Sabre Blog

A tide free harbor? Check out Windmill Harbour Basin in Hilton Head


Windmill Harbour Basin in Hilton Head, South Carolina was visited earlier this winter by Sabre 48 Salon Express owners Graeme and Erica Wheatley. Above, their lovely boat, Lady Erica, rests peacefully in Windmill Harbour Marina.

One of the most remarkable things about this Harbour is that it’s tide free! The harbor was built with a lock to help keep the water level the same at all times. 


According to the Marina, “Transiting the lock is a cinch. Our helpful harbor master and his staff are there to operate the lock during normal hours and 24 hour access is available when you have your own personal lock card.”


Graeme Wheatley writes, “Access through the lock does not even require lines and, of course, the Zeus Pods on the Sabre 48 enable the skipper to keep the boat perfectly stable throughout the locking process.”


“We felt secure there and the absence of a tidal effect meant that the boat remained very stable and soundly tied.” 


In addition, the HQ of the South Carolina Yacht Club is in the basin and, through the Wheatley’s membership of the Chesapeake Yacht Club, the couple had reciprocal rights there. “It is a very upscale club. We had dinner there one evening and it was excellent. Guests have a special pennant for their table and one of the members, seeing the pennant, came over to introduce herself and made us feel most welcome.”


I don’t know about you, but this harbor is definitely on my bucket list. And the Wheatley’s? They are off to the next harbor and more importantly, the next adventure…..

To learn more about Windmill Harbour Marina, please visit their website.

Bookmark and Share

How to prep for a season of stress-free boating



Paper Moon, a Sabre 36 Express, gets a lot of attention from Bentley in the off season so the couple can enjoy themselves in the prime of the summer!

How to prep for a season of stress-free boating with Bentley Collins, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Sabre Yachts.

 I have been boating all my life and most of my boating has been done where the seasons dictate spring launch and the preparations that go along with it. In that regard, I am a contrarian.

My preference is to start boating early, mainly because the tail end of my boating season is cut off with boat show activities in the fall. My preparation time is in the fall, just after my boat is hauled for the all-too-long winter. That’s when I do the bottom paint and complete all of my spring prep.

Around the 15th of April I launch my boat and enjoy some spectacular spring time boating while others are still in the parking lot covered in bottom paint dust. I enjoy strolling by and saying hello as these other boaters look at me through white slits in their otherwise “blue man group” faces.


Bentley and Brenda enjoying summer in Maine aboard their Sabre 36, Paper Moon.

Anyway, back to prepping to boat. I am always amazed at how boaters try to save money by skimping on the least expensive things. Here are some tips:

  1. WATER IMPELLERS — Even though raw water impellers may be costly, can that possibly compare to losing an engine mid-season or having to be towed to port when an engine overheats? Change your impellers annually.
  2. BELTS — I believe in changing belts frequently so as to avoid summer breakdowns
  3. ZINC — There is no such thing as a zinc that “still looks OK”. Replace them and don’t risk damage to your boats running gear.
  4. FUEL FILTERS — Fuel filters should be changed every 100 hours or more if practical. Again, breakdowns in mid-season are no fun!
  5. FUEL — Always top up your fuel tank. Even if you are betting on the cost of diesel fuel going down next week, it doesn’t pay to run around with a half empty tank. Condensation and air in your tank allow algae to grow and algae will ruin a day on the water by clogging filters and injectors. Top up your fuel as frequently as possible.
  6. BATTERIES — If your batteries are three to five years old, depending on the type, chances are you are going to run into an issue during the season. Don’t wait for them to go bad and lose time on the water. Replace them as recommended by the battery supplier.

….and that’s how I roll.


To learn more about Bentley and the Leadership at Sabre Yachts, visit the “About” section of the website.

Bookmark and Share

All in One: reduced VOC’s and Improved Fiberglass Technology

Sabre Yachts has an unequalled reputation for building strong, durable boat hulls and we have our lamination department to thank for that. When Sabre Yachts started building fiberglass parts or components using the VIP (Vacuum Infusion Process) system in 2007, the company also reduced their VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) output by over 80%. 

So how does the VIP (Vacuum Infusion Process) work? Here is a step-by-step run-through of the process. As you will see, it’s no easy feat.

1. The first step is to inspect the mold and prepare the mold surface. Here is a picture of a Sabre 38 Salon Express mold where a Sabre Associate is wiping down the surface using 5+ coats of mold release wax. The wax is applied to ensure the part is easily removed from the mold. 

Preparing mold surface

Sabre Associate preparing the mold surface.

2. After the wax is applied, we spray gel coat to the mold surface.

3. The next step is to reinforce gel coat with chopped-strand E-glass (CSM) & resin system. This is referred to as a “skin coat”.

The skin coat

The skin coat

4. Once the skin coat has cured, we load the mold with an engineered recipe of various fiberglass fabrics and materials to provide the highest strength and weight ratio for the composite structure. This includes outer reinforcement skins, any required core material and inner reinforcement skins. Skin coat and outer reinforcement skin helps prevent print through (when one can see the checkered design of the fiberglass fabric).

