Authors Posts by Erin B

Erin B



an image of the Cabo 41

Cabo 41

If you have the faintest impression that the new CABO 41 is not a 100 percent, purebred sportfishing machine, let me enlighten you.

Start by stepping aboard through the extra-wide transom door and walk across the spacious cockpit, but do not, I repeat, do not look left or right at the fishboxes in the sole, the bait prep station, the drawers for lures, the shaded mezzanine seating for watching your lines, or the big bait tank in the transom. Do not look up at the gorgeous PipeWelders tower skimming the clouds on the Cabo 41. Do not look at the seamanlike helm with its Palm Beach-style throttles/shifters on each side of the wheel so you can back down on a big one while facing aft.

Step into the surprisingly roomy cabin and no matter how tired you are, do not sprawl on that inviting settee. Don’t linger at the large galley, either, even if you’re hungry. Make an immediate left past the large-screen TV and walk into the enclosed head. No need to slow down and splash your face or do any of the usual head duties.

Continue into the enclosed shower stall, and you’ll see how serious the CABO 41 is about fishing—the aft bulkhead has stand-up racks for four big fishing poles, complete with the meanest Penn reels. You give up a bit of shower space for this clever storage (I’d make sure the hooks were well-protected), but it underlines the serious fishing DNA of this new 41-footer. No, you don’t have to take the rods out before you shower; there’s plenty of
room (30 by 40 inches) for big guys, the fresh water is good for the reels and a little shampoo isn’t going to faze these large guns. If you don’t want them watching you, turn around.

Where, oh where can I find rod storage. On the CABO 41, almost anywhere you look.

California Roots

The CABO 41 comes from a long line of superbly built yachts starting, surprisingly, with the CABO sailboats originally built in California. When smog in the Los Angeles basin got so bad that air quality management bureaucrats forbade opening acetone cans (and building largish fiberglass boats), the company moved to California’s high desert
and shifted its sights to building extraordinarily good sportfishing yachts.

Hatteras Yachts, seeing it first as a serious competitor and then as a smart acquisition, bought CABO and moved it to the high-tech Hatteras facility in New Bern, North Carolina.
The one thing Hatteras was careful to bring along was the high quality that has always marked CABO—if you’re a CABO aficionado, you’d be hard-pressed to tell if this CABO
41 was built in a dusty desert town or by a bunch of good ’ol boys in the Carolinas.

Having seen boats from both, I can say that you won’t be disappointed with the Hatteras iteration of CABO. Seams and fiberglass joints are so tight that they don’t need the usual
gallons of silicone to make them look good, and you could eat out of the bilge. Quite frankly, everything is just right. Here’s how right: This is the only all gelcoat-finished boat built by Hatteras—the others are painted.

Back Onboard

Let’s retrace our steps through the big transom door (with humongous hinges that look like they came off a bulldozer cab). Centered in the transom is a 48-gallon, double-lid bait tank, and on each side of the sole are two huge insulated fishboxes with macerators.  From their size, it’s clear that CABO is expecting you to land some serious game fish. Raw-water wash downs get rid of anything icky, and the middle of the cockpit has a molded-in aluminum reinforcing plate ready for something like the gorgeous varnished teak leaning post on our review yacht.

Up a step is a wide mezzanine bench seat that overlooks the cockpit action with room underneath for an optional bait freezer or Eskimo 500-pound-per-day ice maker. Our boat also had the optional bait prep station which, quite frankly, is a no-brainer on this war
wagon. It has enough drawers for lures and rigs you’ve only dreamed about, plus a fridge
and reels for rigging your own lines.

an image of the helm station on the CABO 41
Ample seating and a well-appointed dash await.

Helm? Oh, yeah, really sweet! Single or double pedestal seats (our boat had Pompanettes so inviting you involuntarily sat in one) are positioned in front of a stainless steel wheel with a brodie knob. There’s also an L-shaped lounge for onlookers and kibitzers. Our test boat had a pair of monitors for the Garmin electronics package with all the usual bells and whistles. Plus, there is a monitor dedicated to the engines and onboard systems.

