Cheng Ho is a 37' cutter-rigged custom built sailboat based on a Morgan-Nekton design. She measures 11.5' at her beam, has a 4' draft along her full length keel, and displaces approximately 13,000 pounds. She has fore and aft centerboards to minimize side slippage while under sail. She also has a large selection of sails, including the rigging for a stay sail (which we frequently use) and cruising spinnaker. Cheng Ho has a minimal amount of electronics, making her a very simple boat. In conjunction with the simple theme she is a tillered boat, which enables the helmsman to get a true feel for how the boat is moving.

Ship 529 acquired Cheng Ho in 2001. She had been sitting idle for several years, but was otherwise ready to sail. When we sailed Cheng Ho from her previous home at Redondo Beach to Long Beach, we dropped both centerboards. After a short amount of time we heard a banging from underneath the boat. The aft centerboard has come out of its housing and was "flapping" against the side of the hull (the safety cable that prevented this was not present). We were not able to get the centerboard back into its housing while at sea but were able to pull it tightly against the hull. We also pulled the foreward centerboard up some, to prevent this from happening to it as well.

Cheng Ho made her first voyage to Catalina with Ship 529 on the June 2002 trip.