40 Express — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
— March 2003
High Desert to High Sea
|She may be built at altitude, but this 40 Express aims to go deep.|
Building a sportfisherman at 3,000 feet above sea level, where the mercury spikes 100°F for weeks in the summer and hangs below freezing in the winter, might seem strange to an outsider. But Cabo Yachts calls Adelanto, California's high desert and birthplace of the builder's flagship 40 Express, home. Cabo recently took its new launch to Florida, and it's here that I meet Cabo's delivery captain Peter Tinkham.
The 40 is easy to spot behind Hutchinson Island's Marriott Marina Resort in Stuart, Florida. This is due to the 40's optional J&J tuna tower, her wide 15'9" beam, and the fact that her hydraulically lifted bridge deck is wide open, revealing a pair of optional 700-hp MAN D2876LE 401 diesels complete with optional gold-plated valve covers.
Tinkham is tinkering and tweaking the 40 as I hop aboard and am drawn to the Midas touch in the engine compartment. I easily step down into the area and have near walkaround room. All regular maintenance items are inboard for easy access. The standard 10-kW Westerbeke genset just aft of the powerplants is powerful enough, but it doesn't have a soundshield. On an express boat, aural comfort is tough to achieve with big iron sitting below the bridge deck, so every sound-attenuation tool is welcome. Tinkham tells me subsequent boats are being fitted with genset soundshields.
Tinkham and I untie her lines and let the 40 out of the stable. Soon we're running the channel behind the Marriott with the MANs singing in symphonic synchronicity at 2270 rpm as my radar gun displays a breakneck 43 mph and my decibel meter reads a stentorian 92 dB-A. The 40 has Secretariat-like speed, but she's loud. The MANs' digital readouts show a fuel burn of 134 liters per engine, which translates into 71 gph. (Prepare to convert lph to gph if you opt for the MANs, since they only display liters.) At 2000 rpm, the 40 easily cruises at 37.8 mph with a fuel-burn of 52.3 gph. This boat can move.
Tinkham offers me the wheel, which features Hynautic hydraulic power-assisted steering that seems, at first, almost too smooth. For an unfamiliar helmsman, it's easy to oversteer, but the advantages are worth the minimal learning curve. Once I aim the 40, she tracks as if on rails. I put the single-lever Glendinning electronic controls, which oddly are located to the left of the wheel, in synch mode and push full forward on the right control. The 40 nails 2270 rpm as I put the wheel hard over to port, and she cuts an unusually tight circle (about a boat length and a half) without excessive heel. Sightlines are good from the standard Stidd helm seat, although I wish the large electronics console was lower. Considering I'm 5'7", which means telephone books at more than a few helm seats, an overhead electronics box would allow for a height reduction of the console and even better visibility forward.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.