The Sabre Yachts design team is responsible for translating the companies’ vision into real boats, from the conceptual level down to the details. The designers work in the Design and Product Development Department help to shape and evolve current and future models by introducing improved manufacturing details, modern equipment specifications, and the newest construction methodologies. They create hull forms and sculpted deck shapes; generate concepts, technical drawings, and specifications; and communicate ideas using 3D models and detailed renderings.
The design team meets regularly to discuss the present models as well as dream up future designs. The design team includes:
- Kevin Burns, Vice President of Design and Product Development
- Daniel Zilkha, President & Chief Executive Officer
- Ed Miller, Chairman
- Bentley Collins, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
- Aaron Crawford, Chief Operating Officer
- Dave Newcomb, Head of the Engineering Department
- Adam Carlson, Senior Designer
- Lynn Beaudoin, National Sales Manager
KEVIN BURNS, Vice President of Design and Product Development
Kevin Burns is Sabre Yacht’s Vice President of Design and Product Development. He grew up in Ohio and attended Miami University of Ohio. He went on to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard where he studied navigation and engineering while stationed aboard cutters based in Maine and Massachusetts. As a civilian, he captained 150-foot vessels supplying rigs in the oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico. His experience at sea led him to study Yacht Design at the Landing School in Arundel, Maine. After graduation, Kevin worked under Ward Setzer of the award-winning Setzer Design Group in Cary,North Carolina.
At SDG, Burns was lead designer for Wombat, the 82-foot Lyman Morse Motor Yacht, as well as other notable production and custom designs ranging from 20-foot center consoles to 210-foot tri-deck motor yachts. “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.”
In April 2006 Kevin joined Back Cove Yachts, and today he lives with his wife and children in mid-coast Maine. In early 2009 Kevin began working as Chief Designer for both Back Cove and Sabre Yachts. “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.”
And the Sabre models he has designed reflect that philosophy: first, the flybridge model design for the Sabre 54 program; Sabre’s 48 Salon Express design followed in 2010; and most recently the 38 Salon Express which debuted in 2012 and has been applauded for its open spaces and functionality.
Questions and Answers (FAQ)
In order to better serve our existing customers and assist future customers, we have answered below many of the questions that we are asked on a regular basis with the hope that the answers will be helpful to a larger audience. The questions have been grouped, where possible, into subject matter categories.
If you have questions for Sabre, or if there is additional information that you would like to see in this section, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us by telephone at (207) 655-3831 or by contacting us through our Web site. We look forward to hearing from you.
SABRE’S MANAGEMENT TEAM
- NANCY BASSELET – Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- LYNN BEAUDOIN – National Sales Manager
- KEVIN BURNS – Vice President of Design & Product Development
- BENTLEY COLLINS – Vice President of Sales & Marketing
- AARON CRAWFORD – Chief Operating Officer (COO)
- ED MILLER, Chairman
- DANIEL ZILKHA – President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Nancy Basselet is the Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the financial and personnel operations of Sabre Yachts and has been with the company for more than 35 years. Nancy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Maine. She has worked in many areas of the company, starting in the purchasing department, and then moved into the accounting area as the company grew. Nancy sings with the Portland Community Chorus and is the group’s treasurer. The group performs each year in the Magic of Christmas concerts with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She has one daughter now in college.
Lynn is responsible for working with 20 dealerships throughout the United States, assisting their sales teams with personal face to face customer relations, attending boat shows, customer tours and sales leads. Lynn is also in charge of managing the build calendar, build specifications, data management, monthly sales reports and ongoing communications with the engineering, production and accounting teams. Her customer relations skills were responsible for her appointment as National Sales Manager, prior to that position she was part of the customer service team for seven years. She has been with the company for over fourteen years. Lynn resides in Harrison, Maine with her husband.
As the Vice President of Design and Product Development, Kevin is responsible for translating our companies’ vision into real boats from the conceptual level down to the details. He is a career maritime professional who accumulated over 250,000 miles at sea before coming ashore to focus on yacht design and naval architecture. His approach to design is rooted in his depth of experience at sea and his appreciation of the beauty inherent in the proportions of well-conceived boats, yachts, and ships.
Kevin served as Manager of Engineering and Product Development at Back Cove Yachts since 2006, and had an earlier position as a Designer and Naval Architect with Setzer Design Group in North Carolina. A graduate of the Design Program at the Landing School in Kennebunkport, Maine, Kevin had previously studied engineering while serving in the USCG. He is a former US Merchant Marine Officer, and was born and raised in Ohio where he was educated at Miami University prior to moving east and beginning his career in the boating world.
Kevin lives in a small fishing village in mid-coast Maine with his wife and two children.
Bentley Collins has been with Sabre since 1993. His responsibilities at Sabre include dealer development, market analysis, advertising, internet presence, promotion and public relations. Bentley came to 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. Prior to 1980 he operated as an independent yacht dealer based in Montreal, Canada.
Bentley and his wife Brenda reside in Portland, Maine and are members of the Harraseeket Yacht Club in South Freeport, Maine where Bentley will serve as Commodore for the 2013 season. They enjoy boating on their Sabre 36 Express Paper Moon in the waters of Casco Bay and along the Coast of Maine.
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 prior to 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. Aaron lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and two daughters.
Ed Miller was a Vice President at Rothschild Inc. in New York, from 1972 to 1980. In 1981 he 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 then served as President of the newly created Federal Express (Caribbean and South America) Ltd. He is currently the Chairman of Westwind Management. Among other activities, he serves on the Board of the Ocean Conservancy.
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 is involved in the day-to-day operations of Sabre Yachts and North End Composites. Daniel 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.
Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
History of Sabre Yachts
Sabre Yachts has been crafting sail and motor yachts since 1970 from two plants in Raymond, Maine, approximately 25 miles north of Portland, and a little over two hours from Boston. Sabre’s sister company, Back Cove Yachts, operates from a manufacturing facility in Rockland, ME.
The Sabre story began in 1970, when the company’s founder, Roger Hewson, set out to build the finest possible 28-foot sailing yacht using production line methods and fiberglass technology. Many sailboat models followed in the 42 years since the launch of the first Sabre and a complete listing is available in the FAQ section.
In 1989 Sabre sought to broaden its market and created the first Sabre 36 “Fast Trawler”, a tri-cabin motor yacht. Today the motor yacht range consists of Salon Express and Fly Bridge models from 38 to 66 feet in length, which offer cruise speeds of 25 knots and top end speeds in excess of 30 knots.
The Sabre work force consists of men and women who take tremendous pride in their work and are sensitive to the marine tradition of the State – hence the company’s motto, “Crafted in the Maine Tradition”. Most Associates are capable of working in all of the different phases of boat building, and have a full understanding of the influence that their jobs have on the quality of the final product. Nearly one third of Sabre’s Associates have been with the Company for over a decade, and many have celebrated their second decade with the company.