I won't bore you with yet another rendition of the history of Cabo Yachts. Suffice it to say they've been at the top of the sailing and sport-fishing pecking order for many years, and each successive introduction of a new model simply cements that position.
Admittedly, at one time, Cabo sacrificed some head-sea capability for more interior space. I'm pleased to say that that sacrifice has been negated on this and all new models with the redesign of every running surface. This 40-footer runs as smoothly and as dry as its best competition.
We ran the newest Cabo during the Miami Boat Show, where, more times than not, sea conditions qualify as snotty. But that's a good thing since we could test the boat offshore in the rough seas out of the northwest (4 to 6 feet in the Gulf Stream) and do our speed runs in the relative peace of Government Cut. The Cabo 40 runs quite flat after taking 10 seconds to lift onto plane; eight seconds of that, of course, is the lag from turbos building boost.
Cat has come a long way in smokeless, quiet diesel performance. It still needs to work on readability of displays when polarized sunglasses are worn.
Notable Standard Equipment
The boat doesn't offer a wide range of trim adjustment, and you'll find lateral adjustment more effective than fore and aft.
This midsize (for Cabo) model with twin Caterpillar C-12s rated at 700 hp each topped out at 35.1 knots while full of fuel and with more people aboard than I'd ever consider taking on my own. Wide open (2,345 rpm), the 40 gulped 64 gph giving it a range at that speed of a mere 302 nautical miles. By simply dropping speed to 2,100 rpm, you get a much more efficient fuel consumption of 47 gph to boost your range to 375 nm. You can extend that range to over 400 nm at 24 knots, and if you want to take your boat to Venezuela, traveling at displacement speeds of 10 knots or less affords a range of more than 1,600 nm.
I particularly appreciated the ease of driving the Cabo 40. It offers true, one-finger steering ? a good thing since in a hard-over turn at speed, the Cabo leans over and carves 180 degrees in just about two boat lengths.
Backing down moves a very slight amount of water through the transom door, and that drains instantly through large scuppers. When turning on a sailfish, the boat spun fast enough at idle with the wheel over that I can't even imagine ever needing to use throttles in this maneuver.
Drifting beam-to in the troughs, the Cabo 40 exhibited a slow roll moment with very gentle transitions.
The 40 flybridge's cockpit modules contain all the usual features, such as a sink, a bait freezer, a refrigerated drink box, and tackle storage. You'll also find a large, lighted baitwell in the transom. Cabos are proven fish raisers (just look at their history of tournaments won), so the company provides large in-deck fish boxes to port and starboard.
You'll feel secure both fishing and wiring, as the cockpit coaming hit me just above the knee. Resting my chest on the coaming, I could just touch the water's surface, so releasing fish should present no problem.
I found the flybridge ladder particularly impressive. I'm not fond of climbing ladders when my hands are wet in a heavy sea, so a better ladder design makes me happy. To Cabo's credit, climbing up and down the flybridge ladder could hardly feel more secure. The angle and rung spacing, deck hole and handholds are all perfect. And you can come down frontward or backward with equal ease, so if you need to get to the cockpit in a hurry when a fish strikes, you stand a greater chance of getting there safely.
Design and Construction
I will go on record here with a blanket statement: Wiring and plumbing at Cabo has become more than engineering and installation. It has become an art form that no other company executes as well. In fact, Cabo's wiring is so good that instead of hiding it, the company now puts the terminals and bus bars behind glass doors so the world can revel in the glory of wiring done well.
In the salon, an L-shaped dinette settee can honestly seat four or five compact adults. Rod storage under the portside L-shaped settee represents the only underseating storage here. The lack of storage under the aft settee affords additional headroom in the engine compartment.
The horseshoe-shaped galley with Corian counters and all the obligatory appliances, including a cooktop with overhead exhaust, even boasts a finished pantry under the galley sole.
Our factory demo boat layout featured an island double berth on centerline in the forward cabin with gas shocks to assist in lifting the berth to access storage beneath. The guest cabin held over/under berths consisting of a twin on bottom and an upper single that pulls out from the wall. The master and guest cabin share the head with enclosed shower, while a day head (no shower) can be accessed from the companionway.
Throughout the interior you'll find soft, buttery leather on all the furniture, along with beautiful fabrics and impeccable joiner work. The décor qualifies as nothing short of delicious.