ATTENTION TO DETAIL
In the USA, the history of a boat building company is normally measured by generations of family involvement and ownership. By that yardstick, Cabo Yachts is a mere newborn babe, having been established as “recently” as 1990 by Michael Howarth and Henry Mohrschladt.
After selling their extremely successful Pacific Sailcraft offshore sail boat building business, Howarth and Mohrschladt set up Cabo Yachts with the sole aim of “building the best sportsfishers money can buy” and in a short period of time ensured that the name Cabo was one of THE names on the shopping list for those looking for a serious offshore game and sports fishing boat.
Producing fewer than 200 boats per year, Cabo Yachts, now part of the huge Brunswick Corporation, is not a quantity builder of boats, but rather a quality builder, sticking to its founders’ mission statement of “building the best sportsfishers money can buy”. The partners continually ask themselves “how can we build it better”, and as a result, Cabo yachts has established a reputation for the construction of powerful, well performing and well built offshore sports and game boats.
The current top of the range Cabo 48 Flybridge is testimony to the care and attention to detail that goes into each boat. It’s not so much in the overall design or the general layout that the Cabo cements the basis for its reputation, but more in the not-so-visible and “minor” details of the boat that there is evidence of the quality and attention to detail that sets the Cabo up with the best.
Start with the double moulded transom door and deck flap. Simple items. . . . . but they are built to take the heavy knocks and wear-and-tear for many years of come. Heavy duty stainless steel hinges are fitted into moulded recesses then through bolted with flush stainless steel bolts that on looks and number of fixings alone, say that these hinges are not going to be a weak link. To top it off, every slot in these bolt heads are perfectly aligned; a similar detail employed for every screw and bolt fixing for the stainless steel rub strip around the gunwale and any other fixing that involves exposed screw or bolt heads.
The stainless steel fabrication and fixings for the hardtop support frame is outstanding. It’s not overbuilt, but is superbly and soundly executed. The large diameter tubing has plenty of struts and bracing in place to ensure the hardtop doesn’t vibrate or move about excessively.
The seals around any of the flush fitting deck hatches, or the door and hatch to the engine room, are all perfectly fitted creating a sound watertight seal that is so good that it can take a deal of effort to open the hatches, particularly those over the cockpit floor fitted fish tanks.
Finally, there’s the electrical board! On the face, this back lit panel is much like any other, with clearly labelled circuits and switches, but behind this face there is without question, the neatest, best, and easiest to follow wiring installation likely to be found on a boat. The wiring and terminals are neatly set out, clearly labelled, with all wires neatly tied. With this installation, there is no doubt as to what goes where.
As is the case for the rest of the models, the 48 Flybridge is built on a hull designed by Michael Peters Yacht Design. This hull, with its fine, sharp entry and big flare created by the rounded overhanging foredeck, is designed to slice its way through the water, giving the bow lift and the bow the shape to deflect water away from the boat when powering through the seas. Much like many of the traditional ocean runners, from this deep, fine bow, the hull flattens out as it trails aft, for a hull shape that is designed to improve efficiency and more driving power to the engines, as well as the obvious stability at rest and underway.
Engine options include twin 800hp, 900hp, and 1100hp MAN R6-800CRM, MAN V8-900CRM and MAN V10-1100CRM diesels respectively, twin 900hp Yanmar 8SY-STP, and twin 1015hp Caterpillar C18s.
The Caterpillars give a top speed of approximately 36.5 knots at 2320rpm; cruise at a very brisk 30 knots at 1850rpm, or 28 knots at 1700. At these cruise speeds, a range of around 350 to 370 nautical miles with approximately 10% of the fuel capacity in reserve, can be expected. Trolling at 630rpm/7.5 knots uses approximately 24 litres per hour.
