Bluewater Sailboat – Caliber 40


The Bluewater Sailboat Caliber 40 was available in two variants: the original Caliber 40, which debuted in 1992, and the Caliber 40 LRC, which debuted in 1995. The LRC was manufactured until at least 2006. Both boats have the same LOA, LWL, beam, draught, and displacement measurements. The main difference between the two models is the huge increase in fuel and water capacity from 55 gallons to 212 gallons and 179 gallons, respectively.

Caliber is/was a family-owned, American yacht  based in Florida founded by George and Michael McLeary. Production began in a garage/backyard with the intention of producing a small number of higher quality cruising boats. Caliber soon grew into a well-known builder, having a plant in Clearwater, Florida.

Caliiber 40
Caliiber 40
  • Specs for Caliber 40 and Caliber 40 LRC
  • Designer:    Michael McCreary
  • LOA:   40’ 11”
  • LWL:   32’ 6”
  • Beam:   12’ 8”
  • Draft:   5’ 1”
  • Ballast:  9,500 lbs
  • Displacement:  21,600 lbs
  • Sail Area:  739 sq ft
  • Fuel Tankage:  46 gallons (212 gallons LRC)
  • Water Tankage: 156 gallons (179 gallons LRC)
  • Ballast/Disp  44%
  • Disp/Length  281
  • SA/Disp  15.25


Caliber is/was a family-owned, American yacht function based in Florida founded by George and Michael McLeary. Production began in a garage/backyard with the intention of producing a small number of higher-quality cruising boats. Caliber soon grew into a well-known builder, having a plant in Clearwater, Florida. The company was founded in 1979 and continued to operate till 2010. Caliber models constructed at the period included the 28-, 30-, 33-, and 35-foot; the 35-foot Long Range Cruiser (LRC); the 38- and 40-foot; and the 45- and 47-foot LRC cruising yachts. Michael McLeary Naval Architect created the design in-house.

Caliber is no longer in the boat-building industry, but George McLeary runs a yacht brokerage agency that specializes in selling previously owned Caliber Yachts. Unlike many out-of-production boats, true first-hand information about the Caliber build, design details, and service is still freely available.


On the used Bluewater sailboat market today, there are two versions of the Caliber 40. The Caliber 40 and Caliber 40 LRC (Long Range Cruiser) will be discussed as one fundamental concept with some important differences. The McCreary brothers, presently based in Clearwater, Florida, founded the company in 1979 as a garage boat builder, with the Caliber 28 debuting in 1981. A whole series of cruising boats was created during the 1980s, and the Caliber 40 made its debut in 1991, with the LRC variant still being manufactured today.

The cutter is a highly appealing design with a bowsprit and a bobstay that keep the ground tackle well away from the bow during anchoring. The boat has a straight sheer and a reverse transom, as well as a modest but extremely useful swim step and boarding ladder. The deck of the 40 is cored with marine plywood rather than foam or balsa, and the hull is laid up with solid fibreglass, which accounts for some of the displacement of 21,600 lbs. The Caliber 40 has a fully encapsulated, elongated fin keel with a ballast of 9,500 pounds of iron and concrete. Her ballast to displacement ratio is a very respectable 44%, which is good for a bluewater yacht. Her waterline is slightly over 32 feet, and her rudder is skeg hung for protection and tracking.

Above Deck

The T-shaped cockpit is spacious and ideal for entertaining, but it is also deep and secure at sea, thanks to three huge cockpit drains and high backrests. On one side, there is a lazarette for the propane tank and a large, self-draining storage compartment. Cutouts in the deep coaming sides allow for additional storage of tiny goods such as radios. The freshwater shower is ideal for a fast rinse after swimming. The Caliber 40 includes two vents, six hatches, and two dorades for ventilation. The cleats and chocks may be larger for a bluewater boat, and the normal #48 Lewmar primaries appear to be small as well. The forward anchor locker is easily accessible from the deck and is conveniently partitioned.

A couple or a singlehander may easily manage the single spreader, keel stepped rig. The inner forestay can be removed and fixed at the deck near the mast, or it can contain a roller furling staysail, which, coupled with the running backstays, will come in handy in a strong wind. The main sail is completely battened with two deep reefs, a rigid boom vang is standard, and all lines are led forward so that a short-handed crew may raise and lower the sails and reef from the cockpit. Chainplates are affixed to the deck and through-bolted to the bulkheads, and they are easily accessible from below.

Below Deck

The Bluewater Sailboat Caliber is a modern two-cabin design with overall headroom of 6’2″. The interior arrangement is similar to that of the Passport 40, beginning with a big head and separate stall shower in the front. Aft, the master cabin contains a Pullman-style offset double to port with lockers and lots of storage to starboard. To port, there is a 6’2″ L-shaped couch that converts to a double berth. A straight settee to port and a very practical dinette table that folds down from the bulkhead and out to join both settees to comfortably seat six for supper are also available.

The Sailboats Galley is located to port and features a double sink inboard, a two-burner stove and oven, and a top loading refrigerator outboard. A second, very small head is located to port and is accessible from the saloon or the aft cabin. The galley is next to the outboard facing nav station. To shield the station from whatever is splashing around on the stove, some owners have erected a Lexan divider between the galley and the nav desk.

The boat is finished in beautiful, hand-rubbed teak with good storage below the settees and has fourteen stainless steel, opening ports suitable for offshore use.


Because the design is a somewhat substantial displacement cruising yacht, she need some wind to get going. However, as with most cruising boats in this class, sailing 5 – 5.5 knots in 10 – 12 knots of wind on a beam reach is not awful and can offer 140 mile days in the tradewinds. Despite the fact that the sheeting angles have been strengthened as the tracks have been pushed inboard, sailing to within 60 degrees of the apparent wind is possible. Although the boat will sway in huge seas, it will do so no more than comparable cruise boats and will stay rather comfortable in both large waves and strong winds.

Quick Notes

The Caliber 40 LRC’s design and construction make it appropriate for offshore use. It should provide 150-180-mile days in good winds. Upwind performance is characteristic of relatively heavy cruising boats; long coastal journeys to weather are likely to be motorsailed. On balance, she’ll travel fewer miles than lighter-weight competitors, but she’ll be more comfortable in rough seas.

The company receives mixed evaluations for post-sale service from the owners contacted. In one case, the corporation covered the cost of a repair that occurred more than a year after the guarantee had expired.

If you are interested in learning more about the specifications and details of a sailboat, we recommend visiting the page Bluewater Sailboat data by  Ocean Wave Sail. This page provides comprehensive information and is an excellent resource for anyone seeking detailed information about 1000+ sailboats.

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