Cabo Rico 2018 - Classic Refinements to World Renowned Designs and Performance

201 Cabo Rico 

CR 34-36
CR 42
CR 42 Pilot
Cabo Rico 45
Cabo Rico 47 Pilot
Cabo Rico 56
CR 56
Classic -Stable-Dry-Fast
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 Some general thoughts about Cruising Sailboats 


Cabo Rico hull designs are different from most every other boat on the market. Most of what you will see are fin or fin/bulb keel boats so why are CR Marine’s Cabo Rico hulls designed this way?


Almost all “cruising” boats today are based on racing hull designs. The reason

builders do this are as follows:


The boats are spirited to sail in the 5 to 15 knot winds and the 2 to 3 foot chop that most casual sailors go out in.


The small deep fin keels improve pointing ability some and allow faster tacking in evening and weekend club races.


The designs are wide and relatively flat to gain initial stability and speed in lighter air. This gives the marketing benefit of larger looking interiors.


These designs are much cheaper to mold and build due to their simple rounded shape and cast external keels that simply bolt on.


All this sounds good, so why isn’t it?


Like all racing machines, so called “modern “ keel boat hulls are demanding to

operate and tend towards dangerous if they are not in their ideal conditions.


Try taking a formula one Ferrari out on country roads. If it keeps running, it

won’t meet its performance specifications by a long shot.  Or take an America’s Cup 12 meter mono hull yacht out in 25+ knots of wind and 10-12 foot seas. No big deal with the proper design, but those cup boats will have already had to go home.


Whether we intend to or not, we all get caught in less than ideal conditions. You should feel safe, be comfortable and still go fast. Only a Cabo Rico will do that for you, and in style as well.


The “modern” cruising hulls, with their “U” sections forward and flatter sections amidships, will pound to weather. Their plumb bows will allow a great deal of water onboard and their lack of reserve buoyancy will cause their bows to bury into larger waves. This is sometimes known as submarining.  Wet, uncomfortable and down right scary, especially if it turns into a broach.


A Cabo Rico doesn’t do that. Her clipper bow is simply the best for any sailing out side all out racing or the “casual” weather window. Waves are sent way out to the side so they doesn’t come onboard, and you will probably never bury the bow due to the large amount of reserve buoyancy up high.



Her slender sections forward mean she doesn’t pound to weather and due to her one piece construction and strong scantlings there is no hull flexing, no hull delamination, and no parting bulkheads in rough conditions, unlike many boats built today. Even our interior doors open  and close properly in bad conditions, regardless of the tack you are on.


Those wide hull forms also contribute to rapidly decreasing stability in storm conditions. Note the loss of 2 boats, a Beneteau 38 and a 43, and resultant loss of lives, on the Bay of Biscay a while back.  Also of concern are the very wide transoms on many boats today that present too much reserve buoyancy to a following sea, and when combined with the pinched, plumb bows can lead to a life threatening broach.


CR Marine believes you deserve to sail quickly, but in comfort and safety and to be able to also return in good shape.


Cabo Rico models can have excellent performance in those light fluky airs that seem to occur 50% of the time you’re out sailing. Ask a naval architect. He or she will tell you heavier boats go faster in light air. It has to do with the extra sail area they can carry as well as momentum. While a light boat may start up faster it also stops faster. But with a Cabo Rico you don’t slow down quickly and the tracking ability of our longer keel designs means you are still on the right heading when the next puff comes along and with that momentum, you are also still moving.


A Cabo Rico hull is very expensive to build because it includes the keel and is built in one piece, not 2 halves taped seamed together at the center line. The whole hull mold must be rotated side to side with each layer of laminate. That’s time consuming. Having to laminate down through the long keel portion is not easy. It costs more. But at CR Marine, we feel that the end result is worth the effort, and so are our customers.


Integral to hull and keel design is the rudder.  Boats designed for racing and “cruising” fin keel boats have their rudders hung far astern to achieve the most leverage and turning force for fast tacking around the marks.  This has the disadvantage of the rudder getting air and loosing steerage, particularly downwind in rougher conditions, and the helmsman loosing control of the vessel.  This is why the racing versions of these hull need two rudders, so one is always more deeply immersed in the water being on the down wind side. 


These rudders are only attached where they enter the hull and at their top most point.  They are therefore very vulnerable to damage and total loss of steerage should the boat hit a submerged object or run aground.  Some brands help to support the rudder with a skeg having a bearing part way down the rudder stock.  This support helps, but the added risk is damage to these thin skegs, thus jamming them against the rudder making it inoperable. Why anyone would want to venture out of range of Coast Guard assistance with an exposed rudder that can so easily render you helpless if you hit anything, is imprudent at best and foolhardy at worst.


At Cabo Rico we believe in attaching the rudder to the aft end of the keel, making it almost impossible to damage the rudder in a way as to loose steerage.  They don’t get bent, jammed up or fall off.  Indeed Cabo Rico has never lost a rudder at sea in our near 50 year history!


It is amazing the other short cuts that almost all builders use to save costs and increase profits, and of which their customers are completely unaware. For example, most do not glass the main structural bulkhead to the deck anymore. To save time and money they use a full deck liner bedded in epoxy putty to the underside of the deck. The bulkheads then land in a notch in the liner, and they bed that in epoxy putty as well. In light use, this is fine but in rough conditions, with higher stresses and pounding, their lightly constructed hulls start to flex pushing the center of the deck up and sometimes rent the bulkhead right out.


Another of many compromises are the very large cockpits that are poorly supported below,  creating a problem if a large wave comes down on you; in some cases actually pushing the sole right through the deck.  Add to that wide cockpits that allow you to fall about, main sheet tackles that pass through it threatening limb or life, low backed seats that leave you aching after a while, and you will soon appreciate the many sea-going capabilities of your Cabo Rico.


“ ultimate Bluewater Boat”

SAIL Magazine

CR 42 Pilot