1986 — 1991
Designer
Michael McCreary
Builder
Caliber Yachts
Associations
?
# Built
70
Hull
Monohull
Keel
Fin
Rudder
Skeg
Construction
FG

Dimensions

Length Overall
32 6 / 9.9 m
Waterline Length
29 5 / 9 m
Beam
11 3 / 3.5 m
Draft
4 0 / 1.2 m 4 5 / 1.4 m
Displacement
13,000 lb / 5,897 kg
Ballast
6,100 lb / 2,767 kg
Drawing of Caliber 33
  • 1 / 8
  • 2 / 8
  • 3 / 8
  • 4 / 8
  • 5 / 8
  • 6 / 8
  • 7 / 8
  • 8 / 8

Rig and Sails

Type
Cutter
Reported Sail Area
540′² / 50.2 m²
Total Sail Area
540′² / 50.2 m²
Mainsail
Sail Area
239′² / 22.2 m²
P
39 9 / 12.1 m
E
12 0 / 3.7 m
Air Draft
50 1 / 15.3 m
Foresail
Sail Area
301′² / 28 m²
I
43 0 / 13.1 m
J
14 0 / 4.3 m
Forestay Length
45 2 / 13.8 m

Auxilary Power

Make
Yanmar
Model
3GM30F
HP
27
Fuel Type
Diesel
Fuel Capacity
27 gal / 102 l

Accomodations

Water Capacity
70 gal / 265 l
Holding Tank Capacity
?
Headroom
6 3 / 1.9 m
Cabins
?

Calculations

Hull Speed
8.3 kn
Classic: 7.28 kn

Hull Speed

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Formula

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

A more accurate formula devised by Dave Gerr in The Propeller Handbook replaces the Speed/Length ratio constant of 1.34 with a calculation based on the Displacement/Length ratio.

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio.311
Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

8.31 knots
Classic formula: 7.28 knots
Sail Area/Displacement
15.6
<16: under powered

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

Formula

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64)2/3

  • SA: Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D: Displacement in pounds.
15.63
<16: under powered
16-20: good performance
>20: high performance
Ballast/Displacement
46.9
>40: stiffer, more powerful

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Formula

Ballast / Displacement * 100

46.92
<40: less stiff, less powerful
>40: stiffer, more powerful
Displacement/Length
226.2
200-275: moderate

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

Formula

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
226.2
<100: ultralight
100-200: light
200-300: moderate
300-400: heavy
>400: very heavy
Comfort Ratio
25.9
20-30: coastal cruiser

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Formula

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam1.33)

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
25.91
<20: lightweight racing boat
20-30: coastal cruiser
30-40: moderate bluewater cruising boat
40-50: heavy bluewater boat
>50: extremely heavy bluewater boat
Capsize Screening
1.9
<2.0: better suited for ocean passages

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

Formula

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
1.93
<2: better suited for ocean passages
>2: better suited for coastal cruising

Notes

From BlueWaterBoats.org:

With a loyal following the Caliber 33 is an old favourite with big boat interior in a small package. Designed by company co-founder Michael McCreary the boat was launched in 1985, aimed squarely at the performance conscious cruiser. The design has seen many improvements over the decades and todays offering, the Caliber 35 LRC, is a world class yacht and is considered excellent value on the used market, hold their value and generally sell fast.

Calibers were designed for shallow waters of the East Coast with only four and a half feet of draft in standard form. If that’s not enough, an optional shoal draft version drawing four feet was also available.

With angular lines and a nearly flat sheer, the Caliber 33 quietly blends tradition with a taste of the modern. The underbelly is quite contemporary, with flat front sections leading into a fin keel with a straight leading edge, while the rudder is skeg hung and mounted well aft. The hull is stiff and stable, carrying most of its beam well aft like modern boats, a configuration that makes for generous room belowdecks, enough for comfortable live aboard for a couple and lots of stowage for a 33 footer.

Construction

While there’s nothing especially radical about her design, a high standard of build quality is clearly visible on the boat. The hull is constructed of solid fiberglass, without the use of a pre-fabricated liner commonly seen in modern production yachts of this price range. Instead each bulkhead is secured with two to four layers of hand-laid fiberglass cloth and resin, resulting in a boat with excellent accessibility to all areas of the superstructure. There are substantial and closely spaced floors throughout the bilge.

Decks are fiberglass with a plywood core and the deck-to-hull joint is sealed with a polyurethane adhesive and through bolted to an aluminum toe rail. The overall result is a strong structure, devoid of creaks and groans under stress which is often seen in lesser boats. Some of the early models had some problems with bowsprits that failed under extreme load which was later rectified by Caliber with a beefed-up structure.

History

Caliber Yachts was founded by two brothers, Michael and George McCreary, fresh out of college in 1980. The two worked on a shoestring budget while George focused on business and marketing and Michael set to work on designing the entire line up of Caliber yachts.

Their first boat was the Caliber 28, a solidly built coastal cruiser that was loaded with features which defined the nature of their sailboats to come. It was received well which helped them follow up with the Caliber 33 in 1985.

Despite being introduced during harder economic times, the Caliber 33 was a success, many attributed this to their quality. A total of seventy boats were built from Caliber’s small plant in Clearwater Florida before the model was evolved into the Caliber 35 in 1990. The newer evolution added a reverse transom that stretched the overall length along with many other refinements.

The latest version, the Caliber 35 LRC, introduced in 1995 adds the LRC suffix denoting “long range cruiser”. The name change was probably for marketing reasons as it came at a time when Caliber introduced the LRC suffix to the Caliber 40 alongside the introduction of a smaller sibling, the Caliber 30 LRC.

Including the seventy Caliber 33 hulls produced prior to 1990, the total production run of all variants produced by Caliber Yachts (Caliber 33, 35 and 35 LRC) stands at over 100 boats.

Links, References and Further Reading

» Jack Horner’s review of the Caliber 33/35
» Sailing Magazine’s review of the Caliber 33, by John Kretschmer

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