Boat Reviews

Cabo 41 – Phoenix Rising

The all-new Cabo 41 brings a new take to a storied name.

Remember when new Cabos were considered among the best offshore express fishing boats being built? It wasn’t all that long ago that they were setting new benchmarks. We all know what happened next – the Great Recession – and Cabos haven’t made many waves since then. In fact, after the crunch production ceased entirely and we haven’t seen a new Cabo hit the water since 2013. This year, however, the Cabo 41 signals a resurgence that fishing boat fans are sure to find exciting.

Cabo 41
The new Cabo 41 delivers 31,000 pounds of wave-splitting mass.

Back in the day, Cabos were known for a beefy, reliable build. Considering that today Cabos are built by Hatteras Yachts, that reputation is not likely to change – if there’s anything Hatteras is known for; it’s building rugged boats. Another thing that hasn’t changed from the Cabos of yesteryear to the new 41 is a much-appreciated emphasis on bluewater fishing. Cockpit space is maximized, capped of forward with a long, elevated port-side aft-facing bench seat that counts as a mini-mezzanine. The starboard side houses a trio of tackle drawers facing the cockpit and a reefer plus additional stowage on the bridgedeck, the pipework supports an even dozen rocket launchers, there are cavernous fishboxes in the deck, and the transom has a centered fishbox/livewell.

The bridgedeck layout is a bit more unusual, with a large L-lounge to port but a centered steering wheel with the helm station extending to port, and a single passenger’s ladder-back chair far to starboard on the other side of the off-center cabin entry. Like many of the mid-sized expresses that were popular in Cabo’s heyday, the entire deck raises up on rams to provide easy access to the powerplants. In this case, that’s a pair of twin 725-hp Volvo-Penta D11 in-line-six turbocharged diesels.

Cabo boats
The wheel is centered on the Cabo 41, but the helm station extends to port while a slightly off-center cabin entry is to starboard.

Cabo 41 Specifications

  • LOA – 42’10”
  • Beam – 15’9”
  • Draft – 3’5”
  • Displacement – 31,000 lbs.
  • Transom deadrise –15 degrees
  • Fuel capacity – 550 gal.
  • Water capacity – 95 gal.

Fishing space is great and a roomy bridgedeck is too, but setting the svelte inboard-style transom aside, where the Cabo holds a serious advantage over today’s popular fleet of large outboard boats is belowdecks. The salon feels huge in comparison to the console cabins found in many significantly larger boats, and it has a full galley with plenty of counter space, a real cook-top, a microwave, sink, refrigerator, and freezer. While the “summer kitchens” found in the cockpits of many boats these days may be great for entertaining they also eat into deck space and/or cockpit units which would otherwise be dedicated to fishability, so this more traditional arrangement is one die-hard anglers are apt to appreciate. Meanwhile, the cabin also has a spacious dinette, a head with a separate stall shower, and a private forward stateroom featuring a queen berth and additional stowage. What we liked most belowdecks, though, was the fact that Cabo included an aft cabinet behind the dinette to create a dedicated rod locker.

Cabo reviews
You want a spacious cabin? Great as today’s center console cabins are, foot-for-foot they just can’t compete with a cabin like this.

So, if this boat is in many ways a return to what made the Cabos of yesteryear so great, how does it benefit from being reborn in modern times? First off, today’s construction materials and techniques cut some weight out of the boat. In fact, the last time there was a Cabo of this size built the published displacement was 5,000-pounds over that of today’s 41. Meanwhile, you get more horsepower in the engine room (600 hp powerplants were common in the previous generation, while today’s standard is 625 and they’re upgradable to the 725s found in hull number one).

While we couldn’t pull the boat out of the slip at the boat show, the performance numbers Cabo has gathered show a significant jump in both speed and efficiency. With the 625s, you’re looking at a cruise in the upper 20-knot range while getting better than 0.6 nmpg, and a top-end in the mid-30s. With the 725s, cruise jumps to the 30-knot range and top-end hits the upper 30s. Bottom line, the new 41 beats the previous generation by several knots across the board.

Ready for that long run out to the temp break? It might not be quite as long as you’d think.

Put those factors together, and you get a more efficient, faster-running boat. You get an express with traditional diesel inboard design advantages, including a far more expansive cabin than most of today’s other options can provide. Then add in modern goodies like a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilization system, digital and joystick controls, and glass-bridge-style electronics at the helm. Quite simply, you’ve got a better boat.

For more information, visit the Hatteras Yachts Cabo page.

Get more great boating information and tips from Lenny Rudow on BD.

Lenny Rudow
Lenny Rudow …has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored seven books. He is currently the Angler in Chie...