New Boat: Cabo 44 Hardtop Express

By admin ~ April 26th, 2011. Filed under: New Boats.

Carolina Cabo

This soft-riding sportfish is the first new model

to come out of the collaboration with Hatteras.

By Chris Caswell

Cabo Yachts has built an enviable reputation over nearly two decades for world-class sportfishing yachts that are long on quality and attention to detail. Founded in California, it was acquired by Brunswick Corporation in 2009, and moved to the Hatteras Yachts factory in New Bern, North Carolina, last year. The 44 Hardtop Express (HTX) is the first new Cabo model to be built in New Bern.

Designed as an updated replacement for the popular Cabo 45 (130-plus sold!), the new Cabo 44 HTX proves more than worthy. Wider and lower, the 44 has even more fishability from the bolstered cockpit with its built-in 56-gallon bait well to the confortable mezzanine seating. The boat we ran was pure angler in its setup, with a gorgeous Pipewelders tuna tower plus upper steering station.


LOA    47′ 7″
Beam    16′ 6″
Draft    3′ 7′
Weight       43,200 lbs. (full)
Fuel/Water   800/100 gals.
Power: 2 x 715-hp Caterpillar
C12 (standard)
Top/Cruising Speed: 33/28 knots
Range: 365 nm@ 1800 rpm
Base Price   $949,000.


Cabo Yachts
New Bern, NC

You don’t have to be an Izaak Walton fan to enjoy the 44 HTX. Owners can choose the “cruising option” on ordering the boat, which gives them an express cruiser with lounge seating under the hardtop and in the cockpit, a barbecue in an alfresco console, and a swim platform on the transom, not to mention a full enclosure with air conditioning.
Below, both anglers and family cruisers can personalize the layout to fit their needs. Both will appreciate the forward master stateroom with a centerline double berth and direct access to the spacious head with its man-sized shower. There’s a second stateroom you can morph to your will; in new homes, they call it a “bonus room”. Cruisers will probably stick with the standard twin berths for kids or guests here, but it also can be used as what Cabo calls the “angler room” with the bulkhead removed and built-ins for working on lures, rods and reels. Or you can leave the cabin empty and use it as a pantry and catch-all for gear. Your call.
Two additional people can sleep on the convertible dinette. The galley is aft; and on the boat we ran, it was a gourmet’s delight with four fridge/freezer drawers, a hidden cooktop plus microwave/convection oven.
Our boat had the optional 1,150-horsepower Caterpillar C18s, which gave us just shy of 40 knots. According to Cabo, the standard 715-horsepower Cat C12s still push it easily into the low 30s. We took a quick run in the ocean off Fort Lauderdale in spray-topped six- and eight-footers. We threw spray half way to Bimini but damn, this is a soft-riding, solid-feeling yacht even when you push the throttles down in the nasties.
The bridge windows are so large they seemingly disappear, leaving the impression of an open cockpit with superb visibility in all directions from the skipper’s Stidd pedestal chair. The fiberglass helm console has room for every piece of electronics you can imagine (or afford!), and the stainless steel wheel is only slightly raked so you feel like you’re steering something serious. Palm Beach-style throttle-shifters are on each side of the wheel, and make for intuitive backing down, whether on a fish or into a slip.
When you look at the Cabo 44 Hardtop Express (and you surely will if this size and type of boat interests you), take time to poke around and look at the details, because this is where Cabo excels. Note the nifty electrical panel just inside the companionway door, non-slip surfaces anywhere you might put a foot, and the carefully arranged engine room for maximum serviceability.
The execs at Cabo who had to sign off on building a new yacht in today’s market – and a replacement for a popular model at that – must have taken a very deep breath when this project came along, but they can let it out now: They’ve got a winner on their hands!

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