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The Sabre 45 Salon Express pairs classic good looks with Volvo Penta IPS power. - Yachts International
The Sabre 45 Salon Express pairs classic good looks with Volvo Penta IPS power.

Stoutly built, intelligently designed and handsome, the Sabre 45 Salon Express fills the gap between the builder’s 42 and 48. Sabre’s design team, true to its Maine roots, relied on traditional New England style outside and inside. The team also set performance goals from the start that drove the rest of the yacht’s naval architecture.

“The hull form drives everything else, not the size of the forward berth at the shoulders,” says Kevin Burns, vice president of design and product development. “So, we don’t have to change the shape of the hull to accommodate the interior. We don’t have a CEO saying we have to fit three more beds into this hull.”

Burns and his team gave the 45 a warped bottom—the degree of V changes gradually from bow to transom—that ends in a deadrise of 16 degrees. The goals were comfort in a seaway, speed and fuel economy. Computational fluid dynamics helped to achieve all three, as did design engineering characteristics in the after sections that came from Volvo Penta, to accommodate IPS drives.

Sabre builds the boat with E-glass over Corecell foam that’s infused with vinylester resin and vacuum bagged. The yard uses the Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) as opposed to the Seamann Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process (SCRIMP). Sabre says the VIP method provides an advantage over SCRIMP in the fiber-to-resin ratio.

Not that building technique is the first thing that comes to mind upon first sight of the 45; tied up at the end of a finger float in Newport, Rhode Island, her traditional good looks stand out in a sea of trendy boats.

The Sabre 45 Salon Express rides on a warped-V hull designed for comfort in a seaway, speed and fuel economy.    

The Sabre 45 Salon Express rides on a warped-V hull designed for comfort in a seaway, speed and fuel economy.    

On board, her U-shaped settee hard against the transom seems like a perfect spot for breakfast just after sunrise in a favorite anchorage, or for a nightcap under a full moon. A bench against the after bulkhead to starboard ought to be the best perch for letting the 45’s wake mesmerize guests.

A polished stainless steel and glass door opens to the salon and pilothouse. Natural light streams through glass and sets the cherry joinery aglow. Settees, a straight bench to port and an L-shaped one opposite form a space for conversation, dining and entertainment. A high-definition TV rises from a cabinet.

A polished stainless steel-framed glass door opens onto the salon/pilothouse. Abundant natural light streaming through the glazing sets the cherry joinery aglow.   

A polished stainless steel-framed glass door opens onto the salon/pilothouse. Abundant natural light streaming through the glazing sets the cherry joinery aglow.   

At the helm, two Stidd seats face the cherry dashboard and teak-rimmed steering wheel. Two 17-inch glass-bridge displays from Volvo Penta and Garmin blend with the varnished woodwork. Outboard of the helm, a swing door opens onto the side deck, giving the helmsman an easy way to help with lines while the IPS holds the boat on station.

A pair of Stidd seats face the cherry helm console. Two Volvo/Garmin 17-inch displays stare back at you and blend with the varnished woodwork. A swing door opens onto the side deck.    

A pair of Stidd seats face the cherry helm console. Two Volvo/Garmin 17-inch displays stare back at you and blend with the varnished woodwork. A swing door opens onto the side deck.    

Although the galley is two steps below the bridge deck (Sabre refers to the positioning as a half-up galley), the space basks in the light from the pilothouse windshield and side windows. Countertops surround a stainless steel sink and two-burner induction cooktop. The galley also has a two-drawer refrigerator, single-drawer freezer, convection microwave and stowage for dry goods, flatware, dishes and glassware.

The master stateroom fills the forepeak with a centerline berth, cedar-lined hanging locker, four-drawer bureau, cabinets and head. A guest stateroom is amidships to starboard. Its twin berths push together to form a double, and its head doubles as a day head for the yacht. For owners who only need a master, the guest stateroom can convert to an office.

The 45’s stick-built interior rests on a molded composite substructure. This construction method adds stiffness to the hull and permits the variety of joinery that gives the interior its ambience. All the cabin soles are teak and holly. Through a hatch cut into the salon’s sole is a nicely finished space that can be a laundry room, additional refrigeration, stowage or any custom use. On the 45 that I sea-trialed, this area housed an optional Seakeeper gyrostabilizer.

The Sabre 45 Salon Express paints a pretty picture on any dock or at any anchorage. Her classic good looks belie her contemporary construction and efficient hull form.    

The Sabre 45 Salon Express paints a pretty picture on any dock or at any anchorage. Her classic good looks belie her contemporary construction and efficient hull form.    

Underway in Narragansett Bay, the wind blew an average of about 6 knots out of the south-southwest. We encountered a light chop in one area and 3-foot seas in another. These minor annoyances didn’t disturb the Sabre’s composure. Steering remained light and positive, and Volvo Penta’s integrated automatic trim system kept the yacht on an even keel. Sabre programmed the system to limit the degree of heel during tight, high-speed turns, helping the boat maintain speed and allowing the helmsman to see the horizon and nearby boats from a standing position.

Timeless styling, sensible performance and a classy interior: that’s the Sabre 45 Salon Express.

For more information: sabreyachts.com

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