Interior Space

Since you were in a rush to get to the shower earlier, take a leisurely look around the cabin. Notice that there’s no raw fiberglass. The cabin is a warm European
walnut with a satin finish. The settee really is as comfy as you thought, and it faces the big-screen TV on the aft bulkhead. The galley has a surprising amount of counter space for laying out sandwich makings (for the true gourmet) plus niceties that include a ceramic cooktop, under-counter fridge, oven, and microwave.

interior on the CABO 41
There’s plenty of galley space and natural light down below.

You’ve already been through the head, although you might not have noticed that the head is a Jabsco electric model. Or that there’s a civilized sink for trimming off a two-day growth. A raised berth in the bow cabin falls somewhere between queen and king at the pillow end and tapered at the feet to provide walkaround space. Two hanging lockers plus
cavernous pull-out drawers under the berth should keep you in clothes for long weekends and yes, there’s also rod storage here, but thankfully, you don’t have to sleep with them.

A dinette table and the entrance to the head.

Speaking of rod stowage, you might have been admiring the cabin settee when you should have looked above it to see there’s dedicated stowage for four more fishing rigs. What looked at first like a hanging locker by the cabin entry is… wait for it…stowage for maybe a half-dozen more rods.

Up Above and Down Below

Another no-brainer, depending on what fish you’re chasing, is the full PipeWelder tower with electronic mounts, outrigger controls and a full steering station protected from the sun by a fiberglass hardtop.

Aft deck on the CABO 41
A roomy stern makes for happy anglers.

The CABO 41 is available with several power options, depending on your preferences. Our test boat had the Cummins QSM 715-hp diesels with straight shafts. However, if you’re a Volvo aficionado, there are D11 diesels from 625-725 horsepower. With our 715s, we topped out at about 40 knots (the same as with the biggest Volvos). But here’s the zinger: We were only sucking down 65-70 gph of fuel with the hammers down. Drop back to 30 knots, and you cut your consumption to under 50 gph running at 2,100 rpm, so your engines will last forever.

The spacious engine room was a welcome surprise. You won’t want several guys in there, but all the access points are readily within reach. And, here’s a thoughtful touch: The CABO 41 has room for a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer.

Having known CABO back in the day, I was delighted to see that Hatteras has maintained the quality standards set in the high desert. If you’re an angler (or even a family heading
for Bimini), the CABO 41 is not to be missed—just make sure the hooks are turned away in the shower.


LOA: 40′ 10″
Beam: 15′ 9″
Draft: 3′ 5″
Displacement: 31,000 lbs.
Power: 2x Volvo D11
Cruise/Max speed: 30/40
Range: 304 nm @ 30 knots
Fuel/Water: 550/95 gals.
Price: Inquire


CABO Yachts
110 North Glenburnie Rd.
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 633-3101

By Chris Caswell, Southern Boating July 2019

23rd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous

Faro Blanco Resort, site of the Marlow Spring Rendezvous

23rd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous

The 23rd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous, hosted by Marlow Marine Cruising Club’s was one for the record books.

Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club hosted the Marlow Marine Cruising Club’s (MMCC) 23rd Annual Spring Rendezvous that coincided with the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. Yep, the one that will forever go down in the record books as the first time a Kentucky Derby-winning horse was disqualified for an in-race foul. Imagine the wagers affected after that decision.

And They’re Off

From the Welcome Reception on Thursday, May 2nd to the Awards dinner on Saturday, May 4th, all bets were off. Marlow Yachts provided owners with an entertainment-filled weekend. The benefit of networking with fellow Marlow owners is to learn and share ideas and experiences about what the boat can do, where it can go and solutions to any problems that occur.

