Sabre Yachts has just started sea trials on its new 66-foot flagship Dirigo on Penobscot Bay in Maine to test its twin Volvo 900-hp engines and all the yacht’s systems before heading south to deliver it to the owner in Palm Beach and then the Miami boat show. Dirigo, in case you’re wondering, means “I lead” in Latin; it’s also the motto for the state of Maine, where all Sabres are built. It’s particularly appropriate for the new 66-foot express-style yacht, since the largest Sabre so far is a 54-footer. The move up to 66 feet comes after owners told the company they wanted a larger yacht; indeed, the owner of Dirigo has owned a 54 for several years.
The new 66 also fits into Sabre owners’ desires to have a boat they can operate themselves, as opposed to hiring a professional captain or crew. The yacht has Volvo’s joystick-controlled IPS 3 pod drives, which make docking fingertip-easy. It also has a large door opening on the starboard side of the salon, opposite the helm, for easy access to the wide side decks for line handling or docking.
With three cabins and three heads, the 66 can hold a large family or lots of friends. The full-beam owner’s stateroom is midships and it’s huge. When I climbed aboard the boat in August at the factory in Rockland I was surprised by all the walk-around space there, despite the king-sized bed and the comfortable settee, both with end tables. The salon is bright, with windows all around; the three front windows provide lots of light to the lower galley, which seems to be set inside an atrium. An electrically operated sunroof lets in even more light to the salon.
Designed by Sabre vice president Kevin Burns, the new flagship keeps the company’s classic Downeast lines, with a low profile and long sheerline plus a reverse sloped transom. The hull is a modified V with a 16-degree deadrise at the transom and downward-turning chines and spray rails.
In keeping with the owner-operator theme, Dirigo comes with Volvo’s DPS positioning system and Interceptor trim tabs. Two gensets, a 21.5 kW primary and a 13.5 kW secondary, should provide all the electrical needs underway or at anchor. And a hydraulic swim platform, with a 1,200-pound dinghy lift, should make going ashore as pleasant as possible.
LOA: 67’ 10”
Beam: 18’ 1”
Disp.: 82,500 lbs.
Fuel: 1,000 gals.
Water: 300 gals.
Power: 2x Volvo IPS 111 1200
Price: On request
Contact: sabreyachts.com; (207) 655-3831