About Sabre Yachts

The Sabre Yachts Story

Sabre Yachts has been crafting luxury yachts since 1970 when the company’s founder set out to build the finest possible 28-foot sailing yacht using production line methods and fiberglass technology. Over the next 40 years, sailboat models from 28 to 45 feet were introduced. In 1989 Sabre debuted the Sabreline 36 “Fast Trawler,” a tri-cabin motoryacht with the spaciousness and comfort of the trawler design but with substantially better performance than traditional trawler hulls. This launched Sabre’s industry-leading motor yacht range.

In March 1995, Sabre acquired North End Composites of Rockland, Maine, a major manufacturer of marine molds and production fiberglass parts. In 2002, North End Composites began building the Back Cove Yachts range of small to medium sized, single diesel engine motor yachts. Today, more than 200 associates build the Back Cove range, which spans 30 to 41 feet in length.

Today Sabre produces powerboat models from 38 to 66 feet in length with Salon Express and Fly Bridge variations. All current Sabre models are constructed using our state-of-the-art, VIP resin infusion technology. Sabre’s boat building yards are located in both Raymond, and Rockland, Maine.  In the Raymond facility, 150 associates build motor yacht models from 38 to 54 feet in length. The Sabre 66 Dirigo is crafted out of Sabre’s Rockland location due to spatial requirements and its proximity to launch facilities. 

Through the years Sabre has listened carefully to its owners and dealerships and has continuously refined each product with a Model Year Improvement program. Sabre motor yachts are sold worldwide, through a network of professional dealerships chosen for their reputation, location, and the quality of their sales and after sales service.

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Crafted in the Maine Tradition

Crafted in the Maine Tradition

Sabre Team with 100th Sabre 48Sabre Yachts is renowned for our classic designs, industry-leading quality, and nautically sensible style. That reputation begins with our craftspeople and associates. Their unceasing demonstration of artistry, dedication, and craftsmanship make Sabre a criterion of the global boating industry and honors the centuries-old boatbuilding tradition of the State of Maine – hence the company motto, “Crafted in the Maine Tradition.”

Sabre Yachts, in conjunction with sister company Back Cove Yachts, employs more than 350 Maine craftspeople. Our associates continuously demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their role and its influence on the final product, and nearly a third of the Sabre production team has been with the company for over a decade. Low employment turnover, an emphasis on safe procedures and cross training, and a thorough awareness of each model’s competitive position in the marketplace have enabled Sabre to exceed today’s high standards of excellence in manufacturing and design.

Through a series of quarterly meetings and regular team luncheons, associates are updated on changing business conditions, the company’s position in the marketplace,  and sales data & goals. They also receive information regarding best-practice changes, new safety regulations, and discuss quality and warranty claims. Additionally, these meetings are used to acknowledge exemplary associates and celebrate notable tenure anniversaries.

The production of every Sabre yacht is monitored by an extensive Quality Assurance program. Each yacht is assigned a “Boat Parent” who follows the boat through the manufacturing process, acting as the “eyes” of the consumer. All purchased parts and sub-assemblies are checked as they enter production, and each boat is given a 600-point inspection over six separate stages of the building process. All of our suppliers are chosen for their superior reputations and product excellence. As the yacht nears completion, a 12-page report is prepared by Sabre’s Lead Inspector, along with a full technical inspection of all mechanical and electrical systems. Finally, a Gold Inspection is performed by the Boat Parent, meant to judge the overall quality, feel, and appearance of the boat.

When the yacht arrives at her dealership, a detailed Commissioning Checklist is completed, and a detailed report is sent back to Sabre Yachts. This process ensures that all systems are functioning to Sabre’s satisfaction when the yacht is delivered into service. Should clients or dealers report a problem, no matter how large or small, Sabre’s After Sales representatives work with the servicing yard to address them immediately. Our After Sales team also generates a Customer Quality Report (CQR) which is circulated to all appropriate members of the Management, Engineering, and Production teams.

For more information about our company or our yachts, please feel welcome to Contact Us

Design Philosophy

Sabre’s Design Philosophy

“The architectural concept of ‘informed simplicity’ is something that I carry around with me. It’s both a goal and an approach to design. At Sabre, each design must be a boat first, and that mandate informs the lines, shapes and spaces that eventually grow into a new model. I think that Sabre has challenged people’s notion of what ‘Downeast’ can be.  Not to say the designs don’t carry the timeless Downeast appeal – they do – but there’s almost a flirtation with irreverence that speaks to the fact that we’re not afraid to push boundaries if it results in a better boat.”