On top of that, the MMCC invites a number of technology companies to hold seminars on products that can make cruising more enjoyable through new technology and
how to care and maintain engines as well as air conditioning and desalination systems. Owners learned about the Internet connection at sea, wireless docking remotes and the joint venture between Garmin and The Yacht Group for the OneHelm integration.

The highlight of the seminar schedule was David Marlow’s roundtable discussion when he provided insight about new design ideas; changes made to simplify systems, such as
separating the heat exchanger from the chiller system, and what technologies, structural materials, and heating and climate-control systems were invented for the new Marlow
Voyager 100 that has plans to cruise to Antarctica. All these ideas benefit future and present Marlow owners with better materials and improved systems.

One change that will keep the popular 58-foot Marlow viable today is the addition of an aft beach club that allows owners and guests to enjoy an indoor-outdoor lounge area along the waterline. The space will also serve as the crew quarters as the beach club will
replace the designated crew cabin in previous models.

A question on solar power was raised, but the discussion quickly turned to new battery technology because solar power won’t progress until battery storage improves. Thin-plate technology, such as NorthStar’s Absorbed Glass Mat batteries, is leading the way with companies trending toward lithiumiron, lithium-polymer and lithium-carbon instead of the lithium-ion technology. Marlow Yachts has always pushed the envelope to test and develop new ideas which coincide with the company’s motto: Each one better than the one before.

Nothing But Winners

The weekend was filled with fun activities, parties and the christening of new yachts to the “club.” This year’s event included some new activities that appealed to the athlete, the animal lover and the artist. Active early birds joined a sunrise yoga session Friday and got their hearts up to speed with a 5K sunrise run on Saturday— that was after the Fire & Ice theme party the night before, where the costumes were smokin’ hot and crazy cool. For the backyard athletes, there was hula-hoops, badminton, and cornhole with a few water balloons mixed in.

painting at the Marlow Spring Rendezvous
No need to BYOB! Marlow provided all the brushes for a painting contest.

Artists sat in front of easels with brushes in hand to paint an underwater turtle or seahorse scene. This was no finger paint mish-mash, but the real thing. In fact, during Saturday’s “Run for the Roses” dinner, the third-place painting by Eric Schoenfeld was auctioned off to benefit the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, raising $4,000 within 15 minutes. The yacht Paws for Life was proud and happy to make the donation for such a good cause. Over the weekend, a number of owners, families, and guests visited the Turtle Hospital to see their work rehabilitating endangered sea turtles.

lots of family fun at the Marlow Spring Rendezvous
Lots of backyard fun

Mint Juleps were the featured cocktail, and fascinators, spring colors, and flowers were Saturday evening’s style that led up to the Kentucky Derby. Those two minutes were a blur before the evening’s celebration of an incredible weekend. Awesome weather, magnificent boats, and as one owner said, a Marlow staff in that embodies the family lifestyle all make the company great to its owners. It shows.

Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club

Faro Blanco ResortThe Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club in Marathon, Florida, offers an ideal setting just east
of the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys where yachts are secure in the protected
marina marked by a landmark lighthouse. Facilities include 74 state-of-the-art slips, each equipped with waste removal, water and up to 100-amp power connection. The marina also offers onsite ValvTect fuel, 24-hour security, wireless Internet, dockside ship’s store, concierge services, onsite pool and fitness center, bar and restaurant, and accommodations through Hyatt Place.

By Steve Davis, Southern Boating July 2019

Want more?  Check out these previous Marlow Spring Rendezvous

Marlow Rendezvous 2018

Marlow Rendezvous 2017

Marlow Rendezvous 2016


Lobster Mini Season

a woman diving during lobster mini season

Lobster Mini Season

It’s almost here! Avid lobster hunters say the lobster mini season is the best unofficial holiday of the year.

What is it?

Florida’s legendary spiny lobster “mini-season” runs from the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July each year. The regular season begins Aug. 6 every year and runs through March 31.

Dive boats and hotels in the more popular areas tend to fill up pretty quickly, so make plans early. Also, the best conditions for diving — clear, calm and warm water — are most dependable in July and August all around the state. To check those dates, and detailed regulations, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

How is it done?

