turkey. The Smith’s legacy has been one of producing elegant, ocean-going yachts of the highest quality. The Cabo Rico 38 Pilot premiered in 1989. They re-introduced the Rhode Island built Cambria 44/46 in 1992 and the Cambria 40 in ‘94. That year also saw the introduction of the remarkable, Mark Ellis designed, Northeast 37+, later renamed the 400. It proved to be a very fast motorsailer, under both motor and sail. In 1995, Bill Crealock designed the new Cabo Rico 45, his largest design for the company at the time. Due to a designer conflict with a similar size boat for a competitor, in 1998 Cabo Rico went to Chuck Paine and Associates of Maine for the new Cabo Rico 40. This was later stretched to a 42 footer in 2000. That vessel was named the “ultimate bluewater boat” by SAIL Magazine. That same year the wonderful Cabo 34 was stretched to 36 feet as well. In 2003, the first Paine designed Cabo Rico 56 was launched. Later, that fully loaded, live-aboard yacht would enter the 2005 Trans Pacific race and placed 2nd in PERF class to a 74 footer and be seventh overall into the harbor in Hawaii! 2004 saw the introduction of the very pretty Cabo Rico 42 Pilot and in 2006 the spectacular, Crealock designed, Cabo Rico 47 Pilot based on his 45 design. The market slow down in 2007 and economic collapse of 2008 made it necessary to shut down the Cabo Rico factory in Costa Rica by September of 2009 for an extended time. It also ruined Cabo Rico’s plans for its full sales, service and repair facility in Rhode Island that was scheduled for early 2009. The small, three person Florida corporation was forced into Bankruptcy in 2010 and closed, resulting in two significant lawsuits, one of which was ruled by the court to have no merit and was dismissed, while the other was not pursued. Now in 2013, market and economic conditions are showing signs of improvement. The factory has moved to a new location in the San José Central Valley and is preparing to resume production early in 2014 with renewed financial backing. Preliminary orders are being taken utilizing Letters of Credit. The first boat to ship will be a new model, the Northeast 450, a bigger sister ship for the NE400. A Cabo Rico 47 Pilot on the shop floor can now be completed. The company’s motto, “a passage to perfection” will now continue to be fulfilled, much to the satisfaction of Cabo Rico yacht owners and new customers alike.