– Kevin Burns, VP of Product Development and Design

The Sabre range is a development of the comfort and tradition of the Downeast style, blended with the performance of a contemporary motoryacht. The Sabre range today consists of two boat styles. The classically styled Fly Bridge with upper and lower helm stations, and Salon Express models with enclosed helm decks and spacious cockpits. This diversity of product styles makes the Sabre range one of the most flexible and versatile ranges in the boating industry today.

At low engine speeds, the Sabre range is very fuel efficient and at speeds of 8-10 knots, where trawler yachts operate, low-speed gunkholing is a pleasure. But it is when conditions or time allow for higher speed that the performance of the Sabre’s deep-vee hulls truly comes into its own.Typical cruising speeds, with average weight and conditions, are in the 20-knot range and top speeds, with average load and conditions, are around 30 knots. Higher speeds are available on some specific models. In rough sea conditions, the spray rails and chines of the Sabre hull keep the deck and windshield dry.   

Leadership

Sabre’s Management Team

ED MILLER – Chairman

Ed Miller was a Vice President at Rothschild Inc. in New York, from 1972 to 1980. Then founded Island Couriers and in less than eight years developed this express delivery service in 22 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. He sold the company to Federal Express in 1987 and went on to serve as President of the newly created Federal Express (Caribbean and South America) Ltd. He is currently the Chairman of Westwind Management. Ed holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

DANIEL ZILKHA – Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Daniel Zilkha was founding partner in Soditic S.A., a Geneva-based investment bank. He moved to New York in 1973 and was the founder and publisher of Art & Auction Magazine. Daniel came to Portland, Maine, from New York in 1983 and has been involved with several Maine companies. He is currently a partner in Ram Euro Centers as well as being fully involved in the day-to-day operations of Sabre Yachts, Back Cove Yachts, and North End Composites. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

AARON CRAWFORD – President & Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Aaron Crawford is responsible for manufacturing operations as well as supervising engineering, customer service, and warranty. Aaron is a 20 year veteran of the marine industry, holding positions with Sparkman & Stephens Yacht Design, Carroll Marine Ltd., and Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats before joining Sabre Yachts. Aaron attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and is a graduate of the Landing School of Yacht Design based in Kennebunkport, Maine. In addition to his extensive industry experience, Crawford has logged several thousand miles of offshore sailing, racing and motor yacht experience.

NANCY BASSELET – Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Nancy Basselet has been with Sabre Yachts since 1977, making her the company’s longest tenured officer. Nancy initially joined the Sabre purchasing team and continued on to develop experience and expertise in all of the departments she now oversees. As Sabre’s Chief Financial Officer, Nancy supervises the company’s financial, purchasing, and personnel operations. Nancy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Maine. 

BENTLEY COLLINS – Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Bentley Collins joined Sabre in 1993, after a ten-year tenure with Beneteau’s affiliates in the USA and Canada, most recently as the Marketing Coordinator for Beneteau USA. Before 1980, Bentley operated as an independent yacht broker located in Montreal, Canada. As Sabre’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Bentley’s responsibilities include dealership development, market analysis, digital marketing, advertising, and public relations.

KEVIN BURNS – Vice President Design and Product Development

Kevin Burns is a former US Merchant Marine Officer and was born and raised in Ohio where he was educated at Miami University before moving east to begin his career in yacht design. Kevin studied engineering while serving in the United States Coast Guard, and went on to graduate from the Design Program at the Landing School of Yacht Design. He served as a Naval Architect with Setzer Design Group in North Carolina before joining  Sabre Yachts & Back Cove Yachts in 2006. 

LYNN BEAUDOIN – National Sales Manager

Lynn Beaudoin is responsible for coordinating Sabre’s dealership network throughout the United States, representing the company at shows and events around the country, and managing owner relations. Lynn also organizes Sabre’s production calendar, build specifications, and facilitates communications between the engineering and production teams. Lynn has expertise in all levels of Sabre production and sales, including seven years of experience on the After Sales team. 

Design Team

Sabre’s Design Team

The Sabre & Back Cove Yachts design team translates the companies’ vision into reality.

Comprised of management, design, and engineering staff, the Sabre Yachts Design Team is responsible for the conceptual level of the design process. The Department of Design & Product Development then translates those parameters into functional designs, and the companies respective Departments of Engineering then facilitate the production process. Sabre’s design team meets regularly to discuss present models and to propose, discuss, and plan future designs. The design team includes:

  • KEVIN BURNS – Vice President of Design & Product Development

  • ADAM CARLSON – Senior Designer

  • ED MILLER – Chairman

  • DANIEL ZILKHA – Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

  • AARON CRAWFORD – President & Chief Operating Officer (COO)

  • BENTLEY COLLINS – Vice President of Sales & Marketing

  • LYNN BEAUDOIN – National Sales Manager

  • GLENN CAMPBELL – Head of Sabre Engineering Department