Divers either descend by holding their breath or use SCUBA gear. Free-diving is the most challenging way to collect lobsters. Boaters often slowly tow their divers over shallow patch reefs to see what’s below. Or sometimes divers use a planer device such as the Sea Sled, which the diver can tilt downward to get closer to the reef for a closer look. The diver will let go and descends once a hot spot is found.

However, most divers opt for SCUBA gear, which depending upon depth and choice of air mix, allows a diver much more “bottom time.” Whether you’re diving on normal air or Nitrox, make sure you hold the requisite certifications and understand the risks associated with breathing compressed air.

Very large spiny lobster
This lucky diver landed a big bug!



Lobster mini season is like an underwater treasure hunt. In shallow water where limited bottom time isn’t an issue, divers hug the bottom and peer into every nook and cranny. In deeper water where bottom time is precious, good divers spend time hugging the bottom in the most productive areas, then rise up a bit to conserve air while hoping to lobster legs wiggling out of a hole.

What tools are used?

Divers depend on several tools to find and catch in lobster mini season. A good waterproof flashlight is helpful in cavernous stretches of reef. Kevlar gloves are essential — they don’t call them “spiny” lobsters for nothing, and urchin and lionfish quills pose other hazards.

Divers typically carry a “tickle stick” and/or a loop snare. A transparent tickle stick works well to tease lobsters out of holes and into grabbing range. The loop snare can be used to “tickle out” a bug until you have enough room to get the loop behind the tail. Usually, the lobster will walk backward into the loop and when it does you constrict the snare. Of course, you need a bag to hold the bugs, and the various “lobster inn” devices keep them from escaping.

Florida spiny lobster
You’ll need gloves to handle these lobsters.

Season Dates:

This year, the lobster mini season is July 24th-25th, 2019 (always the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July each year).

Bag Limits:

6 per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park and 12 per person per day for the rest of Florida

On-water possession limits:

Equal to the daily bag limit.

Off-Water Possession limits:

Equal to the daily bag limit on the first day, and double the daily bag limit on the second day.

Regular season

The regular 8 month lobster season is always August 6 through March 31.

Size Limits:

Regulations during lobster mini season require lobster hunters to have a saltwater fishing license and lobster stamp. You must carry a gauge to measure the carapace*, which must be longer than three inches.

*What the heck is a carapace?

How to measure a spiny lobster

The carapace, pictured here in green, is a method of determining a lobster’s maturity.

Items of Note

  • Possession limits are enforced on and off the water.
  • Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County during the lobster mini season.
  • Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the mini season, and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary during both the 2-day mini season and regular season.

For more information, visit

Tales of Treasure Ships (and a Giant Emerald)

a diver at the site of the atocha

Tales of Treasure Ships

Sunken treasure ships will never stop intriguing us.

There’s something so alluring about the idea of sunken treasure ships filled with pirate’s gold. It’s the combination of history, Pirates of the Caribbean movies, instant accumulation of wealth, and the lure of the sea. We all feel it, but it’s exceedingly rare to have it happen.

The late Mel Fisher certainly understood how it feels to make a discovery of a treasure trove.

Giant Emerald found in Key West

Off the site of the famed Atocha, off Key West, one lucky employee of Mel Fisher’s Treasures found a large emerald.

emerald from a shipwreck
Employees of Mel Fisher’s Treasures search for treasure by sifting through the sand from the ocean floor. Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald.

“This one was so big I didn’t believe it at first when I looked in my hand,” said the finder, Megan McDowell, marketing and public relations director for Mel Fisher’s Treasures. “It was like winning the lottery. I was shaking like, is this real?”

Estimated at two carats, the uncut emerald turned up as employees sifted through sand brought up from the ocean floor and onto the J.P. Magruder search vessel at the Atocha site, a spot the hunters call “Emerald City.”

an image of emerald from a shipwreck
The emerald was one of the larger found by the company. Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald.

