T’ai Chi is a 42 foot Cabo Rico. Built in 2000, she is a cutter-rigged blue-water beauty, and is Hull #1 of the Chuck Payne designed Cabo Rico 42′ fiberglass monohulls. As her name suggests, she is lithe and graceful.

In the year she was built and shown at the Annapolis boat show, 20,000 votes from readers of Sail Magazine, as well as an all-star rostrum of judges, pegged the Cabo Rico 42 as the ‘ultimate blue water sailboat’.  The judges praised the Cabo Rico’s fine hand-rubbed joinerwork, her sea-kindly motion, and solid feel on deck and at the helm as well as the great lay-out of the interior. She looks almost as graceful and shiny today as the day she was awarded the magazine’s blue ribbon.


  • LOA: 46’
  • LOD: 42’6″
  • Beam: 12’8”
  • Draft : 5’3”
  • Ballast : 10,400 lbs
  • Displacement : 26,900 lbs
  • Sail Area (100% foretriangle) : 1134 sq. ft.
  • Area/Displacement Ratio : 16.88
  • Displacement/Length Ratio : 345


  • Yanmar 56 hp Turbo


  • Fuel: 72 US gal
  • Water: 200 US gal
  • Holding: 47 US gal

Link to the naval architect Chuck Paine.

This is what Chuck Payne says about designing our boat:

Cabo Rico yachts were loved by yachtsmen who valued a comfortable motion, voluminous stowage and overbuilt scantlings, combined with a decent but not spectacular turn of speed. The 40 footer, introduced at the Fall 1998 boat shows, retained all of the comfort and safety of her older sisters, with a “New England” styled hull and minimal wetted surface keel and my now well proven balanced long-keel rudder. The yacht was genuinely fun to sail, fast for a yacht of her weight and an absolute delight to helm. After a few boats were built she was “stretched” to 42 feet

and a pilothouse version added. When Fraser Smith of Cabo Rico first approached me for a new design I almost lost the job right off by claiming that nobody could design a sailboat with a D/L ratio of over 400 that could actually sail. Fraser’s most successful design was his “Cabo Rico 36”of which he’d built hundreds― and its D/L was a respectable 404. His pockets were lined with the profits from building these boats-

“What’s not successful about that?” he claimed over our first design session at a restaurant on S.E. 17th street in Ft. Lauderdale. He wanted my new boat to be equally heavy, if possible, but to sail better. I responded that the only way to make it sail better was to build it lighter. A bit of a horse trade went on and in the end we settled on a D/L of around 350 which was heavy enough for Fraser and acceptable to me. In the end the boat sailed extremely well, so Fraser was proven right. Although this was a long keeled hull we did everything we could to pare away wetted surface. The leading edge of the keel was drawn way aft and the aperture enlarged to comply with my PBSR approach. The waterlines were fine forward, for such a heavy model, with a little bit of flare to the topsides forward to keep her from burying her snout. Fraser loved the way the boat sailed …in fact everybody did. His one critique was that he felt the boat was “wet” to windward. Which it was, I suppose, in comparison to his previous models, in my view because my design sailed so much faster and tighter to windward than they did. Go fast into oncoming wind and waves- you get wet. There were good reasons why Fraser preferred a heavy boat. It enabled all of the tankage to be located beneath the cabin sole. This freed up the more easily accessed areas beneath settees and bunks for personal stowage. He insisted that there be no exposed wood beneath the cabin sole- it all had to be overglassed to be completely sealed from bilge water. Since I’ve seen ten year old fiberglass boats whose bulkheads had been turned to mishmash by rot, always beneath the sole, this is an incredibly good idea. And he insisted upon internal, encapsulated ballast. This dovetailed with the tanks being located where they were, since you didn’t have any keelbolts needing inspection and thus could place the tanks anywhere you liked.

The sailplan was of modest height, so it could easily pass beneath Intracoastal Waterway bridges. A cutter foretriangle was fitted as standard, keeping the size of the three working sails modest and permitting changing down from the cockpit merely by roller-furling the yankee jib. While a genoa could be carried if the owner wished, it was by no means a necessity– she went just fine with the smaller yankee. The double spreader rig provided excellent lateral support to the mast, and fore and aft lowers added old fashioned redundancy to the staying. The Cabo Rico 42 proved to me that with enough sail area and a well designed hull, even a D/L of 345 can be made to sail truly fast.