Cabo 35 Flybridge Page 2

Cabo 35 — By George L. Petrie — May 2001

Part 2: Cabo 35 continued

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• Part 1: Cabo 35
• Part 2: Cabo 35 continued
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• Cabo 35 Deck Plan
• Cabo 35 Acceleration Curve
• Cabo 35 Photo Gallery

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Inside, the entire engine compartment is lined with smooth, molded gelcoat whose surface rivals that of many a yacht’s exterior. Not only does it look shipshape, but also it makes it easy to discern and clean up any errant leak of diesel fuel or lubricating oil that might otherwise be ignored and left to accumulate in the bilge.

Valves, strainers, and equipment are labeled and placed with the logic and clarity of a surgical operating room. The Cruisair compressor is easily accessible on the port side, and the cooling-water intakes, seacocks, and fuel-water separators are in plain view on either side of the centerline. Other access points on the diesels can be reached through removable panels under the two settees in the saloon or through hinged engine box covers on either side of the cockpit. Having three different routes of access to each engine made easy work of our equipment installation. The 7.6-kW Westerbeke genset, batteries, and power distribution panel are likewise within easy access.

Superior construction and attention to detail are evident throughout the 35. Little things, like dressed screw heads in the teak joinery and cabinet doors with cross-hatched vents to allow air circulation, not to mention more substantial features like the electrical distribution panel alongside the companionway steps, speak volumes about the boat’s quality. Even the back of the electrical panel is a work of art, with neatly bundled wires forming geometric patterns and every circuit numbered to match the schematics in the owner’s manual.

Other features reveal that Cabo’s designers truly understand life at sea. For example, an overhead handrail runs the full length of the saloon, offering a secure grab point when the weather turns ugly. The galley’s Corian countertops have sea rails to keep things from sliding off. The cabinet doors not only latch closed, they latch open as well, so they won’t slam shut in a seaway. And the two steps down to the lower deck are covered with textured rubber material that promises the surest possible footing.

It’s also clear that Cabo understands fishing. The cockpit is clean and uncluttered and encompasses some 130 square feet, so there’s room for four stand-up anglers. I was impressed by its orderly, functional arrangement. Everything is within easy reach, but nothing gets in your way. Gaffs and nets are stowed in cabinets under the port and starboard gunwales, while tackle and rigging can be organized and stashed close at hand in 12 custom-built drawers housed in two locking cabinets above the engine boxes. Two six-cubic-foot fishboxes lay flush with the cockpit sole, and both fresh- and salt-water washdowns are nearby.

The real grabbers, though, are again those little things. Padded bolsters ring the cockpit, providing extra comfort when you’re hauling in a fish. To minimize intrusion into precious cockpit space, the 50-gallon baitwell is built into the aft caprail. And the transom door opens out, latching against the stern, to keep the cockpit clear even when things get rough. The gunwale-style top is independent of the door for added safety when the door is open. And, in typical Cabo style, the door is hung on massive stainless steel hinges secured by no fewer than 28 beefy screws.

Impressed as I was with the yacht’s design and construction, I was interested to see how she performed. Offshore, a stiff afternoon breeze had whipped the sea into an ugly chop, steep waves around two feet high with crest-to-crest wavelengths about equal to the waterline length of the Cabo. At WOT we measured about 36 mph in head seas, but because the wavelengths were nearly the same as the hull length, travelling that fast was a bit like riding on roller skates over a washboard. Lowering the trim tabs smoothed things out nicely and shaved less than a knot off our top speed. Down wind or in cross-seas the ride was comfortable, and the cupped chines were flawless in keeping water off the decks.

One thing that struck me during our sea trial was how solid the boat felt. Digging into her construction details, I soon saw why. The bottom is solid fiberglass with biaxial stitched fabric reinforcement. Stringers and frames are built up over a brawny core of 2 1/2 inches thick, epoxy-laminated fir with a thick steel cap in way of the engine mounts. The hull sides and superstructure are cored to cut topside weight, and the entire thickness of the hull, not just the outer layers of the laminate, is laid up with premium vinylester resin to eliminate blistering.

With fine design, quality construction, and close attention to detail, it’s easy to see why Cabo grabs the eye of sporfishing enthusiasts. This new one’s definitely a keeper.

Cabo Yachts Phone: (760) 246-8917. Fax: (760) 246-8970.

George L. Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at the University of New Orleans and provides maritime consulting services. His Web site is

Next page > Cabo 35 Specs > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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