Exclusive: Cabo 32 Express — By Capt. Bill Pike —
A couple of rock-star lookalikes and a hot new Cabo convertible make for a memorable day of fishing.
If there’s such a thing as an old hippie hideout, it’s Santa Cruz, California. A port town surfing the edge of Monterey Bay, a few miles south of ‘Frisco, Santa Cruz seems loaded with folks of a certain age—my age, actually—sporting hairstyles, clothes, and vocabularies that hark back, sometimes subtly, sometimes strikingly, to the Bad Old Days. Or at least that was my take as I descended upon the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel one recent Friday night, all jet-lagged and burnt out.
Saturday morning confirmed my impressions. Cabo Yachts rep Greg Bourke and I were hoofin’ it down a dock in Santa Cruz Harbor, with a brand-new Cabo 32 Express just hoving into view when two extraordinary-looking guys materialized at the pulpit. Each had a long white beard, Wayfarer sunglasses, and a baseball cap. Old album titles whizzed through my head accompanied by the thrum of synthesized drum machines—Tres Hombres, Eliminator…Afterburner.
“Goin’ fishin’ with ZZ Top!” grinned local Cabo dealer Tommy McGuire, jocularily joining the pair. As we all began loading tackle, rods, coolers, ice, cold drinks, sandwiches, and guacamole fixins, McGuire clarified the situation—slightly. His white-bearded, Wayfarered friends, he said, were locals John Banzick and Joe Mock, fishing buddies for 30-some years, with a penchant for playing the ZZ Top angle for giggles and grins. “They’re not the actual guys,” added McGuire with an impish expression. Banzick and Mock just smiled.
I’m a flexible fella, even when it comes to impromptu salmon fishing excursions. I told McGuire I was totally up for whatever he had planned, but I also said I needed to squeeze in an offshore wring-out of the 32 as well as a dockside walk-through. His response was forthright. He commanded that rigging, guacamole mashing, and other preparations at the bait-prep station be halted momentarily to allow for the walk-through, which began with the machinery spaces.
The flick of a switch rapidly raised the bridge deck, courtesy of a single-piston actuator from Navtec, energized by MatchMate Plus hydraulic hoses from Aeroquip. I admired the actuator for a moment. Components and related parts were as beefy as they were exquisitely engineered. Then three general features caught my eye in rapid succession.
First was the finish—the entire engine room was fitted with an easy-to-clean-and-maintain fiberglass liner that was so intricately tooled it looked simple, at least at first glance. Not only were bulkheads and hull sides layered with its smooth, white, gel-coated surfaces, so were engine bearers, the walkway between the mains, the battery box (with three house batteries and two starters), and a multitude of landing points for assorted pumps, motors, and other ancillaries.
Second was engineering—it was tops. Our 32’s poly water tank was shaped to conform to the underside of the molded steps leading down into the ER to save space. Her robust bonding system included prop-shaft brushes as well as a Diver’s Dream bonding plate mounted under water at the transom. Her fiberglass fuel tank had a mainstream electric fuel gauge as well as a removable cap for dipping a plain ol’ (always accurate) measuring stick. Her electrical system was equipped with a special junction box to facilitate plug-and-play tower installation. And her hull-to-deck joint, which was visible here and there, had been glassed all the way around (from inside) and secured with bolts and 3M 5200.
Next page > Part 2: There’s nothin’ like blasting across the Pacific at the helm of a fast boat. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This article originally appeared in the August 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.