Launching the Sabre 43 Salon Express
The idea for the newest Sabre model was conceived long before I joined Sabre. However, my experience with the Sabre 43 began on my first day of work when I took the grand tour of our facility here in Raymond.
At that point, Hull 001 was making its way down the production line, moved forward by the skill and dedication of our team. Everyone from design, engineering, purchasing, and sales, not to mention the talented, relentless team of boatbuilders, had poured thousands of hours into bringing this special Sabre to life.
While I was interviewing for the job at Sabre, I was doing some background research and came across an article published by Maine Boats, Homes, & Harbors about the organization’s philosophy under co-owner and co-chairman, Daniel Zilkha. It called out the focus on development and innovation in design, and the commitment to ‘new‘, as critical points of difference for the company. The article also noted that even during economic downturns Sabre has continued to bring new models to market, allowing the company to grow and flourish.
As I settled into my job and began to learn more about the inner workings of Sabre, it was evident that this commitment to quality and innovation is deeply embedded into the culture of the company.
Sabre celebrated 50 years of boatbuilding in 2020 when the global pandemic forced massive changes to all of our lives. No one needs a reminder that the past few years have been turbulent. While this period has presented a unique and different set of challenges, it isn’t the first time Sabre has had to navigate highly uncertain times. In the early 90’s it was the luxury tax and a stock market downturn, then it was the “Great Recession” that hit in 2007-2009. As has been the norm, Sabre committed to finding a way to come out of this in the strongest position possible, and one important piece of that was the development of the Sabre 43.
The Sabre 43 Salon Express
If you’re familiar with Sabre and have been following the development of the 43, you know that this is the latest in a long line of successful yachts that the company has built. Like all new models, this design draws from the best parts of the spirit of her predecessors, while simultaneously incorporating years of customer feedback along with significant technological innovations that are now available. While the 43 represents a new generation of boat, it nevertheless remains recognizably a Sabre.
As Hull 001 neared completion, so did the plans to capture photos and video of the new model. While many months of planning had solidified our plan, we were still at the mercy of Mother Nature and a variety of other elements outside of our direct control. As the clock ticked closer to the shoot day, our fingers were crossed that things would go our way.
The night before our shoot, I finished cleaning the boat and loading all of the things we needed on board before shutting off the lights and heading home for a few hours of sleep. Even before I got to the boat for our 3:30am call time, some of the features of the Sabre 43 were on display. Despite having been shut down the night before, the 43 was easy to pick out of the crowd at Maine Yacht Center when we pulled into the parking lot. Our head of engineering had utilized one of the many technological innovations to remotely put the boat into “Night Boarding” mode as he made the commute to the marina. This meant no fumbling around without lights or waiting for things to warm up. Additionally, the plethora of storage space was evident as we stowed gear from the seven people on location along with the mountain of photo and video equipment. We were quickly ready to depart to capture the 43 in all its glory.
We accomplished our first goal of being in position on Casco Bay before the sunrise. I rode along in the chase boat with our photographer, Alison Langley, and our videographer, Truman Forbes from OS Media. The chase boat was graciously provided by DiMillo’s Yacht Sales and was driven by broker Tim Kennedy, who brought valuable knowledge and experience from previous shoots to make sure we were in the right place at the right time. We had planned the initial shot sequence with the team on board the 43, and as the sun broke the horizon, it was on…
Moments later, the sound of the sea birds was interrupted by the clicking of the camera shutter and the distinct roar of the twin Volvo-Penta engines as the 43 sliced effortlessly past us. The beautiful sweeping lines of a vessel steeped in Downeast heritage were on display on a picture-perfect Maine summer morning.
The early morning hours were spent cruising around the islands, passing by Peaks and Cushing through Whitehead Passage, and venturing up past Long Island, Hope Island, and Chebeague. On board the chase boat, Alison snapped away, rotating between three different camera and lens combinations to get the most variety in the shots. At the same time, Truman switched between two different drones, including one that is flown using a VR headset… it was a sight to behold! As the sun rose higher, we zipped over towards Cape Elizabeth to get a few shots in front of Portland Head Light before the light got too harsh.
