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Reviewed: Sabre Yachts 58 Salon Express

The Maine-built Sabre 58 Salon Express has classic lines, a fine finish and 31-knot speed.

September 17, 2020
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Sabre 58 Salon Express
The Sabre 58 Salon Express has an aft-galley setup that easily services guests in the salon and cockpit. Billy Black

The Sabre Yachts motto is “crafted in the Maine tradition,” and the Sabre 58 Salon Express illustrates that motto well. It’s the only American- built, Down East-style yacht in this size range, aside from bespoke vessels.

Everywhere I turned on board the Sabre 58, the company’s 50 years of boatbuilding experience was evident. There was the corner joint in the American cherrywood (not veneer) interior, so seamless that my finger couldn’t find an edge. Same goes for the bank of dovetailed maple drawers in the galley.

The Sabre 58 is the largest model in the builder’s Salon Express line, which includes 38- to 48-footers, but is smaller than the queen of Sabre’s motoryacht fleet, the 66 Dirigo. There are no crew quarters on the Sabre 58, which is designed for owner-operators, a fact that is reflected in the side-deck access door next to the helm seat.

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Sabre 58 Salon Express
The yacht’s hull design is by naval architect Kevin Burns and the Sabre design team. It’s a modified deep-V planing hull form with 15 degrees of deadrise at the transom and 24 degrees amidships. Billy Black

That helm has a joystick for controlling the twin 725 hp Volvo Penta IPS950 diesels. The joystick is in the armrest of the twin Stidd UltraLeather seats abaft the teak steering wheel. The dash has a cantilevered solid plank of cherry holding a tidy row of rocker switches below a pair of flush 17-inch Garmin touchscreen multifunction displays. With an eyebrow to prevent reflections from the windshield and a “glove box” for the skipper, this space is a wooden rendition of a glass-bridge system. A double-wide companion seat is to port.

On this same deck, stainless-steel-framed doors aft fold away for entry to the yacht’s salon, thus removing the usual demarcation between the cockpit and interior. You’ll be in the galley, and yes, it’s the first aft galley on a Sabre. It’s a couple of steps from the cockpit’s dining table, and two steps from the dinette and settee abaft the helm.

Sabre 58 Salon Express
Stairs next to the helm descend to an atrium with a skylight. Beyond that are a hidden washer and dryer, as well as the full-beam master stateroom. Billy Black

But as Bentley Collins, vice president of marketing at Sabre, points out, “If you use your boat for cruising with family and friends, then what better spot to put the galley than smack in the middle between the indoor and outdoor social spaces.”

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Stairs next to the helm descend to an atrium with a skylight. Beyond that are a hidden washer and dryer, as well as the full-beam master stateroom. The stateroom has a 76-by-80-inch king island berth with a 10-inch-thick mattress and an inlaid headboard. In addition to drawers and underberth stowage, nightstands are on each side of the berth, and a pair of cedar-lined hanging lockers have shelves.

Sabre 58 Salon Express
The Sabre 58 Salon Express hull also uses the latest technology of resin-infused biaxial glass, Corecell foam coring, and foam-cored biaxial glass stringers. Billy Black

Forward of the vestibule is the VIP space, with a walk-around queen berth, a built-in bureau and a double-door hanging locker. The VIP’s en suite head has a stall shower with a door and doubles as the day-head, with access from the vestibule. A third stateroom has an en suite head with a shower and twin berths that convert to a double.

Underway, the dynamic-positioning system should come in handy when waiting for bridge openings. The engine room, reached via a stainless-steel ladder by way of a hydraulic cockpit hatch, has a nonslip walkway between the engines. An oil-change system serves the engines, pod drives and 21.5 kW generator. Other items of note here are a pair of 85-foot Glendinning shore-power cords, an isolation transfer on each shore-power service, and a 3.5 kW Mastervolt high-output inverter/charger for onboard power sans generator. There is arm’s-reach access to everything, including the dual Racor Max 1000 fuel filters and the Groco water-intake strainers—not to mention a gloss-white, Mylar-faced foam noise barrier.

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Sabre 58 Salon Express
The builder added more space than usual for provisions, with cabinets far above the galley countertops. Billy Black

The Sabre 58 is delivered with a CZone NMEA 2000 networked electrical system that combines onboard Wi-Fi as well as digital switching. Owners can monitor systems and control a multitude of circuits using the provided iPad Mini. (A second iPad Mini is optional.) Launch ports are installed in the salon. The master stateroom has a fixed-network display, and another is in the engine room.

According to Sabre, the 58′s top speed is 31 knots; during the boat’s first cruise from Maine to the Miami International Boat Show in February, it averaged 28 knots from the Shinnecock Canal off Long Island, New York, to Norfolk, Virginia, a distance of about 370 nautical miles over the course of 13 and a half hours. As Collins says, “That’s cruising.”

Sabre 58 Salon Express
The Sabre 58’s Down East heritage is immediately evident in the cherrywood interior, proud bow and trunk-cabin design. Billy Black

Due to the boat’s sound-attenuation insulation, noise levels barely touch 60 dB(A) at the helm—that’s the level of normal conversation—while cruising at 28 knots, according to the builder. Efforts to reduce noise include the use of coring on cabin sides and engine-room bulkheads, as well as tabbing all furniture into place.

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Sabre Yachts is entering its 50th year in business, and the Sabre 58 Salon Express embodies the builder’s knowledge base, classic lines and modern use of technology. This yacht is as modern as it is timeless.

Take the next step: sabreyachts.com

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