Cabo has never been known for doing anything halfway. They have a success story on their hands with the Cabo 40 Express, but that didn’t stop them from improving on the model. The next step was to make a new model by adding a flybridge. Not surprisingly, it was another hit. But still not willing to sit on their laurels, Cabo correctly surmised that the convertible market is not entirely dominated by fishermen alone. Time and again, these boats are being bought by Baby Boomers wanting to use them as both hard-core fishing machines and utilitarian cruising platforms, largely due to the breed’s outstanding capacity to handle blue water so well. This led Cabo to redecorate the interior of the 40 Flybridge (which wasn’t too shabby to begin with) and add a more elegant, yacht-like decor that will only help close the deal both with you-know-who, as well as the angler.
|Length Overall||42' 10'' /|
Currently no test numbers
If you agree that a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work, you should take a close look at the Cabo 40 Flybridge. Designed for the serious offshore angler, the 40 Flybridge combines an efficient cockpit with light-but-rugged construction and a smooth-riding modified-V bottom. Powered by twin diesels up to 800 hp each, the 40 will speed you out and back, leaving more time to drag baits and boat fish. Zeus pod drives are available with twin CMD 600-hp diesels. At the end of the day, a nicely appointed salon will provide a comfortable place to unwind. In short, the Cabo 40 Flybridge is all the fishboat most of us will ever need. Find out why...
The Back Story
Cabo Yachts was started in 1988 when Henry Mohrschladt and Michael Howarth either saw the light, or went over to the dark side – which one is correct depends on who you ask – and sold their sailboat company, Pacific Seacraft. Pacific Seacraft was to sailors what Rolls-Royce is to car nuts – they were boats one aspired to. The partners brought the same obsession with cutting-edge design and tugboat-tough construction to Cabo; it took them three years to design, engineer and build their first boat, a 35 Flybridge. Almost immediately, Cabo became one of the top three or four go-to boatbuilders for serious sportfishermen.
The 1991 10% luxury tax was the coup de grace for many traditional builders of 40' convertibles, companies like Post, Jersey, Blackfin, Trojan and others, but then along came Cabo to fill demand when fishermen started buying new boats again in the mid 1990s.
Michael Peters designs Cabo yachts. He is a master of high-speed offshore boats that can keep running hard without falling apart when the going gets tough. Every Cabo is built with stitched biaxial fiberglass fabric bonded with vinylester resin, vacuum-bagged to help ensure a high-glass ratio laminate. The running bottom and molded interior module are bonded together to make a stiffer, stronger structure. When the scent of fish is in the air, real fishermen don’t baby their boats, and the Cabo can take whatever you can dish out, as far as we know.
Ideal for Apres-Fish
The 40 Flybridge is based on Cabo’s earlier 40 Express; the two boats share a hull, but the Flybridge version adds a comfortable saloon in place of the open bridge deck on the Express. Which set-up is better for fishing is an argument we won’t get into, but there’s no question the Flybridge will be more comfortable for après-fish activities.
The galley, dinette and L-shaped settee are all basically on one level (the galley is a step lower), with cabin-side windows to provide natural light; the cockpit is only steps away, so folks can hang out in the air conditioning waiting for a strike. Below decks, there are berths for four in two staterooms, and two heads as well. Everything is appointed and finished with standard Cabo joinerwork quality, something that is virtually identical in every model in its line.
The Heart of a Fishboat
The true heart of any sportfishing boat is the cockpit, and the 40 Flybridge has one that’s roomy, easy to work and fully equipped. Naturally, there’s a bait-prep center with a sink and rigging board, and a three-drawer tackle locker, too. Two insulated in-deck fishboxes run fore and aft; the Cabo folks say this arrangement, rather than athwartships, prevents damage to fish on the run back to the marina.
One of the boxes can be fitted with chill plates as an option. The 48-gallon livewell at the transom is filled by 16 water inlets to maintain circulation and keep the bait alive; it’s also lighted. When the last mullet is on the hook, a dump valve will empty the well in a couple of minutes. The transom door and top gate hang on heavy-duty custom hinges that should last a lifetime – or at least until it’s time to trade up to a bigger Cabo.
The most popular power option for the Cabo 40 Flybridge has been twin 800-hp MAN R6-800CRM diesels, but many dealers think that will change, now that the boat’s available with 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3s linked to Zeus drives. We haven’t tested this boat yet, but folks who should know say the Zeus package will produce the same performance as the big MANs, but with improved fuel economy, along with all the other advantages Zeus brings to the party. Buyers who want to stick with conventional power can still opt for the MANs, or choose a pair of 715-hp Caterpillar C12 ACERTs or 720-hp Yanmar 6SY-STPs.