For a sports fishing boat, the cockpit doesn’t come up short. There is a 180-litre live bait tank recessed into the transom (as a factory option this can be increased to 380 litres); twin under-floor fish boxes with in-line macerators; a rigging and bait prep station (with lure and rigging equipment drawers) built in against the rear bulkhead of the saloon, all leaving more than enough clear deck and work space around the game chair.
The inside face of the cockpit coamings are upholstered for good soft thigh support, and tucked away under the side decks behind long hinged access hatches are storage racks and bins that are designed to accommodate rods, gaffs, boat hooks, nets, ropes, buffers and the like.
Engine room access is directly off the cockpit and though the twin Cats, the three air conditioning systems, various tanks, batteries, etc does not leave a lot of spare space, the layout is well planned so that all valves and major components are easy to get to and deal with.
The plumbing and electrical installation is precision like and very easy to follow and service, and with a full white polyurethane and gelcoat finish the engine room is bright and light, easy to clean, and any leaks would be easy to spot.
The single level saloon is just as much at home on a game boat as it is on a pleasure cruiser, with appointments and finishes to match. Highly polished clear finished teak joinery, teak inlay flooring (with clip-down carpet) and high class leather upholstery sets the initial standard for this main living area of the boat that again includes just about every facility that is needed.
For a 48-footer, the galley is very respectable, with separate dual drawer Sub-Zero freezer and refrigerator; twin-burner ceramic cooktop (that is recessed about 50mm below the Corian benchtop to prevent pots sliding off); convection microwave and the usual sink with pressure hot and cold water.
The dining table is positioned opposite the galley while another large L-shaped lounge wrapping around a second (but smaller) table is positioned aft of the galley. There are little details that complete this saloon fit-out such as the slip-on covers for both of the highly polished tables, or the simple fix/release mounting for the second (aft) table that allows this to be removed to free up the entertaining space of the saloon when this may be needed.
The sound and entertainment system incorporates the usual flat screen TV (plus smaller screens to both the staterooms below deck) and Bose surround sound system. The bar area, just inside the port side of the saloon, has slide out racks for wine and spirit bottles, and the mandatory ice maker is alongside.
The three-cabin, twin-bathroom layout provides relatively spacious and fully appointed first class accommodation.
The twin berth “crew” accommodation off to the starboard side of the companionway is comparatively simple when put up against the two staterooms, but each of the bunks are full length (in upper and lower configuration) and as with the other cabins there is over 2 metres of headroom, enough space for dressing and making up the beds, and enough hanging and storage space for a week or two away.
With a washer/dryer tucked away to the rear of this cabin, the clothing storage capacity is not necessarily that critical.
The two double berth staterooms are very similar in size, along with hanging and storage capacity, and both are a little more elaborate than the crew cabin in fit-out, decor and finish. The forward stateroom shares the dual access bathroom with the crew cabin and the rest of the ship, while the port side stateroom has its own ensuite.
The Cabo 48 Flybridge is a beefy boat that seems to be built to last and provide as much hassle free boating as possible. There may be more luxuriously appointed and far more spectacular decors to be found in cruising flybridge boats, but the Cabo 48 Flybridge is first and foremost a sport fisherman.
Cabo Yachts’ mission statement is to build the best sportfisher money can buy and it’s obvious from this boat that the company does not leave anything to chance nor does it take shortcuts in its endeavour to achieve that goal.
- Design Name: Cabo 48 Flybridge
- Builder: Cabo Yachts
- Hull Designer: Michael Peters Yacht Design
- Interior Designer: Cabo Yachts
- Year Launched: 2007
- LOA: 16.6m
- LWL: 15.6m
- Beam: 5.12m
- Draft: 1.2m
- Transom deadrise: 11.5 degrees
- Displacement: 20.5 tonnes approx.
- Max Speed: 36.5 knots
- Cruise Speed: 30 knots
- Fuel: 3860 litres
- Water: 380 litres
- Construction: GRP composite
- Engines: 2 x Caterpillar C18
- Power: 1015hp each
- Price as Reviewed: $A1,450,000