POINTS OF INTEREST
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.