The Sabre 52 Salon Express blends timeless lines and modern propulsion.
In 2007 Sabre Yachts launched a 52-foot Salon Express as the flagship of its motor-yacht fleet. She fit right in with her Downeast family in terms of both style and, with twin Caterpillar C15 straight-shaft inboards, propulsion. This year, in the interest of enhanced efficiency and performance, Sabre reconfigured the 52 to accept twin 700-mhp Volvo Penta IPS900 pod drives.
“We get the same range with 100 gallons less fuel,” says Bentley Collins, vice president of sales and marketing for Sabre Yachts. “Fuel economy is as much as 20 to 25 percent better at cruise.”
To accommodate the IPS drives, Sabre designers made a few changes to the hull. The basic running surface, featuring a 23-degree deadrise amidships tapering to 15 at the transom, is the same, but the company put inserts in the mold to eliminate the prop pockets and create the necessary mounting surfaces for the pods. The other thing Sabre did was remove weight. By weighing and evaluating every component onboard, it was able to take 6,000 pounds out of the 52. In doing so Sabre looked at ways to reconfigure the boat’s systems, such as switching from two 9-kW gensets to a single 13.5-kW model, which shed about 600 pounds. Other ways included reducing fuel tank capacity from 800 to 700 gallons, possible because of IPS’ increased efficiency. Since diesel fuel weighs around seven pounds per gallon that netted another 700 or so pounds.
Sabre says the IPS-equipped 52 Salon Express has a top end of 32.7 knots (37.6 mph), and at a 2200-rpm cruising speed runs 29.1 knots (33.5 mph) while burning 50 gph. That’s a major efficiency gain over the straight-inboard version, which runs at 27.9 knots (32.1 mph) and burns 64.4 gph.
The rest of the 52 remains unchanged. She retains her LOA and beam, as well as her distinctive-looking reversed transom. Her pilothouse is adorned with the same large windows and sunroof to enhance visibility at the helm and allow natural light to shine down on the elegant cherry and teak interior. Her Downeast profile, with the dark blue Awlgripped hull, should still turn heads. But now she looks good and, with her pod-improved efficiency, can go places she’s never been.
CONTACT: Sabre Yachts (207) 655-3831.
This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.