What's so Special?
What makes a Cherubini Yacht so special? The Cherubini family, going back for generations, has had a unique dedication to combining elegant art, superb craftsmanship, and rock-solid engineering. These elements underlie everything we do in our shop and every boat that comes out of it.
The Cherubini 44 and the Cherubini 48 were both designed by John Cherubini, a distinguished yacht designer in the 1970s. John was both a yacht designer and an aeronautical engineer. He knew how to make a hull perform in water and how to make a rig perform in wind. His reputation has strengthened over the years, as more sailors have enjoyed boats of his design. For more information about the career of John Cherubini, see this page.
The Cherubini 44s and 48s carry lots of sail and have a very slippery hulls. It doesn't take much to get them to hull speed. Here are photos of First Light, a Cherubini 44, on a lovely day, with light airs and smooth water -- winds about 10-11 knots, boat moving moving 8.6-8.8 knots!
Beyond Hull Speed
A unique feature of the Cherubini 44 and the Cherubini 48 is that they can maintain sustained speeds well in excess of anticipated hull speed, roughly 30-50 percent above hull speed. Why is this unusual? How can it happen?
Normally, a displacement hull (like that of a cruising sail boat) can not go faster (in knots) than 1.34 times the square root of the waterline (in feet). A boat like the Cherubini 44, with a waterline of 40 feet, should have a maximum sustained speed of 8.5 knots. The reason is that as a boat goes faster, it creates a bow wave. Most sail boats lack the power to climb over their own bow waves and speed pass it. The bow wave is limited by physical laws to a speed of 1.34 times its length, and its length is determined by the boat's waterline length. This establishes a limit for sustained speed of a normal sail boat.
There are a few ways boats can exceed the speed of its bow wave. The most common is that the boat has so much power and so little weight that it can get on a plane and lift over its bow wave. A high-powered speed boat is an excellent example of a boat with the power to climb and go past its bow wave. Lightweight sailboats also have enough power to plane above the bow wave. Most boats can surf above their bow wave for a few seconds when sliding down a large wave, powered by gravity. The other way a boat can go faster than its bow wave is if it has a long and narrow hull and substantial power so it can go through the wave. Long, narrow catamaran hulls can do this, but not a normal mono hull.
The Cherubini 44s and 48s have such fine bows and narrow hulls that they can knife through their bow waves like catamarans and reach higher speeds -- 11-12 knots, 30-50 percent above hull speed -- with good 20+ knot breeze on the beam. Among cruising sail boats, the Cherubini designs are unique in this ability to reach speeds this high.
When John Cherubini designed these hulls, his goal was to make fast, comfortable, sea-kindly hulls. He did not believe that "breakthroughs" were possible in hull design, he just wanted to make some marginal improvement. It is now clear that he did make a breakthrough by designing a hull that can sail faster than the normal hull speed.
Check these reports from owners about sailing a Cherubini.
We deliberately over-build our boats so they can deal with whatever mother nature throws at the boat -- whether the shock of a wave or blast of wind, or the insidious decay of salt water.
Our fiberglass layups are fundamental. In our sailboat hulls, the hull is solid fiberglass with 100 percent vinyl ester resin, the more expensive resin that other builders use sparingly and superficially to avoid blisters. In a Cherubini sailboat, the vinyl ester resin is throughout the layup to ensure blisters will not be a problem. Moreover, there is no core material that can get saturated with water, freeze in winter, and damage the hull layup. The fiberglass is very thick, up to 1 1/2" at the turn of the bilge, about 1" at the waterline, and about 3/4" in the topsides.
Bulkheads are carefully bonded and tabbed directly to the hull and give the hull additional strength and rigidity. A thick flange around the top of the hull provides a strong attachment for the deck and gives additional rigidity to the hull.
Instead of traditional chainplates, we have case-hardened stainless steel U-bolts that go through the deck. They are attached to large stainless steel angle irons (about 6 feet long for the main shrounds and about 3 feet long for the mizzen shrounds). The angle irons are secured under the strong flange on the hull, so they transfer the strain of the shrouds to the whole side of the hull. In addition, there is a fiberglass webbing system on the inboard side of the angle irons, to transmit strain to the lower bilge and mast step. The system is enormously strong; the whole boat could be picked up by one of the main shroud U-bolts. Moreover, this system is easier to maintain that traditional chainplates; the U-bolts can be easily removed for inspection and replacement if necessary.
