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BOAT REVIEW

The Caliber 38 is a Winner By Lorelei Johnson

W

e love our boat! We were introduced to the Caliber 38 in 1994 by friends who were cruising on one. In 2002 we purchased our own 1990 Caliber 38. Because of its beige hull, the Caliber is often mistaken for an Island Packet. The Caliber has the high quality construction of the Island Packet for less money. Caliber Yachts is a small builder in Clearwater, FL. The company was started by the McCreary brothers, Michael and George. The brothers continue to be active in the business, Michael in designing and George in marketing

The Caliber 38 is a sloop which many owners have chosen to cutter-rig. After trying her without, we decided not to cutter-rig her. For safety and convenience all lines are led aft for sail-handling from the cockpit. The traveler is above the bimini at mid-cockpit. We have found this to be a good feature, which keeps the cockpit clear. The 57-foot mast is tall enough for sailing performance, but not so tall as to concern a sailor when going under bridges. The bow pulpit with the roller furling jib mounted at its base is great for getting in front of the sail or anchor-handling. The large anchor locker is the best I’ve ever seen. As cruisers, we were always looking for somewhere to stow things such as extra fuel, ground tackle and fenders. An excellent feature of the anchor locker is the drain. If we take on water from the waves, stow a wet rode or simply want to rinse the locker out, it drains handily. Although we would prefer a boat with no exterior wood, the Caliber 38’s is minimal. There is wood for grab rails, for trim on the edge of the coach roof and along the gunwales. The largest piece of wood is on the cockpit coamings. We have to admit the wood gives the boat a classic look, but we dislike the work. The Caliber 38 has an ample aft cockpit. One complaint we have is that the helm is in a cutout in the cockpit benches. This makes it necessary to maneuver between the wheel and the seat to get behind the helm. Although our first choice would have been a walk-through transom, the Caliber 38 has the next best thing. The center of the stern rail drops down to provide a sturdy boarding ladder. Two vented cockpit lockers aft serve well for propane storage in one 36

November 2004

SOUTHWINDS

www.southwindssailing.com


Southwindsnovember2004