Launched in 2005 the Cabo 52 Express represents the US, California, Adelanto builder way of keeping up with clients who always request a bigger Sportfish Yacht, having at the time upgraded from the 45 Express. Designed by Cabo with Michael Peters, the 52 Express is still as at today the bigger sized boat from the 1991 founded company, sharing its flagship status with the 52 Flybridge launched earlier on this year. Further on, the last fall of 2008 the 52 Express has also been upgraded with a new three cabin layout, putting this open express Sportfish Yacht a tad above its competitors, along with the fittings which have a fame from the many of being a benchmark in the current production boat building offer. The 52 Express makes also its job of a big game sportfish yacht to perfection offering plenty of space on the aft deck, forty knots performance with excellent sea keeping qualities, and a spacious well laid below decks for long days fishing or cruising.
Welcoming you onboard in its huge aft cockpit, all free spaced for the fisherman minus the fighting chair in the middle. Here it is full with fishing amenities finding a bait prep center with covering lid, a rigging board, ice box with refrigeration plates, voluminous tackle storage, and a fifty gallon circulating bait tank with a large drain molded into the transom. Move more forward to this and the comforts for the guests start to appear in the form of an L-shaped settee to port, and a wet bar opposite. The helm station is located centrally for optimum visibility in every part with its central adjustable Stidd seat, and two further companionway seats. Command station console has plenty of room for a complete array of modern marine systems, engine electronic controls, color digital read outs, plus an array of custom switch panels with warning lights, and Palm Beach pod mounted single lever electronic controls for responsive easy maneuverability.
On the central starboard side is the entrance to the lower cabin deck available in three different versions. The first two are very similar minus the fore cabin, welcoming you with an l-shaped saloon settee to port, spacious l-shaped galley opposite, and day head to starboard just by the stairway. Cabins on the standard version are an en-suited owners stateroom with a central queen sized berth, and a twin bunk to port. The other version distinguishes itself for being what I call a buddies boat having the owner stateroom to fore replaced with three single berths in a vee shape. The new third cabin version changes most of the layout below from the standard version, offering a C-shaped galley, and L-shaped saloon all to starboard. To port side is the three cabins, starting with a double berth, guests shower head, and the double bunk cabin. To fore is the master en-suite with central double queen sized berth which does not loose much in size from the actual two cabin version accept in its en-suite head, which is slightly smaller.
For the technical heads this is a real dream boat, offering an engine room with its entrance on the main deck just behind the fighting chair, featuring an impressive seven feet of height, all ultra labelled systems from electrics to hydraulics, and machinery to make many engineering rooms look empty. Performance
Cabo entrusted the underwater sections to renowned hull designer Michael Peters, who offered a modified vee with a deep entry forward, and a medium sixteen degrees deadrise aft. The medium vee compromise is good to flat rough six foot seas going upwind, and give also a comfortable less rolling slow speed beam seas ride. Performance figures are actually impressive, thanks to the lighter weighted cored construction and very big MAN, MTU, and Cat engines. Standard engine is twin MAN V12 1360hp, with options going for MAN V12 1550hp, Cats C32 1570hp, and the bigger C32 1675hp. With Cats C32 1570hp the top speed is forty knots, and a 36 knots all time cruise. MAN V12 1550hp are very close to this being two knots shy away with a top speed of 38 knots. The MANs but do give a better 557 nautical miles range at twenty knots, versus the 452 miles of the Cats C32 1570hp.
three cabin option
seven foot height in engine room
systems thought out
cockpit to side deck stairs
Cabo did hit the competition when on the fall of last year it presented a three cabin optional version to its 52 Express. Most similar in terms of looks and concept is surely the Viking 52 Open, followed by the Carolina flared Buddy Davis 52 Express. Competitively priced with more economic to run smaller engines is the Riviera 48 Offshore Express. A similar sized custom build currently in construction is F&S Boatworks Hull.15 54 which looks good, although if you can wait for minimum a year a handful of builders located on the East Coast would be glad to build you one. Competition criteria is for a sixteen metres open express Sportfish Yacht.
Buddy Davis 52 Express - Carolina flare with two en-suited cabins
F&S Boatworks 54ft Hull 15 - cold molded custom build, waiting unique experience
Riviera 48 Offshore Express - sixteen metre, 3 versions hardtop, targa, open
Viking 52 Open - similar outside but has mezzanine, twin cabin interior
WILD CARD: Gagliotta 52 - 3 cabins, no real sportfish but has some utilities aft
Cabo has been a welcome addition to the sportfish boat market since its inception in 1991. It started its path by launching a 35 Express, challenging the East Coast builders of Carolina and Florida back in those days. While the purist may have overlooked it at the time, Cabo did create what today has become a benchmark of quality being it a sportfish boat or not. This West Coast boat builder is also among the few sportfish builders who does not shy away from modernity, being one of the first of fully coring its boats, and so far according to the company the records did prove them right having no blister related complain in its eighteen year building history. The 52 Express stands at the top of Cabo's ladder being today its largest build, and it does represent a top choice in engineering, attention to detail, and superior accommodation layouts. High performance which can never miss in a Sportfish Yacht is also there offering speeds of thirty knots plus with the smaller engine choice, and of over forty with the bigger options.
LOA. 16.4 metres (54.9ft)
Length. 15.8 metres
Beam. 5.45 metres
Draft. 1.25 metres
Displacement. 25378 kg
Fuel Capacity. 5299 litres
Water Capacity. 757 litres
Accommodation. 4/5 berths in 2 cabins + 2, 6 berths in 3 cabins + 2
Engines. 2 x MAN V12 1360hp, 1550hp, Cat C32 1572hp, C32 1675hp
Propulsion. Direct Shaft with 5 bladed propeller
Speed. 40 knots max, 36 knots cruise with Cat C32 1572hp
Range. 557 nm at 22 knots MAN 1550hp, 452 nm at 20 knots Cats C32 1572hp
Hull Shape. warped vee with sixteen degrees dead rise aft
Project. Cabo, Michael Peters
Construction. molded vacuum bagged fiberglass with core, vinylester resins
Certification. NMMA with ABYC standards
Picture Copyright Cabo. Data Cabo.