47 — By Capt. Chris Kelly — September 2000
The Last Fishboat
|Part 2: Cabo 47 continued|
Overhead, the flying bridge extension provided some welcome cover during the rain squalls we had on test day, and the eight-step ladder made it easy for Smith to run up to the helm in about three seconds (I saw him do it). The helm is Palm Beach-inspired, with a centerline pod-style instrument panel and twin ladder-backed pedestal chairs. The single-lever electronic Glendinning controls look like conventional mechanical units yet provide smooth, positive shifting and have mechanical backups if the electronics go south. And even though they take a little getting used to during acceleration, since you need both hands to move them forward, you can overcome that by using the engine synchronizer function. Plus, when you’re facing aft and backing down on a fish, there is no better arrangement.
The helm is clean, too, with a large electronics console just forward of the dash that eliminates the need for an overhead electronics box. Also forward, a benchseat seats three, and two more can relax on a fore-and-aft-facing lounge for a total capacity of seven guests up top. While the aft helm position limits forward visibility from the seated position, you can see the bow pulpit and foredeck if you stand, and there’s no need to move to watch the action in the cockpit–just look down.
After the action is over, the saloon greets you with a teak and holly sole and L-shape lounge to port, diagonally across from an L-shape dining area for four. The galley is equipped with pull-out refrigerator and freezer drawers by Sub-Zero and a stowage locker beneath the galley so large it can easily handle a deflated dinghy and outboard. Cabo designed the boat so this locker can hold 600 pounds of gear and still run level, but if you don’t stow that much gear, the trim can be adjusted with ballast.
For Smith, two separate heads with showers was a priority, and he got it on the 47. The guest/day head forward and to port is like a master head on many other boats of this size, with a fully enclosed shower stall, plenty of mirrors, and 6'5" headroom. Across to starboard is the guest cabin, which features upper and lower berths, and a surprise midcabin-type double berth. Smith calls this area the "romper room," but you’ll just call it realistic accommodations for four adults. Fully forward, the master stateroom features a centerline double berth with good access all around, two hanging lockers, and private access to a second head with separate shower. The substantial separation between the staterooms, combined with a standard Splendide 2000 washer/dryer combo unit in the foyer and an optional 600-gpd Sea Recovery watermaker, provide Smith with both the accommodations and the equipment he needs for cruising the islands of the Bahamas for weeks on end.
As for performance, the 47 turned in one of the smoothest and driest rides I’ve experienced on a convertible. We bucked 20-knot winds in Fort Lauderdale’s inlet, and the boat never took so much as a sprinkle on the flying bridge isinglass. Power steering provided fingertip control of the stainless steel destroyer wheel, and given her top-end speed of 40 mph and best-cruise range of 530 NM, the 47 can make two round trips to the Bahamas before refueling.
After 70 years on the water, Smith says the new Cabo 47 is probably his last boat. But something tells me that depends on whether Cabo comes out with an even bigger one.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.