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Discussion Starter #1
We are considering buying a new Caliber LRC 40, we would appreciate any user information. I would like to communicate with anyone that has personal experience with the Caliber LRC 40 sailboat.

Greg
 

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Camaraderie

Thanks for the help. I'm still trying to decide if we want to change from what we currently own. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to speak to other owners

Cheers
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
DynaMeme

We are planning on moving our boat to the Caribbean area. At this time our plan is to spend the summers here and the winters sailing, but like many things that could change. I really don’t know if we will want to do any long blue water passages, but if we did, it would mean a different boat as our Catalina is a great coastal cruiser. We are trying to determine if we should sell our current boat (2004 Catalina 387) and purchase a new Caliber LRC 40. At present we truly enjoy cruising in our 387. It is the right size for us, we enjoy sailing it and we live in it well, but it does have limited storage space.

I have been most impressed with the Caliber LRC 40 but I feel it necessary to speak to owners and get their input. What are the sailing characteristics of your boat in a variety of conditions? Is the boat as well constructed as the manufacturer states. It is a comfortable boat to live on? Can you easily single-hand the boat? What if anything, would you change about your boat? Do you have any suggestions on must have equipment that we should order the boat with? Is there enough working room to do maintenance and add new equipment yourself? I appreciate any and all information that you are willing to share.
 

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Greg
I too have been looking at the Caliber 40LRC. It is #1 on my list when I switch boats from my current Hunter 33. I have talked to and have been on a few Caliber's and love the boat. Caliber's website says it all about the boat and all the owners agree with the advertisements. The downside to the boat are, light wind performance ( can be overcome with code zero or other large drifter sails), weather-helm when loading up the the stern with all the toys( arch, solar panels, dingy hoist, etc), support from Caliber ( hot or cold from the brothers), Staysail tracks and line sheets not right for optimum performance, and some quality control problems when buying a new boat that are resolved but annoying. The other is the nav station being cramped for tall persons and too close to the stove. Items get spilled on to the nav station when cooking. Like all boats there is compromises and this one is no exception.
Every owner I have talked says the boat is solid on the open seas. It was what it is built for. I haven't found a boat out there yet that matches the storage space foot for foot that the Caliber has. For liveaboard I love this. The fuel and water tanks are great. They are down below the waterline and near the center of gravity which adds to more stability and a safer boat. My question to the brothers were why so much weight in the keel with this configuration. When the tanks are full there is over 2600 lbs. Their reply was weak in my opinion, " Just adds more stability"! It is a very heavy boat and just my opinion can be lighten up.
Melissa
S/V Freedom
 

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I am closing on a lightly used 1994 Caliber 40.. next friday.
I have been looking at boats for a long time and this one, when it came into my focus just seemed to fit the bill.
 

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Magnus, If you or Greg are still interested, I can give you my perspective on owning a used 40 LRC. I don't have much experience with other boats to compare it with, but I love this boat!

I've own it for 3 plus years. Its a 1995 vintage. It was set up by experienced sailors planning a world cruise back in the mid 1990s. They covered the Pacific from Alaska down to Mexico and across to NZ and Oz before medical issues caused them to sell the boat. It came to me with a hard dodger and plastic enclosures, all lines pulled aft into the cockpit. Both the genoa and staysail are on furlers. It came with 224 watts of solar and a charge controller, a Link 2000R and the Heart inverter/charger. 540 amps of house gels. A 40 gallon hot water tank which is heated on shore power as well as by the Yanmar. A windless, with a Delta on 250 foot of chain, a 44 Bruce and a Fortress FX37 as backup anchors. An excellent hydraulic/electronic autopilot plus some Micom SSB and various VHF radios and a Spectra 8 gal/hour watermaker. The Yanmar has a high amperage charging Balmar alternator. The engine also was set up with an electric air bleed device which makes getting air out of the gas lines a snap.