What’s the bottom line?
Our local dealer has a Cabo 40 Flybridge at the dock, ready to go. Well-equipped, with the Zeus drives, the boat lists for $1,020,000, without electronics. That price is up there with the top sportfishing boats on the market, but why not? Cabo is one of them, and this kind of quality, and Zeus pod drives with joystick, don't come cheap.
Our recommendation? If you’re serious about fishing, want a boat that will take you out where the big ones swim and can afford it, check out the Cabo 40 Flybridge. No matter what marina anywhere in the world you pull into, the fishy types will know where you're coming from. Sure, it’s pricier than some 40s, but on the other hand it is less than some others, and you get top quality construction, excellent equipment and a spotless reputation. And you’ll get back some of the extra bucks you paid when you trade it on a bigger Cabo. It would be on our short list.
A Comfortable Layout
The makings of a successful dual role convertible start with the layout. It either works or it doesn’t, and the 40 Flybridge layout has a time-proven history of working quite well. The entry to the main salon is via a door that is offset to starboard, and unless the fish are cleaned and ready for cooking, this would be the dividing line that an owner with a discriminating wife dare not let them cross.
The layout has not changed in the current model year, but like the rest of the interior, it’s the finish work that has received the major share of the overhaul. The L-shaped sofa lies aft and to port, with an L-shaped settee forward and to starboard. Cabo also favors the galley up arrangement, keeping with their design scheme of spending the days on deck and the nights below.
The Old Salon and the New
Cabo took an already good interior design and managed to make it better. Previously, the main salon featured the beautiful teak and holly sole with teak continuing up some of the bulkheads and the cabinetry as well. Window valances and treatments were fabric that blended in nicely to the furniture as well as the overhead. Cabinet doors were ventilated, in some cases framed, and mounted externally to the cabinet itself.
The new salon drastically cut back on the amount of “white space” in the room, and went to the more traditional, and yacht-like, teak for a more appealing look as well as feel. Now, gone are the fabric window treatments, replaced with woodwork that shows the attention to detail in fit and finish that Cabo represents.
The window valances and cabinetry, as well as the dinette table, are both finished a bit darker than the teak and holly sole, which results in a pleasing offset while still complimenting each other nicely. Gone too are both the teak table pedestal, now replaced with a stainless steel pedestal, and the leather dinette bottom, now made from teak matching the upper woodwork. The flat screen TV is now framed in black that blends in to the teak finish very nicely. The cabinetry is also redone, and now is finished in flush mounted doors that appear to be cut from the same piece of wood as the surrounding cabinets. Granite counters are a touch darker and the backsplash, which was previously wood, is now a continuation of granite.
The old 40 Flybridge galley seemed to have the look of being added to the boat as an afterthought. While utilitarian, it didn’t match the surroundings and served to satisfy function rather than form. The white Corian counters were patterned but didn’t blend with anything around them, and were also a different shade than the white cabinets below.
The new galley décor is a study in elegance that can only be found in the rich finish that blends in so well with the surroundings. The new granite counters are a few shades darker and have a pattern that hides any temporary muss and clutter that so easily accumulates on a galley counter. Looking closely, you can now clearly see that the cabinets and doors are indeed all cut from the same piece of wood, with the grains matching perfectly.
Old and New Head
Changes continue in the 40 Flybridge head. Previously, the head was little more than a continuation of the white-on-white that prevailed in the rest of the boat. There was a small mirror/medicine cabinet above the single basin sink and storage under the sink was accessed via a pair of doors that appeared as if they were simply roto-tooled from the material that surrounds them.
The new head is much more elegant and reflecting the woodwork and joinery found in the rest of the new 40 Flybridge. A tasteful combination of wood and granite counters that continue up to include the backsplash, are complimented by the full width mirror mounted above. A medicine cabinet is cut into the mirror.
The master certainly wasn’t left off the improvements list with teak seen both high and low, and clearly also having the cabinets and doors cut from the same piece of wood. The upper and lower cabinets are offset with a white panel that, again, compliments nicely.
Clearly, the design team at Cabo knew what they were doing when they decided to step up and improve on the interior of their 40 Flybridge. They took a successful model, and brought it to the forefront of modern décor while still retaining a yacht-like finish that is usually reserved for much larger, and stately boats. Given that fishing boats are not “all about the guys” anymore, we think this is a definite step in the right direction. -->