The rudder construction is unique also. The rudder post is a massive stainless steel pipe. After it goes into the rudder it curves back and is flattened. It is very difficult to shape this pipe in this way, but the advantage is that there are no welds inside the rudder, that might be subject to corrosion and failure. The rudder can not come lose from its rudder post.
Needless to say, the basic classic design of a Cherubini yacht, with its long keel and an integral rudder, is far stronger and more reliable than modern designs. Fin keels and separate rudders generate enormous, concentrated stresses, which are amplified by the violent motions of light, saucer-shaped hulls. Incredibly, some modern boats have unsupported rudders extending deeper than the keels, insuring rudder damage from the slightest grounding! Sailing magazines now have articles discussing what to do if the keel breaks off! Cherubini Yachts knows better.
Another example of "Cherubini standards" is that we use G-10 for the propeller tube. This is extremely strong and non-corrosive.
Cherubini hulls are finished to the highest standards, carefully faired and painted to a mirror finish.
Over the past 30 years, a few boats have had accidents -- high speed collisions with rocks, buoys, and floating obstructions (containers?)-- as well as scrapes with docks and other boats during hurricanes. The forces were great and the owners were very worried. When the boats were hauled out for inspection and repair, the only damage have been superficial scratches. There was no structural damage to the hull or to interior cabinet work (which can be damaged when hulls flex).
In short, a Cherubini hull is more than a life-time hull; it is an heirloom hull, good for children and grandchildren.
Boats are curvaceous, and we craft wood to highlight the curves. The photo below is of the main salon of a typical Cherubini yacht. The raised panel bulkhead is characteristic of our style. Door frames are elegantly curved. Locker doors are curved and angular to match the shape of the boat. The doors frequently have wicker inserts that look beautiful, save weight, and provide excellent ventilation.
Other owners had other preferences for cabinet doors:
The same treatment can be carried into the galley.
The same attention to art and craft applies to exterior wood-work. Our cockpits are highlighted by superbly fitted wood:
Cherubini yachts have classic skylights, Dorade ventilators that incorporate clever protection for horns, and elegant stowage for boat hooks:
The portholes on Cherubini boats are unique. They look simple, but they are very subtle and sophisticated. They open from the top and have a special tray as part of the casting on the bottom that collects any water coming in and drains it outside the cabin. Ports can be left open in the rain and under most sailing conditions. Between these unique ports and the Dorade ventilators, the boats are always very well ventilated, whether under sail, at anchor, or at a dock. You won't have to climb out of bed in the middle of the night to close hatches and portholes when there is rainfall!
In addition, these portholes are easy to maintain. If the glass is broken or scratched, it is very easy to replace. The glass does not abut wood, so sanding and varnishing of the wooden surfaces is simplified. The windows seal shut with simple weather stripping; they do not require regular replacement of out-of-production gasket material. The experienced yachtsman will appreciate all these features.
These portholes are proprietary to Cherubini Yachts and available only on Cherubini 44s and 48s.
About 40 Cherubini 44s and 48s have been built over the past 30 years. Many of these yachts have come back to the shop for maintenance work. Dave Cherubini, the president of Cherubini Yachts, as well as some of the current workers in the shop have been building and maintaining these boats for decades. Doing maintenance work on a boat is the best way of learning how to improve the construction techniques.
A new Cherubini 44 is under construction now in the shop, and we are incorporating everything we have learned in maintaining these boats to make this new one the best ever. We are simplifying long-term maintenance for the boat and using new approaches and materials to improve the strength and resistance to water penetration in various areas of the deck. We have recently built a deck mold for the Cherubini 44, and the Cherubini 44 we are currently building has a molded fiberglass deck and cabin top, with a rigid foam core.
Our commitment is to build these yachts the best way possible, so that their long-term maintenance needs are reduced. We expect them to give joy to their owners year after year, generation after generation.
Cherubini Yachts is proud of its family heritage. Luigi Cherubini was a great composer of classical music in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Beethoven said he was the best composer, and we concur. In recent generations, our family has reflected some of this musical heritage by repairing and restoring pianos. It is no surprise that our boats have a "piano finish." We may be the only boatyard with a Steinway piano (waiting for restoration) in our office.
Every Cherubini Yacht comes fully equipped with a CD of music composed by Luigi Cherubini!
A suprising amount of music by Luigi Cherubini is on YouTube
Biographies of Luigi Cherubini: Wiki | Boosey | NNDB
Buy Cherubini CDs at Amazon.com: click here
Go to top of page