In six short weeks, the 51st Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show begins, and Cabo Yachts will be premiering a hot new ride when it opens: the 44 Hard Top Express. Unlike older Cabo Express designs, this one will have a fully-integrated three-sided enclosure under the top. That provides a helm-deck that’s not just completely protected from the elements, but also has enhanced visibility, because the huge wrap-around windshield’s integration with the top eliminates the need for those pesky eye-blocking excess framing and pipework supports.
The new 44 HTX hits the water with 47’7” LOA, a beam of 16’6”, and a displacement of 46,000 pounds. That’s significantly different than the model it replaces, Cabo’s current 45 Express (which is 48’1” by 15’8” and displaces 33,100 pounds); with nearly a foot more beam, an additional stateroom, and a much more substantial superstructure on the helmdeck, the new 44 is in reality a good deal larger than the 45. The 44 HTX’s introduction is also a nice change of pace for an industry that often sees old models repackaged and introduced as “new”. It shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Cabo, though, since this boatbuilder has always fed us a steady diet of cool new designs on a regular basis.
The belowdecks arrangement may be even more unusual than the hard top design. As you’d expect there’s a master stateroom in the bow, but Cabo has moved the galley all the way aft in the cabin. With a settee/dinette to port and a head forward on the starboard side, the aft starboard area is then enclosed to create a second room. You can opt to have it fitted out as a stateroom or, as die-hard anglers will choose, as a dedicated tackle room with multiple rodracks, tackle drawers, and bulk stowage—sweet dreams, treasured Internationals.
Continuing an industry trend, the 44 HTX also features a cockpit mezzanine despite being in the under-50 class. And its cockpit is clearly dedicated fish-catching territory, with standard-issue integrated fishboxes, a tackle station, and a transom livewell.
Just how much will the 44 HTX cost you? Cabo hasn’t announced the details just yet, but they say that pricing on this new model will be “aggressive”. In six short weeks, we’ll know exactly what that means. And in the meantime, if you want to keep up to date on this boat’s intro sign up to follow Cabo on Facebook—last month they gave away a free Cabo T-shirt for guessing hull number one’s boot stripe color. Check it out, at www.caboyachts.com.