After four hours of shooting, we headed back to Maine Yacht Center to regroup and prepare for the afternoon shoot. In my experience, there is no such thing as downtime during production, and this was no different. There were shots to plan, models to assemble and direct, and a never-ending number of things to be cleaned and organized.
When the time came, we departed the docks once again and headed towards Great Diamond Island to get the next round of imagery. Our model family got to experience what life on the Sabre 43 is like. They enjoyed a cruise around the island, sipped some beverages and had a variety of snacks in the cockpit, played cribbage and did some reading in the main salon, and experienced the hybrid lounge in its different configurations. There was even a dip into the water, as brisk as it was!
The last remnants of the sunset were just visible as we pulled into the marina, and while the camera was done for the day, we began preparations for shoot day 2. With another early morning scheduled, our crew got everything ready for us to capture the beautiful interior. Alison’s experience was on display as we moved from one area to the next. The outcome was a series of photos capturing each of the meticulously designed spaces and what makes them ideal on the 43.
Although the initial shoot was done after we docked once again, the big week for the Sabre 43 was not yet finished. On that Thursday night, the boat moved to the docks at the Custom House Wharf for a launch celebration. We were joined by several Sabre and Back Cove personnel, a number of our dealers and their brokers along with customers with a 43 on order, and key vendor partners. Our hosts, Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room, served a plethora of delicious bites and provided everyone with an incredible, memorable experience to launch such an exciting new model. A big thank you to all who came out!
Lastly, the Sabre 43 will be debuting at the Newport International Boat Show in a few short weeks! Our display will be on Bannister’s Wharf (South Docks) M-20, we hope to see some of you on the docks!
The Sabre 43 Salon Express
Sabre Yachts has a long history of success with models between 40 and 45 feet, beginning in 1987 with the Sabre 42 sailboat. Since that date, Sabre has built more than 660 boats in this size range across fifteen different models. Today, they add another:
With this announcement, Sabre Yachts reaffirms its commitment to evolving with the changing needs of boaters in this size range. Designed as a direct replacement for the recently-retired Sabre 42 Salon Express, the new Sabre 43 draws appreciably from the best points of her older sister while incorporating significant technological innovations and answering some of the frequently noted needs of boats of this size. This blank-slate design preserves the spirit of her predecessors while representing an entirely new generation of Sabre yacht.
“Having an opportunity to explore a design which lands in Sabre’s ‘Goldilocks Zone’ is always exciting for the team here in Maine. Boats at this scale are at the confluence of where our lovely lines and proportions really get in step with the human scale and the ergonomic balance between ease of operation and comfort. The Sabre 43 enjoys a just-right blend of displacement, driveline options, and arrangement of spaces. We expect this model will resonate with our owners in the same way that our previous heritage models in this size have done, but with a contemporary Sabre silhouette and the added Owner’s authority afforded by our networked command and control system.” – Kevin Burns, VP of Product Development & Design
The Sabre 43 Salon Express boasts expansive fixed-glazed windows, sloping deck rails, and a sleek new mast design, all of which contribute to her striking nouveau-vintage silhouette. Described as “the most social Sabre to date,” the arrangement of the Sabre 43 encourages connection through circular seating configurations in the cockpit, salon, and hybrid lounge. While she remains true to the much-loved fundamentals of the Sabre 42, this new model leans into Sabre’s drive toward modernization and innovation, with oft-requested solutions like added storage and versatile guest accommodations baked-in from the start. Owners will appreciate her contemporary approach to Downeast proportions, with sweeping lines and fresh angles contained in a boat that, nevertheless, remains recognizably a Sabre.
Beneath her classic appearance, owners will discover the technology and features of a much larger yacht. The new 43 Salon Express will be the first full-network Sabre below 58-feet. As a result, owners can not only check critical functions and control any circuit on the boat from either the helm MFDs or iPad mini but also control the “mode of operation” or “scene” – setting the lighting and circuit configuration of the boat with the simple touch of a button. Remote access to these components, as well as GPS monitoring, geofencing, trip logging, and NMEA 2000-based alarms, are available via cell phone through the included Sentinel Telematics feature.
The gem of her onboard living spaces is the versatile Hybrid Lounge, which accommodates a wide variety of needs from home office to guest accommodations. In the “berth” configuration, guests enjoy a spacious and comfortable overnight oasis. Meanwhile, in the “lounge” configuration (pictured above), a high-gloss table provides space for laptops or refreshments while the lower-third of the berth converts into a convenient storage compartment hidden behind the aft-most backrest.