McDowell, who lives in Key West, declined to say how much the emerald is worth because it requires an appraisal. However, McDowell says the treasure company is convinced there are 70 pounds of emeralds still on the ocean floor at the site of the Atocha shipwreck.

A little background on the Atocha

Fisher and his team of treasure hunters discovered the Spanish galleon Atocha, which sailed gold-laden from Cuba, before it sank near Florida’s Marquesas Keys in 1622.

Fisher spent over sixteen years and millions of dollars searching for and recovering the Spanish galleon Atocha off the coast of the Florida Keys in 1985.

But he was forced to spend millions more defending his salvage rights against the state of Florida, local authorities around the Keys, and the federal government.

Fisher finally prevailed in the Supreme Court in his fight for the riches that he lawfully found and brought up from the depths of the sea.

But there’s something about treasure—everyone wants a piece. Maybe you can’t have it, but you can certainly see it. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum has some of the artifacts on display and is open to the public.

The San Jose

However, it will take years to bring up the gold and treasure contents of the San Jose that rests at a depth of more than 1,000 feet off the coast of Colombia. It’s only one of many lost vessels. Their loot is scattered across the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico thanks to centuries of hurricanes.

Blame the Hurricane

Off the coast of Padre Island, Texas, a storm took down three vessels in 1544—the San Esteban, Espiritú Santo and the Santa Maria de Yciar. One of the Spanish vessels was destroyed during the construction of a cut from the Gulf to the Laguna Madre in the 1940s. Another was located and then looted by treasure hunters in 1967. The third, however, was discovered. The ship’s contents were recovered by the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory. Subsequently, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History was named repository of the San Esteban collection.

Hurricanes are a running as a common thread for the sinking of many of these ships. Eleven Spanish galleons sunk in 1715 off the east coast of Florida near Cape Canaveral. However, only five of these ships have been located and recovered. Similarly, 22 ships sunk south of the Florida Keys in 1733 (with many still waiting to yield up their booty).

Legal Battles

The discovery of these shipwrecks often leads to controversy and inevitable legal wrangling. Understandably so: we’re talking enormous wealth reaching into the billions of dollars up for grabs.

This is certainly true of the recent discovery off Colombia. In 1981 a treasure outfit known as Sea Search Armada claimed to have located the San Jose. What ensued was a decades-long legal battle over their share of the fortunes. Many nations including the United States lay claim to percentages of recovered artifacts, with most ending up in museums.

But don’t let the law get you down. Dreaming of giving up your day job and becoming a Sunken Treasure Shipstreasure hunter? Start small. There’s always the baby step of buying a handheld metal detector and beach-combing. The sea periodically churns up Gold and other Spanish coins. Sometimes, they lie buried just under the sands of many beaches, just waiting for those lucky few to catch that glimmer of something shiny underfoot.

By Erin Brennan, July 2019

Midnight Express 43 Carbon Edition

an image of Midnight Express 43 Carbon Edition

Midnight Express 43 Carbon Edition

The Midnight Express 43 Carbon Edition is all carbon fiber.

Although not the first carbon fiber center console by Midnight Express, the 43 Open Carbon Edition that launches this month is a special one. The full carbon-fiber model will have five Mercury outboard motors.

Combine this power with the lightweight construction that saves 2,500 pounds over the previous version, and you have a stiffer hull that punches through rough water at higher top speeds—approximately 8 to 10 mph over her predecessor.

That means it’s possible to nudge 100 mph on this new boat, which is a hair-raising proposition. As with all Midnight Express models, this one is fully customizable with personalized flooring, interior cabin layouts, extra fuel tank capacity, and variable seating options. The Miami-based builder offers models 34 to 60 feet in length, and if you want to be noticed when you arrive, a fully carbon center console on steroids is not a bad way to go.

43′ LOA, 12’6″ Beam

Return to the Center Console Roundup




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