Cabo 41 Boat Test

May 22, 2019, by , under Powerboat Reviews

Cabo Yachts is back, and based on our test of the new Cabo 41, the vaunted brand has not lost its luster.

Flashback to the 1990s when Cabo Yachts hit the market with its first sport-fisher, the 35 Flybridge. The company quickly added models and soon earned high respect from serious offshore anglers.

But more than 25 years later, in the clutches of the lingering Great Recession, Cabo production was suspended. Now, however, under the management of New Bern, North Carolina-based Hatteras Yachts, the brand returns with the debut of the 41.

“Our goal is to pull buyers from the center-console market,” says Jeff Donahue, sport-fish segment director for Hatteras/Cabo. “We’re looking for buyers who want to upgrade with more accommodations such as air conditioning, mezzanine seating, a nice ­galley, comfortable berths and more.”

Indeed, the 41 abounds with comfort. Accessed via a step-down companionway on the starboard-side of the bridge deck, the main cabin includes a convertible settee with a dining table to starboard and galley to port, with rich, satin-finish European walnut cabinetry throughout. A flat-screen TV in the cabin lets you watch sports, news and other entertainment via satellite subscription.

Elegant wood-cabinet rod stowage resides adjacent to the settee. A well-appointed head is abaft the galley with a flush toilet, shower, vanity, sink, and integrated rod stowage inside the shower. The master stateroom in the bow features wood accents and cabinetry, an island queen berth and hanging lockers.

On the bridge deck, there’s L-shaped seating to port, a centerline captain’s chair, and a companion chair to starboard. A refrigerator to starboard is a great place to chill drinks. There’s tackle stowage adjacent to the fridge. An optional 24,000 Btu air-conditioning system ($24,000) cools the bridge deck, and a standard 11,000 Btu air-conditioning unit keeps the cabin comfy. An 11 kW diesel generator provides 110/220 electricity when away from shore power.

The helm panel featured three Garmin GPSMap 8622 multifunction displays, and the entire bridge was protected by a ­wraparound tempered-glass windshield with polycarbonate panels stretching from the top of the windshield to the hardtop to enclose the bridge deck on three sides.

The model we tested—hull No. 1—was powered by twin Volvo Penta 725 hp D11 turbo-diesel inboards (a $40,000 upgrade to the standard 625 hp D11s). A $76,000 optional joystick control at both the main helm and tower station is integrated with the inboards and a bow thruster to make easy work of maneuvering the 41 in the tight quarters of a busy marina.

Sporting a deep-V hull and Carolina flare, the Cabo 41 rode buttery-smooth through the waves and handled marvelously as we zigzagged our way around several lobster-pot buoys.

For fishing, the Cabo 41 features a molded-­in 48-gallon transom livewell. An optional rocket launcher ($4,795) midcockpit featured a recessed tray and drawer, along with six rod holders. Our test boat was also equipped with a pair of Rupp aluminum outriggers, which are part of the $97,305 full tower upgrade.

Mezzanine seating in the forward ­cockpit offers a padded seat and back, with a footrest below. We would like to see the ­backrest reclined a bit more to create a more natural seating angle. You can order an optional bait freezer ($6,800) that installs under the seat, or just use the space as additional ­secure storage.

A tuna door in the port side of the transom lets you haul aboard a big tuna or swordfish, and pair of 44-gallon insulated fish lockers under the cockpit sole will keep your catch chilled. Contrary to Carolina styling, the Cabo 41 features a bow rail—a vestige of the brand’s roots in California (Cabo was originally based in Adelanto, California), where offshore anglers often walk forward to cast to tailing marlin. The 41 also comes with an integrated bow pulpit with an anchor roller. A vertical windlass hauls up the ground tackle. Beware that the catwalks to the bow are narrow with a ­scarcity of handrails along the side.

Looking for comparable express models? Consider the Albemarle 41 Express ($864,900 base with twin 650 hp Caterpillar C8.7 diesels). Another—though slightly smaller and less fishy—model to check out is the Tiara 39 Open ($775,900 base with twin 600 hp Cummins QSC 8.3 diesels).

Ultimately, the Cabo 41 represents the rebirth of a legend—one of the most coveted brands of sport-fishers in the world. Based on our testing, the new 41 lives up to the Cabo name.

High Points

  • Spacious, well-appointed cabin is a welcome luxury when overnighting.
  • Helm deck raises at the touch of a button to access the engine room.
  • This 41 rides smoothly, responds quickly, and handles well in tight quarters.

Low Points

  • We’d like the backrest of the mezzanine seating reclined more for comfort.
  • More handrails along the side deck are needed when going forward.

Price: $1,095,000 (base with twin 625 hp Volvo Penta D11 diesels)

Available Power: Inboard

How We Tested
Engine: Twin 725 hp Volvo Penta D11 turbo-diesels
Drive/Prop: Inboard/28″ x 45″ 4-blade nibral
Gear Ratio: 2.037:1
Fuel Load: 500 gal.
Crew Weight: 800 lb.

Hatteras/Cabo Yachts – New Bern, North Carolina; 252-637-2226;


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