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Cabo 45


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The Cabo 45 Express getting a last minute check before casting off.

        Up until the introduction the 47 Bridge boat, the 45 Express from Cabo Yachts was the queen of the Cabo fleet. Being the queen infers a royal background and there is no shortage of majesty here. This particular 45 is a 1999 model that I delivered  fresh off the truck,  Memorial day 1999, from Falmouth , MA to a Connecticut home port almost on the New York line. This boat's owner has some home port bridge clearance concerns which account for the lower marlin tower and the removal of the riggers. Her white hull with blue boot stripes and bottom make for a very pretty package. The tower, fabricated by J&J in Falmouth, MA is not only stylish but quite functional. The upper controls do increase one's fish spotting ability but more importantly, provide an airy escape from the lower station's noise and windshield glare, more on that later.

    Power on this Cabo 45 is supplied by a pair of 660 HP inline six cylinder Caterpillar diesels. These Cat's are the electronically controlled versions which make for a nice package. Equipped with a low idle switch that helps improve the dockside manners of these big wheeled engines. These Cat's fire right up and burn clean. After 5 hour plus of running time the transom is devoid of the dreaded "diesel dust". Power is smooth and clutch engagement is fast. Single lever Mathers controls, located on the helm pod, offer no slippage in and out of gear. They work with the precision of an electric light switch, on/off.   The fashion craze of these "Sportfish preferred controls" may look nice and are etrremely popular. The spread apart single lever controls on a Billfish or Tuna boat, where the "back down spin around" to land a fish technique is frequently used may be good, but I think that they should not be the first choice of the mainstream boater. I have found that in a situation were a quick change of course and speed is necessary, they are a some times dangerous. A slow down-hard over maneuver to avoid an obstacle in the river or ICW diminishes the operators control...not enough hands to perform all functions. I have also seen gear and speed changes made by the moving of ones body accidentally into one of these over sized levers increasing the the possibility of damage to the boat, it's passengers, and its surroundings. I have been on board a similar boat near a fuel dock when the owner turned around and with his backside bumped the vessel in gear and increased the throttle 1000 RPM and almost took out a fuel dock. Some times function should win out over form. Cruising with this hull engine combination is a pleasure. An engine speed of 2200 RPM zips this boat along at almost 28 kts. A 200 RPM increase brings her over the magic 30kts running speed. This vessel seems to be pretty economical on fuel, as the needle on the fuel gauge from the aft tank hardly moved. Cabo's main tank is aft on the centerline. A forward center tank is used for reserve fuel. A built-in fuel transfer pump allows you to pump the fuel from the forward to the aft tank

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  Cabo 45 at 28kts cruise lays down a nice wake

Our run on this cool, April morning down the flooded Connecticut river, was smooth and uneventful. The spring tides wash down a lot of debris and there was no shortage of thick logs and branches to dodge.The flood tides slowed us for the railroad bridge at Saybrook about 10 minutes as we watched the Connecticut DEP train for the up coming summer boating season. We turned to the west once we cleared Saybrook Point  on a heading toward Cornfield Point, Falkners Island, Bridgeport, and finally to our Greenwich home port. Cruising this boat is a pleasure but as perfect as it may be, there are a few little things that I think should be addressed. The forward slope of the windshield and the pure white dashboard make for a lot of reflection and glare as you can see in the photo below. This vessel has the Stidd helm and companion seats that are very comfortable. I would have preferred a little more aft movement on the helm seat and a little more height.

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Glare and reflection could be reduced with a darker colored dash cover. Great electronics make her a pleasure to run, especially with the NorthStar 961

The compass placement is a little bit low and behind the dash to be visible while seated. I understand this has been fixed on the later models. My only other concern is the sound level  on the helm deck when at cruising speed . It seems that all express, big diesel powered boats are noisier than I would prefer. A six-hour hard run in the bright sun could be quite tiring from the noise and glare. All things considered the Cabo 45 is one awesome boat! The quality of construction and material choices make her first class in every respect. A head turner in every port.