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Cabo 44 HTX Review

Discussion in 'Cabo Yacht' started by MBY, Aug 28, 2011.

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  1. MBY

    MBY Senior Member

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    Excellent review on the 44 HTX! I'm glad to see Cabo having success with this model as opposed to some other models that were launched post the Brunswick purchase in 2006; most notably the 38 flybridge. Considering that this is the first Cabo to be entirely engineered and built in the East Coast I would say they have done a great job maintaining the quality and image Cabo had as a West Coast brand.

    To put it simply the hull that Michael Peters designed for the 32, 38, 40, 44 and 52 is outstanding. Dry, smooth and very fast. The 44 is a great size to replace the older 45 and the Napier designed 43; hopefully Cabo will add a flybridge option to the same hull. That hull likes to go fast and i'm sure with the larger C18 Cats it would absolutely fly!

    Thank you again for an outstanding review.

    Barrett Howarth
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've run both 44' HTX's pictured, #1 and #3 (transom door picture, yellow hull). I did 250 NM in a day on hull #1 and we cruised 31 knots with the c-18's, and then another day 65nm and some fishing. The hardtop makes it a lot easier to do a long day in with the better visability with the glass windows and less strataglass/windshield/tower legs in your view. The boat is quieter and runs great, it handles the sea very well and is very dry. The sliding side windows at the helm make it nice to get from the helm to the side of the boat/bow quickly. It has a lot of very nice features over the 45', and the 45' has always been my favorite Cabo.The solid wood cabinets inside look nicer than the previous vented ones as well.
  3. Moby

    Moby New Member

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    Great Review

    The timing of this review couldn't have come at a better time for me because the 44 is on my short list for my next boat. It was refreshing to read a review where a few flaws were pointed out. Most of the reviews I read (either on-line or in magazines) sound more like press releases from the companies PR department than an independent impartial party. No boat is going to be perfect and pointing out a few minor flaws will only help the buyer be more confident in his purchase by eliminating some of the unknowns. Frankly some men might consider not being able to hear the wife and kids in the cockpit when they are at the helm a selling point!
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    IMO Cabo builds the best sportfish boat in it's size and class. The 44' is a great design and has everything you could possibly need in an express it's size. The Engine room is a little on the tight side compared to the 45' it replaced due to the mezzanine deck, but you can still access everything. What else are you considering?
  5. MBY

    MBY Senior Member

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    Did the 44's you ran have engine liners? If I recall correctly, Brunswick decided to do away with the engine liners as well as a few of the molded parts in the interior of the boats to save weight. This is one of the reasons why the Cabo's today have much more wood in the interiors as opposed to pre 08 when there were more panels of polished gelcoat. That and they wanted their interiors to be more appealing to the wives.

    It will be interesting to see how the move to turn the 40 express into a hardtop express will go. Personally I think that the 40 express is one of the best Cabo's that was ever built.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What do you mean by engine liners?

    The head area is still a liner on the 44. The salon area does not appear to be a liner and there is a dividing wall between the master and salon that is a wall and not part of a liner. I didn't notice any polished gelcoat anywhere in the interior besides the head area. There is wallpaper on the walls, although the 45' had wallpaper on the walls as well. They did away with the push button latches on interior drawers/cabinets and they were a more positive latch than the keepers they have now, but the wood has a cleaner look without them. I do know they have no plans to go with a Zues package, at least until they come out with a pod that can handle more HP, if they do.

    I have always much prefered the 45' Express over the 40' Express and considering it was only 20% more in cost, the 45' had a lot more room, ammenities, and fishing ammenities. However, the 40' is a very nice boat, also very impressive with the Zues package. The 45' had a more of a big sportfish feel (which I prefer), whereas the 40' has a more nimble small boat handling feel IMO, such as they way it turns at cruise and handles around the dock. I haven't heard that they were building a hardtop version. A lot of other people liked the 40' nimble handling over the 45' lbig boat feel though.
  7. MBY

    MBY Senior Member

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    If you look at the first 3 or 4 boats of every model of Cabo made since 91 you will see that the glass over the stringers and the engine room is painted with gelcoat. If you look at hull 5 and beyond you will see that there is a polished liner that fits over the stringers and runs forward and aft. We did that add a more refined look to the engine room and overall it was easier to add a liner in the engine room than sand and paint every boat.

    You are right about the 45 being a much bigger boat than the 40. I've put both boats through some heavy seas and they both perform excellent. The 45 tends to be wetter than the 40 but you are right when you say it has a big boat feel to it. I still remember the night that the first 45 flybridge got cut and extended to a 47 two weeks before it was supposed to ship. The Zeus 40 is a nice option, I remember running the first one in Long Beach before it shipped to the east coast. Ran great, my only complaint was how slow it was to spin versus a traditionally configured boat.

    The 40 hardtop may not have been announced yet but it's happening. What's funny to me is that we had a hardtop express designed as far back as 02 but we never decided to build it. Now that Brunswick has the company they are building them and having some success with them. I hope their success continues.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've found that with the 45', if you keep the aft tank full by transfering fuel foward as you burn it, it runs fairly dry, not totally dry but pretty acceptable. The 40' to me compared to the 45' just feels a little cramped in the bridge area when you compare the two......the cockpit and salon is also noticably larger.......

    I've run all of the different 40' engine configurations and the Zues really shines. It's really SMOOTH and quieter......no vibration whatsoever........also faster than the 800 mans and 45gph at 31 knots versus 60.

    Some things have changed a little now that they're built in New Bern. Noticably it has those Hatteras style cut access panels in closets, and a few things like that.
  9. CaptTom

    CaptTom Senior Member

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    Was up at the Hatteras/Cabo factory in New Bern, NC in July researching the 44 HTX for a review I wrote for a magazine. Cabo is using the liner as seen in the first photo. I have to tell you that the hull finish of these gelcoat yachts are just about as perfect as you'll get. The second photo is of a Cabo express with a hull in deep blue.

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