Cabo 40 Flybridge: A Big Change Up - 03/10/2010

Cabo has never been known for doing anything halfway. They have a success story on their hands with the Cabo 40 Express, but that didn’t stop them from improving on the model. The next step was to make a new model by adding a flybridge. Not surprisingly, it was another hit. But still, not willing to sit on their laurels, Cabo correctly surmised that the convertible market is not entirely dominated by fishermen alone. Time and again, these boats are being bought by baby boomers wanting to use them as both hard-core fishing machines and utilitarian cruising platforms, largely due to the breed’s outstanding capacity to handle blue water so well. This led Cabo to redecorate the interior of the 40 Flybridge (which wasn’t too shabby to begin with) and add a more elegant, yacht-like decor that will only help close the deal both with you-know-who, as well as the angler.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The new Cabo 40 Flybridge has an interior that looks like a fine motoryacht rather than the interior of a Malibu beach house.

A Comfortable Layout

The makings of a successful dual role convertible start with the layout. It either works or it doesn’t, and the 40 Flybridge layout has a time-proven history of working quite well. The entry to the main salon is via a door that is offset to starboard, and unless the fish are cleaned and ready for cooking, this would be the dividing line that an owner with a discriminating wife dare not let them cross.

The layout has not changed in the current model year, but like the rest of the interior, it’s the finish work that has received the major share of the overhaul. The L-shaped sofa lies aft and to port, with an L-shaped settee forward and to starboard. Cabo also favors the galley up arrangement, keeping with their design scheme of spending the days on deck and the nights below.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The Cabo 40 Flybridge layout features a galley up, main salon and dining area, while below are the two staterooms, two heads, and one shower stall. The head to port also doubles as a day head.

The Old Salon and the New

Cabo took an already good interior design and managed to make it better. Previously, the main salon featured the beautiful teak and holly sole with teak continuing up some of the bulkheads and the cabinetry as well. Window valances and treatments were fabric that blended in nicely to the furniture as well as the overhead. Cabinet doors were ventilated, in some cases framed, and mounted externally to the cabinet itself.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The old interior brought a lot of white into the room that brightened things up, but also added a sterile feel to the room.

The new salon drastically cut back on the amount of “white space” in the room, and went to the more traditional, and yacht-like, teak for a more appealing look as well as feel. Now, gone are the fabric window treatments, replaced with woodwork that shows the attention to detail in fit and finish that Cabo represents.

The window valances and cabinetry, as well as the dinette table, are both finished a bit darker than the teak and holly sole, which results in a pleasing offset while still complimenting each other nicely. Gone too are both the teak table pedestal, now replaced with a stainless steel pedestal, and the leather dinette bottom, now made from teak matching the upper woodwork. The flat screen TV is now framed in black that blends in to the teak finish very nicely. The cabinetry is also redone, and now is finished in flush mounted doors that appear to be cut from the same piece of wood as the surrounding cabinets. Granite counters are a touch darker and the backsplash, which was previously wood, is now a continuation of granite.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The new salon is a pleasing blend of differing shades of teak finish that gives a more yacht-like appearance.

The Galley

The old 40 Flybridge galley seemed to have the look of being added to the boat as an afterthought. While utilitarian, it didn’t match the surroundings and served to satisfy function rather than form. The white Corian counters were patterned but didn’t blend with anything around them, and were also a different shade than the white cabinets below.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The old galley was just too white, and not matching anything around it. Notice the popular in-deck storage pantry.

The new galley décor is a study in elegance that can only be found in the rich finish that blends in so well with the surroundings. The new granite counters are a few shades darker and have a pattern that hides any temporary muss and clutter that so easily accumulates on a galley counter. Looking closely, you can now clearly see that the cabinets and doors are indeed all cut from the same piece of wood, with the grains matching perfectly.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The new galley is more artful and elegant. Note the grain in the cabinets matching the doors. We’d still like to see the stove top have sea rails as well as having fiddles on the counters to keep pots and dishes from sliding onto the deck.

Old and New Head

Changes continue in the 40 Flybridge head. Previously, the head was little more than a continuation of the white-on-white that prevailed in the rest of the boat. There was a small mirror/medicine cabinet above the single basin sink and storage under the sink was accessed via a pair of doors that appeared as if they were simply roto-tooled from the material that surrounds them.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The old head was plain and oh-so-white. A simple mirror and medicine cabinet was mounted over the sink. Note the round, non-textured faucet knobs, which are so hard to turn on and off with wet or soapy hands.

The new head is much more elegant and reflecting the woodwork and joinery found in the rest of the new 40 Flybridge. A tasteful combination of wood and granite counters that continue up to include the backsplash, are complimented by the full width mirror mounted above. A medicine cabinet is cut into the mirror.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
Now the woodwork seen throughout the boat is continued here. Note the full-width mirror and the faucet handles which can be more easily turned on and off with wet hands. We like the pushed out counter around the vanity sink which is a popular design touch on motoryachts these days.

Master Stateroom

The master certainly wasn’t left off the improvements list with teak seen both high and low, and clearly also having the cabinets and doors cut from the same piece of wood. The upper and lower cabinets are offset with a white panel that, again, compliments nicely.

Cabo 40 Flybridge
The new master stateroom is also a study in teak offset with white trim and overhead. Note the cabinets port and starboard that make use of the bow flare for added storage.

Clearly, the design team at Cabo knew what they were doing when they decided to step up and improve on the interior of their 40 Flybridge. They took a successful model, and brought it to the forefront of modern décor while still retaining a yacht-like finish that is usually reserved for much larger, and stately boats. Given that fishing boats are not “all about the guys” anymore, we think this is a definite step in the right direction.