In NZ they had a refit done that included a major upgrade to internal cabinetry. Other Caliber owners always "oh and ah" over this customized feature which put storage doors on all the shelves in the salon area and replaced that ridiculous desk in the forward berth with a nice set of two drawers and a third storage door at foot level, as well as more storage drawers in the forward berth. It also has a remarkable adjustable Davits arch made of 3 inch stainless that is an eyecatcher as well. The tankage is remarkable. I left Maimi with a full load of diesel and one jerry jug on deck. I never bothered with buying fuel again until I reached the east coast of Puerto Rico (1100 upwind miles and several months later). During the course of that trip, cruising buddies were constantly jerry jugging and filtering diesel at various stops along the way. I missed out on that camraderie development. I do most of the sailing activities like a single hander because the admiral onboard tells me that this is my dream not hers, and since she out ranks me ...

I agree that the nav station is quite inconvienent. I happen to do most of my navigating in the cockpit. I have set up a split input for a color Garmin, one hookup in front of the wheel. and one at the nav station. When clear surface space is needed, we fold out the salon table to its full width, and I can spread charts out on that nicely.

Pointing into the wind is tough. This is not a race boat but it tacks nicely.
I do low speed turns, by first furling the genny then coming about. I have found this to be the easiest way to change tack. While heading upwind this past year. I have relied heavily on the Yanmar for must of the upwind migration. It seems to run fine. Keeping the maxprop clean of growth has also helped.

Things I have added in the past year or two include a portable genset, a wind generator, the Garmin and a backup, both bought on Ebay, a replacement of all the batteries both house and starters, and a spinnaker for some future down wind sailing I hope to do. Also a replacement of the Raytheon radar which turned out to be false alarm, The original worked fine after I removed it and hooked it up on a bench so I now have a spare oh well. I also bought a forth anchor, a Danforth to be used for storm settings. I experienced several hurricanes while based in a slip in South Florida now the boat is ready to set out 4 good anchors in the nearest mangrove.

The only thing I am considering adding now is a bowthruster. This topic seems to generate lots of passionate views in others, I happen to think it would be a nice to have tool when approaching unfamiliar docks as I continue in my migration.
 

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Suitable for Chesapeake Bay?

I've also been looking at used Caliber 40's and have been impressed with what I've read and seen. In a few years our intention is coastal crusing, perhaps the islands etc. In the interim we'll spend most of the time on the Upper Cheaspeake. My concern is performance during those many summer light wind days characteristic of the Chesapeake. I will check the Caliber owners mail list but would appreciate the experience of others particularly under light wind conditions.
 

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I sail out out of Deale Maryland on a Caliber 40 (94) that I purchased last year.. I think its a great boat for the bay AND beyond..
 

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We have found our asymetric makes a big differance on light days with the sock they aren't all that hard to use. actually alot of fun!
 

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I also sail a Catalina 387 (hull#100) and pland to start cruising offshoure in a year and a half. I am looking between the Caliber 47 and the Jeaneau49DS. I know they are very different but I am driving myself crazy trying to balance the performance and creature comfort of the 49DS vs sea stablility of the Caliber. I am going to post a request for info on those sailing the 49DS but I appreciated reading the replys to you post
john
 

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Tropic...if you are thinking about a 40LRC as a bay cruiser for weekends, there are better suited boats...but it is designed as a long range cruisr and as such the fuel and water tanks are WELCOME and DESIREABLE. When full...the boat sits on its' lines and so performs as designed. Encapsulated keels have their detractors as do Bolt on Keels...each has problems and advantages. Selecting a cruising boat with "backing into slips" capability as a criteria seems pretty laughable to me. The best backing sailboats I know are the Beneteaus...but I sure would not want to cruise with that rudder...especially the ones which hang down BELOW the keel.
The windward performance is just fine if you are not going racing. More importantly, the motion is sea kindly on a beat.
Check out the Blue Water Sailing review of the boat on the link below. I think the Caliber40 is the least expensive production boat over 35' being made today that is really a suitable platform for blue water voyages.
http://www.caliberyacht.com/PR_40_Op_All_Frm.htm
 

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There has been some discussion about exploding tanks on the LRC. See the Practical Sailor review. This may have been fixed but it does have an excessive amount of tankage for a boat that size.
 

