Two hours into the fight, you finally see the glow stick zinging back and forth below the boat. The silhouette of a bigeye tuna-certainly more than 100 pounds and maybe your biggest ever-comes into view.
Another 20 minutes playing tug of war, and the fish is within gaffing range.
Your buddy gets ready to strike and you're wondering how the heck you're going to help him outmuscle the Herculean psychotic squid-killer when, after this epic battle, you can barely turn the crank on a 50 International. You wish you had a boat with coffin-size fishboxes in the deck, so you could just drag the fish through the transom door and slide it into the ice pack. Damn, why didn't you buy the CABO 48 Sportfish? This boat brings you the ultimate in integrated in-deck fishboxes, with twin 61⁄2'-long, 72-gallon holds, backed with an inch of foam insulation and capped off by gas assisted struts on the hatches. Want more icing on this cake? You're about to have a sugar rush-the hatch backs are finished in Awlgrip; both boxes are gasketed and guttered; and macerators pump them out. You want ice to magically appear on top of your fish every time you drop them in? Cough up another $11,000 and CABO will plumb a shaved-ice icemaker to the box.
There's more to love about this cockpit: five standard gunwale-mounted rodholders, locking boxes under each, coaming bolsters, a plate laminated into the deck for your fighting chair, a tackle station with three drawers, a bait cooler ($3,680 makes it a freezer), a rigging station with sink and cutting board, fresh- and raw-water washdowns, and a 48-gallon lighted livewell (we wish the light were red, not white, to preserve night vision). Naturally you expect all these goodies on a million-dollar sportfishing machine. But those fishboxes? If you expect them, you're going to be disappointed on most boats in this class.
One gripe about the cockpit: In designing the 48 Sportfish, CABO lost overall cockpit space compared to its own 47 Flybridge Sportfish. It drops from 156 square feet to 144. And even though this drop is less than 10 percent, it's noticeable. Livewell size also took a hit, going from 62 to 48 gallons. Still, compare the 48 Sportfish cockpit's 144 square feet to the 135 aboard the Viking 48 ($950,000 with 860bhp inboards) or the 120 square feet in Bertram's 450 Convertible (just under $900,000 with twin 800-bhp diesels). Overall, the CABO 48 Sportfish's cockpit still shines. Why did this cockpit shrink in the first place? Look to the cabin, which has a three stateroom layout. The 47 Flybridge Sportfish has two staterooms. Note that the two CABO's share the same displacement and LOA, so this is a pretty clear-cut tradeoff of fishing space for cabin space. But the cabin enhancement is significant and consists of more than the addition of a pair of over-under berths. Examine with a close eye and you'll note that the entire interior is a cut above, with touches like bird's-eye maple tabletops; AM/FM/CD stereos, DVD players, and flat-screen TVs distributed throughout the salon and cabins; and joinery work fit for a governor's mansion. There's even a standard electronic wall safe belowdecks.
|Day fishing? Night fishing? Either way, this battlewagon is fully equipped for your mission. Top end 43.3 mph|
The 48 Sportfish's construction is also well above par. All resins are vinylester, which is the most expensive but the least permeable resin. The decks and superstructure are cored. And the entire hull of this boat is vacuum bagged, not just parts of it. Few builders go this far to ensure the absolute best resin-to-glass ratio. Stringers forward of the engine room bulkhead are foam cored. Aft stringers add a layer of marine plywood. Under the engine bearers, solid steel plates are laminated in place to support the 2,100-hp iron horses. As usual, CABO's unsurpassed wiring is military rigid, perfectly loomed and labeled, and hidden behind dedicated runs. The engine room sports a freshwater washdown, a massive 31⁄2" crash pump for emergency water evacuation, and a notch carved into the entry that holds ear protection gear for those venturing belowdecks when the powerplants are growling.
If you took the time, you could find most of this stuff for yourself at any major boat show. Just do a brain pump on a CABO rep, carefully inspect the boat, and give CABO's brochures a thorough read. Maybe you've already done these things, but there's one more thing you must check out: Look for the overhead access hatch in the starboardside stateroom. Arm yourself with a small flashlight and pop that hatch. You'll see and be able to access the air-conditioning chillers, which are the reason this hatch exists. But now push your head up. This is a small opening designed to accommodate hands, not heads, so you'll have to slide the flashlight up past your chin and hold it in your mouth. Now tilt your head back and move it to the right until the flashlight illuminates the back of the salon's flatscreen T.V. At the top, you'll see a huge aluminum L-bracket. On other boats I've seen brackets this size supporting full-size refrigerators. But all that it's holding in place here is a flat-screen set, which weighs a tenth of a refrigerator. Overbuilt? You bet, and that TV support shows you just how serious CABO is about making its boats strong.
The 48 Sportfish's overall structure is beefed up in a big way by glassing the interior module into the hull, creating a boat that is essentially a single structure. You can feel the effect of building a boat with these techniques when you start chomping through three-to-four-foot rollers, something I encountered on test day, without rattling or vibrating. I rank the ride in the top 10 percent of all the sportfishermen of this size I've been on, and I know you will, too. I did experience an odd vibration. when going through 2200 rpm, which I'm pretty sure was coming from the running gear. CABO's engineers are already working on it, and the smart money says they'll have the glitch cleared up by the time this article hits the newsstands. Lest we forget, CABO not only makes them strong, it makes them smart, too. Rarely seen features like an electric fuel priming pump, dual engine-room circulation fans, and a standard oil exchange system make maintenance easier and show a lot of foresight.
One more note about the ride-it's fast. Cruising at 2100 rpm, I maintained 38.6 mph and hit 43.3 mph at wide open. That's almost as fast as that tuna will be going when he feels the sting of your hook-and almost as fast as I'll come running if you invite me along. I'll bring the glow sticks.