Practical Sailor reader Allen Taylor so loved his Cabo Rico 38 that he eventually started working for the company as the marketing director. Now, with his stint at Cabo Rico far behind him, the former marketing director offered this insightful view of the Crealock 38, which he lived on and cruised for several years. Although he still holds the boat in high esteem, he offered this list of potential trouble spots.
As Crealock pointed out, she was underpowered, both in sail area and the standard engine. The Westerbeke 46 in Taylors boat was not enough. Some owners have repowered to larger engines, but the Yanmar 56 found in later boats is probably about right.
In the tradewinds, she moved along nicely, even with rough seas, but she did not point nearly as close to the wind as the builder claimed. Taylor sometimes had to motorsail to make reasonable progress when close reaching to Trinidad. He said she needs a stiff breeze to really move.
While the inside teak adds a richness and beauty to the vessel, it also tended to add a good bit of weight. Although the builder tried to reduce this by using thinner teak, the weight still dragged down the boats performance.
The exterior teak is a large chore to keep up during an extended cruise. Toerail maintenance- a seasonal chore in Newport or Annapolis-is a never-ending chore in the southern waters. In many cases, cruisers just let the rail go natural in order to eliminate that job altogether. The teak takes on a nice gray color, quite attractive once you get used to it.
Take a close look at boats with teak in the cockpit. This is an area where rot can occur and is very costly to repair properly. If the steering pedestal has leaked over time, the floor can become soft and rotten.
In the offshore model, the mast passes through the bathroom cabinet inside the head. While this makes it harder to step the mast, this location opened up the main saloon. Taylor suggests using Spartite around the mast rather than the rubber original wedges, which tended to work their way loose over time when the mast was working
The fiberglass fuel and water tanks have lasted well, but the water tanks can impart a very strong taste of fiberglass to the water. The tanks do have clean-out ports, and Taylor suggests keeping the tanks very clean and installing a good filter like the General Ecoloty Seagull, which eliminates the tank taste.
Taylor recommends closely inspecting all chainplates, particularly at the shrouds. These passed through the toe rail and were subject to some corrosion. He said there was a period where Grade 304 plates were mistakenly installed instead of 316 stainless and the lower-grade chainplates failed more frequently.