Finally, the Sabre 43 Salon Express truly delivers when it comes to storage – an oft-noted need in vessels of this size. Key among the many cleverly designed storage solutions are hatches under the side-deck steps that provide easy storage for fenders and lines, a galley outfitted with ample under-counter and counter-level compartments, and a multipurpose Utility Space under the salon sole which offers various storage and appliance options, including storage lockers, wine cooler, or even separate side-by-side washer and dryer units.
Production on the Sabre 43 Salon Express is expected to begin in the coming months at the company’s headquarters in Raymond, Maine, and the prototype hull will be completed late in the spring of 2022. The Sabre 43 Salon Express will debut to the public at the 2022 Newport International Boat Show and feature in subsequent shows throughout her inaugural boat show season.
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Tooling Underway for the Sabre 43 Salon Express
We are thrilled to share that the hull mold is nearing completion and the deck plug is underway for the new Sabre 43 Salon Express. Below you will find several “in progress” photos of the hull mold, deck plug, and 3D-printed transom door plug, as well as a compilation of early press articles featuring our newest model.
UPCOMING: Sabre Yachts’ Lamination Supervisor, Michael Inman, will “take over” our Instagram account to live-broadcast the infusion of the very first Sabre 43 hull! Get ahead of the game by following us on Instagram, and stay tuned for official dates and times.
The Sabre 43 Hull Mold nearing completion! We anticipate the completed part will arrive at the Sabre facility early in September.
The deck plug of the Sabre 43 with anti-skid texture installed. (Note: a “plug” is an exact replica of the finished deck, a master pattern which is used to create the mold, from which the actual deck is created.)
Our expanding advanced manufacturing capabilities are already beginning to change the way that we build! As seen here, the 3D printed plug of the transom door and hinge is tested against the hull plug. This printed part will be used to create the transom door mold down the line.
Pictured here is the Sabre 43 pilothouse plug (in its early stages). Even unfinished, it shows off her modern lines, wide windows, and convenient helm door.
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Sabre 43 Salon Express – Helm and Salon Renderings
SALON – Upon entering the salon, owners will feel instantly at home amidst the bespoke soft goods and iconic Sabre joinery in American cherry. The counter-balanced sliding salon doors, made of mirror-polished stainless, continue the modern appeal and don’t infringe on cockpit space. Her wide bench-style settee to port is complimented by an L-shaped configuration to starboard with drawers beneath, and both are over six feet in length. The L-settee is paired with a sizable high-gloss table with a high-low pedestal for extra versatility.
Onboard entertainment systems feature a Bluetooth-capable Fusion Apollo stereo system and 32-inch high-definition television on an electric fold-down ceiling mount. Fixed-glazed windows, overhead hatches (with a sunroof option), and the expansive windshield ensure that light and air are plentiful. With room enough for everybody, this gathering space is as good for watching the morning news as it is for escaping the elements or enjoying an evening game of cards.
HELM – Forward of the salon, the helm of the Sabre 43 represents the epitome of modern boating technology. Twin Volvo/Garmin multifunction displays (MFDs) provide the captain access to the onboard system network, as well as safety and navigational details. Her Dynamic Positioning System, armrest-mounted joystick driving, and slow speed, single lever, and cruise control capabilities make maneuvering a dream. Dual Stidd seats for captain and mate ensure a secure ride in rough seas, while the convenient helm door makes docking a breeze.
As a state-of-the-art networked vessel, the Sabre 43 provides a high degree of systems integration allowing owners to not only control any circuit on the boat from either the helm MFDs or iPad mini but also control the mode of operation, for example setting the lighting, and circuit configuration of the boat with the simple touch of a button.
Likewise, monitoring of battery voltages, fluid levels, inverter/charger status, and power consumption is available at the helm displays, the iPad, and via the included Sentinel Telematics feature for remote access from a customer’s cell phone. In addition to mode selection and systems monitoring, Sentinel Telematics also provides remote GPS location and geofencing, display of NMEA 2000-based alarms, trip logging, and optional remote control of generator start.