Obviously there is the size difference. For a bigger boat:
Plus is more living room and more load carrying capacity.
Minus is more maintenance
time and money
, boat is a lot more to handle in bad weather
conditions off shore or in a marginal anchorage.
Both Cabos are cutters which will make your sail handling easier and decrease the amount of sails
you have to find storage
for below. On a reach or run the CR38 may be as fast as the Westerly without nylon up.
On the otherhand they will be undercanvassed by comparison with the Westerly and in general for a beat in light air. A good drifter would alleviate this at least somewhat.
The Westerly is the lightest of the 3 when adjusted for length, but it is by no means a light or underbuilt boat. I am not a big fan of center cockpits, but I am not a big opponent either. CC boats have a rep for being wetter than similar sized AC boats, but I doubt it would be something a good dodger
couldn't deal with.
On the plus of accomodations the Westerly has 2 pilot berths right near the center of the boat, the best place to sleep at sea, and they don't need to be converted everynight.
The Cabo 38 has acceptable berthing, a settee that would have to be converted everynight and a double quarterberth that might need to be subdivided to a single
so you don't roll around in bouncy conditions. Access to the quarterberth is adequate but not great. The dinette would not make a good berth, lot more work to convert than a settee and from some ads, not really the right dimensions.
The Cabo 34 has 2 settees and the double quarterberth. From an ad I found it looks like the engine
is under a seat rather than under the companionway
, this would make maintenance
much easier and therefore more likely to happen on schedule.
For a couple I would probably go with the CR34 for smaller size of boat while still being big enough, draft
which may or not be an issue for you, and for accomodation layout. With a couple crewing
, you want the smallest person able to singlehand the boat thru a watch in most conditions so the offwatch can sleep and be productive on their watch. Smaller boat makes this easier to acheive.
Singlehanded I would definitely go with the CR34.
I would probably go with the Westerly, the accomodations just don't work out well enough on the CR38 for much more than a couple.
Even if you expect to have guests, they will be aboard a small percentage of the time, and that almost all while coastal sailing most likely so the v-berth will likely be usable (except in bouncy anchorages) and berthing that take more work to make up will be acceptable for short term arrangements.
CABO RICO 34
CABO RICO 38
SEALORD 38 (WESTERLY)