Cabo 52 Flybridge Review

This Cabo 52 will surely satisfy the needs of the hard-core offshore fisherman while also impressing the more delicate members of the family.

June 22, 2009


In trying economic times, corporations choose one of two reactions: pull back on everything, especially R&D and advertising, or spend more money on both! From what I’ve seen of past recessions, those companies engaged in the latter seem to emerge healthier. I believe such will be the case with Cabo Yachts. The 52 Flybridge represents both Cabo’s newest and largest boat to date.

The Michael Peters-designed hull found no challenge in the three- to four-foot seas outside Fort Lauderdale’s inlet this past May. It ran smooth as silk in the beam seas, and while we backed off the throttles (to 26 knots instead of 32) when heading straight into the waves, the 52 still proved to be a terrific riding hull. For those of us who experienced the original Cabos, the head-sea capability of this new hull has come a very long way. Head-sea performance and dryness have both improved exponentially.

In the troughs, I managed a top speed of 47.7 mph at 2,325 rpm, burning 177 gph – that’s fast and not a speed you’ll be running too often offshore. A more realistic cruising speed of 31 mph proved the most economical, providing a range of 500 nautical miles, figuring a 73.5 gph consumption rate. If you wanted to drop your speed back to displacement levels, you could make passage to Bermuda strictly on integral fuel capacity.


The Cabo 52 responds to wheel input instantly for small course changes but scribes a fairly wide arc for 180-degree turns. One thing I’d like to see changed, however, is the placement of the engine on/off switches from beneath crossbars of the wheel to underneath the helm pod where they’d be less easily shut off by mistake.

You’re unlikely to experience a problem with maneuvering the 52, either fishing or around the docks. You can back down at 7 mph in total control and spin with or without rudder. And if you happen to take water into the cockpit, advancing the throttles forward empties it in an instant.

Drifting beam-to the four-footers showed the Cabo 52 to have a fairly long roll moment but with gentle enough transitions that it didn’t feel awkward. Overall, this 52 combines all the best performance features of recent Cabos into a roomier and more luxurious package.


I’d hate to think of anyone taking enough fish to fill all the fish boxes aboard this 52. The 75-gallon transom livewell with Cabo’s signature aquarium window also doubles as a fish box. Add to that the two huge in-deck boxes, and you could easily store your limit.
The “Tournament Package” Cabo 52 includes a PipeWelders tower and outriggers, Miya Epoch electric teaser reels over the helm and a bait freezer in the cockpit mezzanine. And have no doubt – all Cabos have a reputation for raising fish.

Lest you worry about the integrity of the gasketing and latches on the in-deck boxes aboard the Cabo 52, here’s a test you can perform to assuage your fears: Open one of the huge fish-box hatches. Then let it slam closed. All hatches fit to such close tolerances that all you’ll hear is a whoosh. It wouldn’t wake an infant sleeping on the mezzanine seat.

At 5 to 7 knots, the wake remained perfectly clear. Above that to about 15 knots, the tunnels channel subsurface turbulence, keeping it confined to two distinct lines. Outside these you get clear trolling alleys.


Cabo offers tons of rod storage aboard the 52. In addition to the open-air holders around the cockpit, the under-deck pantry in the galley also provides considerable built-in rod-storage racks. You’ll find the most impressive rod repository, however, in the companionway belowdecks. A beautiful glass-door closet with architectural lighting, black-velvet lining and handsome teak trim showcases your boat’s most striking fishing assets. High-quality tackle is – after all – art!

Design and Construction
As you’d expect from a company with the engineering reputation that Cabo has, the interior qualifies as luxurious without being ostentatious. I love the distinctive Cabo teak cabinetry with its renowned crosshatched ventilation strips hiding not only regular storage, but also additional rod storage on either side of the forward berth.

Other belowdecks appointments include Corian counters, a four-burner cooktop, and Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers, and they all draw power from the unusually well-engineered wiring. All Cabo distribution panels and engine compartments qualify as works of art in the engineering realm.


This hull consists of ISO/NPG gelcoat, vinylester resins and stitched biaxial fiberglass sandwiching Core-Cell – all vacuum-bagged for a perfect laminate. The flybridge deck gets end-grain balsa coring and polyester resins. The skeleton of the 52 boasts foam-cored fiberglass stringers combined with fiberglass web framing. And finally, marine-plywood bulkheads covered with satin-finish teak veneers provide the vertical structural support.

If you had any doubts about the continued high quality, innovation or growth of Cabo Yachts in this global economic maelstrom, rest assured that the company couldn’t be in a better position for the turnaround.

LOA…… 54 ft. 11 in.
BEAM…… 17 ft. 9 in.
DEADRISE…… 16 deg.
DRAFT…… 5 ft.
WEIGHT…… 50,000 lb.
FUEL…… 1,400 gal.
MAX POWER…… Twin 1,675 hp Cat C32
ACERT diesels
MSRP…… $1,622,200 (Base boat
w/ twin 1,015 hp Cat diesels)
$2,241,456 (Tournament edition
w/ twin 1,675 hp Cat diesels)

Cabo Yachts / Adelanto, California / 760-246-8917 /


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