POINTS OF IN­TER­EST

Yachting - - REVIEWED - Take the next step: sabrey­achts.com

1. The gal­ley has a three-stool bar setup for break­fast time or cock­tail hour. 2. The 68C is a good-size boat for a home dock, and she draws a canal- and ma­rina-friendly 5 feet 5 inches. 3. The teak helm pod is an op­tion, but Vik­ing re­ports that most peo­ple get it. 4. The cock­pit has in-sole fish boxes, a tran­som livewell, a tuna door and rod stowage. 5. The mas­ter state­room has a hang­ing locker as well as stowage be­neath the berth. 6. The 68C is a fish­ing boat at heart, though her sa­lon is set up well for liv­ing aboard with crea­ture com­forts.

be­fore you step aboard Sabre’s 66 Dirigo Fly­bridge, throw away the stan­dard meth­ods of judg­ing a yacht. Hold off on the tour through the state­rooms, pok­ing around the gal­ley and sit­ting in the helm seat. ¶ First, step into the sa­lon and run your fin­gers lightly over the fluted pil­lars, with Amer­i­can cherry join­ery. Go to the gal­ley, where ev­ery locker, drawer front and the fridge has raised pan­els, a hall­mark of fine cab­i­netry. Each drawer is hand­crafted maple with dove­tail joints that should hold to­gether for decades, even with­out glue. Ev­ery state­room door is arched and hear­kens back to Ho­ra­tio Horn­blower days. Sure, square doors would have been faster and cheaper to build. And the yard could have used in­ex­pen­sive, pre­formed draw­ers. But that isn’t the Sabre Yachts way. The com­pany motto is “Crafted in the Maine Tra­di­tion.” ¶ Ev­ery Dirigo (Latin for “I lead” and the motto of Maine) is a semi­cus­tom cre­ation. She comes from the boards of in-house de­signer Kevin Burns (see side­bar) and is avail­able as a Sa­lon Ex­press or as the Fly­bridge ver­sion we tested. This new Sabre flag­ship is 14 feet longer than the now-re­tired Sabre 54, and the added length makes her even more grace­ful, car­ry­ing the fly­bridge with­out adding bulk. ¶ Most builders would con­vert that ex­tra length into ad­di­tional state­rooms, but Sabre gave more gen­er­ous amounts of space to the ex­ist­ing three state­rooms and sa­lon. The mas­ter spans the yacht’s 18-foot beam and in­cludes a walk-in closet, a 6-foot sofa, and a shower stall that’s more than 4 feet wide. ¶ The yacht’s sa­lon is also an airy re­treat, with 6-foot-2-inch head­room and six open­ing win­dows for panoramic views from the 10-foot couch and loose chairs. Dou­ble-wide slid­ing doors open to the cock­pit, where there is an­other high-low din­ing table and set­tee, and a clever touch

is the glass-en­closed stair­way to the bridge — so the sa­lon view isn’t blocked. Just in­side the slid­ers are a wet bar and fridge. ¶ The helm is an open pi­lot­house, raised slightly to pro­vide the skip­per with wrap­around vis­i­bil­ity. An L-shaped set­tee for com­pan­ions is to port of the helm con­sole, which has room for four dis­plays. The skip­per has a joy­stick con­trol in the arm­rest of the Stidd helm seat. ¶ As you step down to the gal­ley, ad­mire the com­pli­cated handrail, sup­ported by fluted newel posts, that wraps non­stop from the helm, past the gal­ley and down to the mas­ter state­room. The gal­ley runs fore and aft to star­board, with a Wolf four-burner cook­top, Sub-Zero fridge with freezer draw­ers, and gran­ite coun­ter­tops. ¶ Op­po­site the gal­ley is the VIP state­room with an athwartships queen berth, an en suite head and shower, and slid­ing shoji screens over the ports for pri­vacy. For­ward, the third state­room has a dou­ble berth that splits elec­tri­cally into twin berths as needed. This state­room has ac­cess to the day-head, as well as a pri­vate shower com­part­ment to port. ¶ Note­wor­thy de­tails in­clude the pump room un­der the gal­ley sole that has step-in ac­cess to sys­tems and plumb­ing. Re­dun­dancy is a by­word for the Sabre 66, be­cause you don’t want the air con­di­tion­ing or fresh wa­ter to go out on a cruise, so there are back­ups in­stalled, and the au­dio­vi­sual cab­i­net in the com­pan­ion­way has elec­tron­ics on slid­ing racks for easy ser­vice. ¶ The fly­bridge is tra­di­tional with the helm con­sole for­ward, an L-shaped set­tee wrap­ping around an elec­tric high-low din­ing table, and a con­sole with a grill, sink and two-drawer fridge. With a fiber­glass hard­top, the bridge can be en­closed for all-weather use. ¶ Power for this yacht is twin 900 hp Volvo Penta IPS1200 drives with D13 diesels. A cock­pit hatch leads to the full-head­room engine room with space on all sides of the en­gines. A pair of Onan Quiet se­ries gen­er­a­tors pro­vide 21.5 kW on the pri­mary and 13.4 kW on the sec­ondary unit. Switch­ing be­tween AC shore and gen­er­a­tor power is au­to­matic, and a Master­volt 3.4 kW high-out­put in­verter/charger backs up the stand-alone 100-amp charger. ¶ The Sabre 66 Dirigo is sur­pris­ingly quick, con­sid­er­ing the 40-ish tons of fine wood­work and ameni­ties. Our test boat had a 24.6-knot cruise speed while her en­gines burned 63 gph. The skip­per of our test ves­sel says he av­er­aged 24 knots from Maine to Flor­ida at 65 gph. ¶ A wealth of thought­ful touches, fine crafts­man­ship and clas­sic styling should make the Sabre 66 Dirigo time­less.

Step into the sa­lon and run your fin­gers lightly over the fluted pil­lars with Amer­i­can cherry join­ery. Go to the gal­ley, where ev­ery locker, drawer front and the fridge has raised pan­els, a hall­mark of fine cab­i­netry. Each drawer is hand­crafted maple.

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