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Another option

Let me add another option to those considering the Caliber 40 LRC. I was shopping about 3 years ago for a boat to liveaboard and cruise the Caribbean. I started with some general requirements for what I wanted and went shopping from there.

What I wanted was high build quality, big storage, go-anywhere capability, a shoal draft for US East coast and Bahamas, big tankage, something I could ground and sail away without damage, and an easy to handle rig.

In a matter of months, I found the Caliber LRC 40, 38' Cabo Rico, 40' Valiant, 42' Valiant, 40' Island Packet and 42' Island Packet most closely suited my tastes and needs.

I shopped the market pretty hard. I came close to really liking the Caliber, but found the nav station, master berth "desk", and some interior materials and finish to be unimpressive compared to the Island Packet. I really liked the idea of big tankage on the LRC, but was turned off by the rest of the package.

In the end, I bought a 1999 Island Packet 40 and am very happy with it. I've seen many IP's and Calibers down island, so both are obviously capable. Unfortunately, you won't find a new IP40. The replacement for the 40 was the 420. Prices on the 420, even for the same model year as my 40, are typically 100-200k higher. Take a look at a used 40. Side by side, the IP40 is much bigger and has equal if not more storage. She holds 90 gallons of diesel and 170 gallons of water--less than the LRC but probably twice that of a Catalina.

My boat has encapsulated lead in the keel, handles well (though definitely a learning curve dockside), and will keep pace or pull away from nearly all the boats I've cruised with.

Best Wishes,
Dan Forter
S/V Eventyr
www.ipphotos.com/eventyr
 

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The fuel tanks are not part of the hull per say they are bonded to the hull as part of the grid. http://caliberyacht.com/Features_Strength_Main_Window.htm as far as I know the only way to rupture a tank in a caliber or in any boat for that matter would be to shut off or plug the vents then fill the tank to deck level.
As far as too much fuel I don't think thats an isue they do make stabilizers with biocides that every one should be useing unless you motor so much you always have fresh fuel. I like the fact that I could if need be motor for 1400 miles. You can top off win its cheap and skip it win its expensive. and of course Its preferable to carry your fuel low in the hull other than lashed to your life lines in gerry cans.
The nav station is cramped but I would rather be wedged in to work win its rough than be trying to hang on and plot at the same time.
The bigist mistake they made on the boat was calling it a 40 its really a 39 and it actually started as a 38. I think all boats should be designated by water line length but that wouldn'nt be near as impressive. as haveing that 40 on the side;) boats are all compromises if the shoe dont fit don't buy it. We love our boat it comes as close to fitting the bill for us that we could find. it is not perfect. The perfect boat is out in the nether world right inbetween the unicorn and the locheness monster.
 

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Tropic..
Every boat is a tradeoff.. if you are that pre-occupied w/ encapsulated keels than you should avoid them .. Personally I have never thot of a Sabre - an excellent boat, as the offshore type but there are alot of boats out there that are not "offshore" that seem to be doing fine.

I chose my Caliber in part for its underbody that was designed similar to Perrys' Valiants... Keel and all.
 

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Tropiccafe said:
Been looking at the Caliber LRC 40 also but am getting steered away from them a little at a time. Not really looking for a iron and concrete keel to say the least. The backing ability of these boats are not up to par if you plan on doing any backing into a slip during a blow.
The fuel tanks that are built in are part of the hull and sized so large as to promote algae growth if fuel is not used. Full water and fuel tanks make this boat sit low in the water and windward performance is stated to be awful.
I thought Calibers had encapsulated lead keels. Encapsulted Iron is a bad idea. That's one reason I don't like the Passport 40, although it is fine in other respects. Any water that may seep in and it will overtime can cause reactions that will dissolve the iron.
 

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Iron & Concrete Keel

I was in Beaufort, NC just last week to test sail a Caliber 40, and was told the same thing -- encapsulated iron & concrete. It's a big problem for me.

Fritz
 
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