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This Boston Whaler photo is being used in advertising to tout the builder's unsinkable boats. For this version of its ongoing promotion, the largest boat in the fleet, the 370 Outrage, was swamped and then loaded with more than 40 employees behind the Edgewater, Fla., plant. A video of the photo shoot is available on the Boston Whaler website at

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Cabo 44 HTX: comfort meets hardcore fishing

With its enclosed bridge deck and large two-stateroom cabin, the new Cabo 44 HTX (Hardtop Express) represents the latest in express sportfishing design, according to the builder.

"We kept the core sportfishing DNA in the 44 and really advanced the boat from a comfort standpoint," Cabo vice president of sales Don Smith says. "In the past, the boat would go to a subcontractor and they would install a hardtop or tower. By putting the hardtop on ourselves, we feel like we're offering a better package."

The front and side windshields that enclose the bridge deck extend to the hardtop. The design not only protects the crew from the elements, but it also improves visibility because there are no plastic filler curtains or hardtop framing to obstruct sightlines, Smith says. The side windows open for ventilation and the boat can be ordered with bridge deck air conditioning.

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Michael Peters designed the hull, which has a sharp entry and variable deadrise. "It's an excellent boat in a head sea and in a following sea," Smith says. "It has very stable running characteristics. There are absolutely no surprises."

Peters has penned five other Cabo models from 32 to 52 feet. His other sportfishing designs include the EdgeWater 37, five models from Contender, and the Garlington 78.

With twin 1,050-hp Caterpillar C18 diesels, the 44 HTX tops out at 38 knots (2,300 rpm) and settles in at 1,900 rpm for a 30.5-knot cruise.

Wondering about pod-drive propulsion? "We certainly investigated [pods]," Smith says. "They are popular on our 40 Express and 40 Flybridge, but with the displacement of this boat the gearing of the current pods would have to be reduced, so we wouldn't gain the same type of efficiency as on the 40 Express." The builder does offer the ZF Marine Joystick Maneuvering System, which brings joystick control to inboard boats.

The 44 replaces the Cabo 45 in the company's lineup. The new boat is 10 inches beamier, which allowed a redesign of the cabin, Smith says. The galley was moved aft and from the port to the starboard side of the saloon. "You get a larger galley area and a lot more counter space," Smith says.

Cabo also moved the second stateroom, which abutted the forward master stateroom on the 45, to starboard. The head now separates the two staterooms for increased privacy. That second stateroom also can be used as an "angler's room" with a Pullman berth, rod racks and a hanging locker, Smith says.

The cockpit is equipped with a standard bait-and-tackle center, 56-gallon bait well, a mezzanine with integrated storage, and an aluminum plate in the sole for a fighting chair.

The 44 HTX's base price with the twin Cats is $1.05 million. With standard 715-hp Cummins diesels, it's $949,000. Contact: Cabo Yachts, (252) 637-2226.

-    Chris Landry

Imagining a better life jacket

The BoatU.S. Foundation is again calling for out-of-the-box thinking with its "Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition." Entries will be judged on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation. The deadline to enter is Feb. 1.

In early February, videos of all entries will be posted online at the BoatU.S. Foundation's channel. The public will be asked to select a group of finalists, and those entries will be reviewed March 6-9 by a special panel of judges.

A $5,000 award goes to the winning designer. For information, log on to Foundation/lifejacketdesign.

Row, row, row the Atlantic

The Woodvale Challenge is looking for adventure-seeking rowers for its Atlantic Allum Cup, a trans-Atlantic row set to start Jan. 12. At press time, three teams had entered the 2,600-mile race from the Canary Islands to Barbados. Rowing strength, route selection, reaction to situations and a degree of luck with the weather will come into play.

The three entries are Britannia III, a 14-man boat; Audeamus, an eight-woman boat; and Oystershack, a six-man boat. For information, visit the Woodvale website at

In Our Wake

The four-masted bark Olive Thurlow left Charleston, S.C., in fair weather Nov. 27, 1902, with seven crewmembers and 430,000 feet of hard pine lumber - 37,000 feet of it on deck. She ran into a gale Dec. 1 off North Carolina's Cape Lookout. When the captain tripped over the tiller gear and broke his leg, the mate carried him below, splinted the leg and turned the ship for shore, where the captain was offloaded. As the remaining crew anchored in a cove to weather the storm, the winds shifted and the ship began taking on water. "A big sea stove in the fore deckhouse. Then the deck load went over," the mate told the press. The ship rapidly began to take on water and the crew climbed into the mizzen rigging. One crewman was killed when a broken topmast struck him. The remaining crewmembers were rescued, but the ship broke apart and sank. Today, the Olive Thurlow's anchor is on display at the Cape Lookout National Seashore on Harkers Island, N.C.

This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue.