Quality build and great handling hallmark the Cabo 52 boat

There are boats, and then there are boats.
And whether you’re into overnight fishing trips between islands or entertaining off Waikiki during the Fourth of July Macfarlane outrigger canoe regatta, there’s nothing like a Cabo.

New from the respected California-based company is the Cabo 52 Express, the largest and most modern Cabo vessel. At 52 feet long, a draft of almost 5 feet and a beam of 17 feet nine inches, the boat can house several people in its cabin for those long fishing trips or a day at sea.

“Cabos always had a reputation as a go anywhere-anytime hull,” says Rick Gaffney, president of Pacific Boats and Yachts at Kona. “The hulls are extremely well built and tough, and they’re capable of going to sea in virtually any conditions, which makes them ideal for the Hawaiian islands.”

The 52 will replace the Cabo Express 45 not only as the largest made by the company, but also through its technical and design improvements.

According to Gaffney, the 52 is more fuel-efficient, more comfortable and practical in the cabin, better in a sea state, and more maneuverable — important elements for the serious fisher.

“Cabos were initially built to meet the needs of the sport fisherman,” Gaffney says. “There are numerous Cabos in the sport fishing fleet in Hawaii that have performed very well.”

Local owners of Cabo boats include Stanford Carr of Stanford Carr Development, Mike Shibuya of Paradise Beverages and Mark Caliri and Mike “McMike” McKenna of Mike McKenna’s Windward Ford.

“The whole thing with Cabo is the quality of the build,” says Caliri, who co-owns a Cabo 43 Flybridge with McKenna. “And as long as they maintain that standard, (the 52) is going to be a beautiful boat.”

Selling for a cool $1.5 to 1.7 million each, the boats are customizable from the engine type down the the fabric inside the cabin. Customers can also choose to have a queen-size bed in the state room or three bunks for more passenger sleeping space.

“The vessels are all semi-custom in that the factory is willing to work with the buyer,” Gaffney says. “There’s an entire interior decorating department at Cabo, and we’ve had clients spend literally days working with their interior decorators to choose fabric colors and options for different state rooms, wall coverings, that sort of thing.”

The boat also allows for several engine options including Twin MAN V12 engines, Twin Caterpillar C-32 engines or Twin MTU 10V 2000 M93 engines.

All the different options and choices for the boat are meant to fit each buyer’s needs, because no two customers are alike, Gaffney says. “Every boat is a compromise,” he says. “It’s not a one size fits all thing.”

For more information on the Cabo 52 Express, visit or

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