Hull number one of the new Sabre 58 Salon Express is scheduled to leave Portland, Maine, on Monday and cruise south. The latest Down East cruiser from Sabre, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will make its public debut at the Miami yacht show, starting Feb. 13, and then appear again at the Palm Beach show, starting March 26.
The new 58, with a low profile and clean, classic lines, arrived at DiMillo’s in Portland just before Christmas and has been undergoing sea trials with Sabre’s design and engineering staff. The trials, on Casco Bay, showed that the boat is unusually quiet and fuel-efficient. Indeed, at its 26-knot cruising speed, the sound reading at the helm was a very low 59 dB(A). Even at its wide-open-throttle speed of 31.1 knots, the sound level registered only 64 dB(A), a reflection of the boat’s solid construction.
For fuel efficiency, at 26.7 knots, the twin 725-hp Volvos burned 57 gph, for a range of 337 nm. If you want to run at a trawler speed of 7.4 knots, the range goes up to 1,269 nm. Even at its 31.1 knot top speed (impressive for a 58-foot cruising boat), the range is 299 nm.
Although it has a traditional varnished cherry interior and a teak and holly sole, the 58 also has sophisticated state-of-the-art CZone fully networked electrical controls with onboard WiFi and digital switching systems; you can even use an iPad Mini to control all the systems from anywhere on the boat. (This is similar to the networked systems on the Sabre 66 flagship that I joined briefly for its delivery from Maine to Miami four years ago.)
As a first for Sabre, the 58 has the galley aft, on the port side of the salon and easily accessible from the cockpit. Sabre designers also moved the windshield a bit farther forward than usual, making the salon seem larger, and the windshield merges with the side windows for an almost wraparound effect.
For comfortable owner-operated cruising, the 58 has three staterooms below, all with en suite heads and showers. The master is full-beam amidships, with a king island berth set athwartships on the starboard side; the head is opposite. The VIP stateroom is forward, with a low queen island berth. The guest stateroom is on the starboard side, with two berths that can be connected to form a queen.
In the salon, a U-shaped lounge and varnished table are on the port side, opposite a three-person settee. The helm has two matching seats, and a door opening to the starboard side deck. A two-person bench seat is to port. Aft, a door opens fully to the cockpit, merging the interior and exterior areas of the boat.
The 58’s hull has a modest 15 degree deadrise at the transom, and it’s powered by twin Volvo IPS950 pod drives with joystick controls for easy maneuvering and docking. It also has Volvo’s Interceptor automatic trim system and dynamic positioning system. A Seakeeper gyrostabilizer is optional.
Sabre expects to build about eight new 58s a year at its plants in Raymond and Rockland, Maine. The Rockland plant also builds Back Cove Yachts, Sabre’s sister company, and is now working on the new outboard-powered Back Cove 39O. All told, Sabre and Back Cove make about 120 boats a year, representing a major success story for a privately owned company that started out with a single 28-foot sailboat half a century ago.
Specs.: LOA: 63’9”; Beam: 16’2”; Draft: 4’9”; Disp.: 63,000 lbs.; Fuel: 800 gals.; Water: 250 gals.; Power: 2×725-hp Volvo IPS950 pod drives.