The in-port double-berth is becoming increasingly popular with voyaging
couples who like a real, well ventilated sleeping arrangement while in
port. And this cabin need not be wasted space at sea, for the berth
opens up useful storage space while on passage. For example, it is ideal
for fresh produce, for which good ventilation is necessary for maximum
life. The spacious forward head and separate shower can serve as a
locker for sails, fenders and lines while under way. For a couple, the
aft head (descend companionway; turn right) will be a great wet locker
for boots and foul weather gear. The heads received an average score of
8, which we feel is well deserved. Within the "couples" configuration,
they are well positioned and well thought out.
For serious offshore use, weíd like to see if the aft cabin could be converted into narrow upper & lower sea berths. Such berths will be safer and more comfortable at sea. Moreover, such an arrangement would open up additional access to the engine compartment. But as double berths go, this is a good one and is usable, for at the very least it has bulkheads port and starboard alongside of which is gravity can pull your weary bones on either tack. Pillows and triangular settee cushions are valuable seagoing tools in such applications. Having said all this, two good sea berths exist amidships.
The L-shaped galley is open and airy and has adequate storage space (average score of 7) over the range and fridge and under the sinks. A U-shaped galley design provides maximum working comfort in a seagoing boat, but the L-shaped galley will work fine with a galley harness. With the galley so close to the companionway, ventilation will be good, and itíll be a simple matter to hand a snack up to the watch in the cockpit. Survey respondents gave overall galley efficiency a 7.6. Other average galley scores: sinks-8, stove/oven installation-7.6, food & equipment storage-7.5, dining table-9.3. This table is very nice, with seamanlike fiddles and a leaf that extends to the starboard settee. Just aft of the galley is the well-positioned and snug nav-station, with quick and easy access to the cockpit and the helmsperson.
With 14 opening ports, seven hatches, two Dorades and a solar fan, ventilation is superb. Average score: 9.6! Cabinetry below is lovely and warm, as well as functional, and rated a well-deserved 9.7. This is a very open layout which, as one respondent noted, is
"both good and bad," but he
complimented the 40LRC of its strategically place handholds. Respondents
gave the Caliber 40LRC a score of 8.3 for "below-deck plan for living
aboard and offshore sailing."
The rig is interesting. The retractable inner forestay is popular among survey respondents, most of whom made positive, unsolicited comments about the Convertible Cutter Rig. The two-part backstay not only disperses rigging loads between the quarters, it also keeps the versatile transom boarding platform clear and open for swimming, showering, diving, dinghy boarding and, if need be, recovering crew overboard.
Several owners mentioned that the wire rigging is heavy, and others appreciated the inboard chainplates and genoa tracks that enables them to sheet headsails in tighter, point higher, improve tacking angles, and enhance their boatís VMG. The coachroof mounted traveler system, turnbuckles, the keel mast-step, and wire rigging all received 8s or just above.
The in-mast furling mainsail, along with roller-furling jib and staysail, allows all sail reductions to be made from the cockpit--a wonderful safety factor offshore.
In reviewing the attributes of the Caliber 40LRC, itís easy for BWS to get excited about the boatís possibilities as a blue water boat. And itís not difficult to be enthusiastic about the prospects of the BWS Subscriber Survey respondents who are, as we write, preparing for their days in the sun and the trades. Sure, you can buy new or used boats for less, but seldom will you be able to acquire a stock boat as prepared for the rigors of the sea as is the Caliber 40LRC.
When George and Michael McCreary were boys growing up in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area, every waking hour was spent out on the water. During races to Key West and cruises to the Bahamas, the seeds of a dream were sown: to own their own boatbuilding enterprise. But simply to build boats was not enough. It was imperative to the McCrearys that they stay small to reduce overhead and produce "quality, seaworthy cruising yachts" at competitive prices. If the BWS Subscriber Survey is any indication, they have succeeded admirably.