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September 21, 2007

Cabo 35 Express Sportfisher

The term "new and improved" gets thrown around a lot by advertising types, but occasionally a product refinement isactually worth shouting about. Such is the case with the new Cabo35 Express. The original 35 was an instant offshore success, earningrave reviews from fishermen the world over. It was, and stillis, a great fishing platform, but had a reputation for ridinghard in a headsea and being somewhat wet. In re sponse, Cabo madechanges to spe cifically address those two issues.

"Our two goals wereto provide a softer and drier ride," said Cabo presidentHenry Mohrschladt. "It's a whole new bottom. It has a slightlydeeper deadrise at the transom, but a lot deeper entry. We alsowidened the chines, especially forward, and removed the runningstrakes."

Mohrschladt says thatthe new hull floats about two inches higher in the water as aresult of these changes. The widened chines force water down anddeflect spray, and the sharper entry cuts the waves more easily.Cabo did extensive tank testing on a new 42-foot hull it is developing,and after experimenting with different strake configurations,and seeing how well the new 35 did without them, removed the strakesfrom all of its models. The 35 also has a single fuel tank, asopposed to two tanks on the original, for better weight and fueldistribution (no more confusing valves).

Softer, Drier Ride

SpecificationsWe tested the new 35 ona very windy day in Jupiter, Florida, and rode the boat hard intoa steep chop whipped up in Lake Worth. (The forecast for the oceanwas ten feet plus!) The hull improvements were immediately evident.The sharp entry sliced through the three- to four-foot waves cleanlyand without a shudder, even at high speeds, and the only spraywe took was when we encountered a humungous wake from a motoryacht as we were coming off plane. Recessed prop pockets helpkeep the ride smooth and quiet, too. It was a superb performancein truly nasty conditions.

Our test boat featuredtwin 435-hp Caterpillar 3208TA diesels, the top-of-the-line Catoption, but there are several diesel options available from bothCat and Yanmar. The 35 performed extremely well with the big Cats,cruising effortlessly at 27.1 knots at 2400 rpm, and topping outat 31.6 knots at 2700 rpm. That's with a full load, and in a three-footchop!

There's more good news,though, because while Cabo designers were making evolutionarychanges to the hull, they weren't changing the cockpit. They alreadyhad that part right. Two large, insulated fishboxes beneath thesole drain through separate macerator pumps, and our test boatfeatured the optional oval live well in the transom, the mostconvenient place Cabo could have put it. A large lazarette affordsaccess to the aft end of the fuel tank, as well as pumps and therudder table. The 35's cockpit is clean and uncluttered, and evenhas a rugged transom door to starboard that opens on massive hingesunderneath a hinged covering board.

The engine room is accessedeither through a day hatch in the center of the bridgedeck, orby raising the entire bridgedeck on electric rams. The engineroom is a marvel of neatness, with bundled wires, clean installationof both the mains and the generator, and exemplary fit and finish.It's a top-notch rigging job that will be very easy to work on.

Great Visibility

Belowdecks, Cabo's attention to detail really becomes apparent.Visibility is good atthe helm, and there's a tilt-out, powered ventilation window inthe center of the wraparound, powder-coated windshield for freshair. At the aft end of the bridgedeck, a full bait-prep centersits to port, and contains a rod-storage locker that extends forwardunder the passenger lounge seat. There's storage space for 17rods on this boat! A molded drink cooler to starboard can be optionallyplumbed as a freezer.

Belowdecks, Cabo's attentionto detail really becomes apparent. It's like descending into aroom at a luxury hotel. With an optional teak and holly sole (deeppile carpet is standard), Corian countertops with sea rails, Swedishstainless steel sinks, and a plush overhead liner, the cabin hasluxury written all over it. This boat can fish hard all day andtreat you like a king at night.

Cabo's legendary attentionto detail is fully evident in the new 35, and the company's useof Baltec-cored sandwich construction above the waterline, andsolid fiberglass below, provides a hull that's both light andstrong. As we said before, you must ride the new 35 to appreciateit. When you do, you will come to understand how Cabo, in justa few short years, has become the standard bearer in the productionexpress boat market.

Cat Harbor Boats Inc.,Adelanto, CA; (760) 246-8917; www.caboyachts.com.