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
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
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