5. The next step is to install resin feed (liquid), and vacuum plumbing system (including perimeter vacuum) per designed layout. The vacuum removes the air from the dry stacks and laminates and ensures a more even resin to fiber ratio and makes the hull or part stronger and lighter. The result is remarkable; the VIP process produces significantly less waste.

Resin Feed and Vacuum Plumbing System

6. In the image above, you can see the vacuum bag covering the entire mold, leaving lots of slack, and sealing along the entire perimeter mold flange. We use a yellow rubber sealant tape called butyl to seal the resin vacuum.

7.  After the bags are sealed tight, we install the remainder of resin delivery plumbing from resin supply –to- ports of entry through the vacuum bag.  (Typically color-coded when there are lots of hoses so that the choreography of the resin delivery can be managed.)

8. Below the mold is being filled with the infusion-grade resin. As you can see, the resin remains in the plastic bag which significantly reduces the number of VOCs the company releases into the environment as well as making the work environment a healthier place to work for all Sabre employees.   

 Mold being filled with resin-grade resin.

9. Once the dry stack is fully infused, the resin hardens (cures) while under the vacuum. A typical Sabre hull takes about three hours to gel (liquid solidifying).

10. Sabre generally leaves the part in the mold overnight to fully cure. The next day, the associates remove vacuum bag, resin supply & vacuum plumbing.

 11. Finally the new completed fiberglass part is ready to be removed from the mold. Below the Sabre Lamination Team is using an overhead crane to flip the deck out of the mold. 

sabre 42_deck. fresh out of the mold

The end result is a stronger, lighter and aesthetically better looking part that was built in a more environmentally conscientious way.

To learn more about the fiberglass and lamination process at Sabre Yachts, take a look at a blog written a month ago about Mike Inman, Lamination Department Supervisor.

Many thanks to Glenn Campbell and Dave Newcomb in the Sabre Engineering Department for their assistance with this blog.

Bookmark and Share

Article in Mainebiz: “An old industry finds hope in new technologies”

We enjoyed Bob Holtzman’s piece in Mainebiz about the Maine Boatbuilding Industries challenges and opportunities in an evolving tech environment.

“This recession showed us that, if you develop new boats with new technologies, you’ll sell new boats,” says Bentley Collins, vice president of marketing and sales for Sabre Yachts in Raymond and its sister company Back Cove Yachts in Rockland. “If you don’t develop new boats with new technologies, nobody’s going to buy anything.”

Read the entire article on our “in the News” page.

Bookmark and Share

Dealership of the Year: DiMillo’s Yacht Sales

Sabre Yachts is proud to announce DiMillo’s Yacht Sales based in Portland, Maine and Glen Cove, New York is the #1 Sabre Dealership of 2012. Chris DiMillo and his Team have won this honor for the 6th consecutive year.

“Our relationship with DiMillos Yacht Sales has been very good for both parties. We are extremely pleased with the quality of sales representation and the after sales follow-up offered by the DiMillos organization. It gives me great pleasure to be able to announce that DiMillos has achieved this position for six consecutive years. Quite an accomplishment indeed.” says, Bentley Collins, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Bentley Collins, VP of Sales and Marketing & Chris DiMillo, Owner of DiMillo's Yacht Sales

Bentley Collins, VP of Sales and Marketing & Chris DiMillo, Owner of DiMillo’s Yacht Sales

A dealership wins top dealership for selling the most Sabre Yachts in a given year. DiMillo’s Yacht Sales has had a record breaking year and Sabre is proud to have the DiMillo team a part of the Sabre family.

Chris DiMillo, Owner of DiMillos Yacht Sales says, I would like to thank Daniel Zilkha and his incredibly talented associates at Sabre Yachts for recognizing the hard work my team put in this year–team being the operative word. Every member of our Dimillo’s sales team has helped contribute to our successful year; in fact each of our brokers sold at least one Sabre 48 in 2012. I also very much appreciate our service team; their follow through with after sales service ensures our owners keep boating and keep coming back.

Chris DiMillo behind the wheel of a Sabre 48 Salon Express

Chris DiMillo behind the wheel of a Sabre 48 Salon Express

DiMillo’s Old Port Yacht Sales has been in business since 1996; in 2006 he opened the dealership in New York. His sales team of Dave Tischer, Jim McAuliffe, Peter Ouellette and Scott MacLean are known for their top-notch customer service and excellent knowledge of the boats they sell.

New Sabre 48 Salon Express owner, John Ferro writes, “Making the marriage between Sabre and the customer completely seamless is the reason DiMillo’s is the #1 dealer. Chris (DiMillo) has put together a team of professionals that do all the right things for the customer. This is well deserved!”

Alicia and Eddie Assad write, “As first time boaters we were fortunate to have the guidance of DiMillo’s team to design a beautiful and comfortable boat for our family. From the first design decision to our maiden voyage, DiMillo’s not only met but exceeded our expectations. Thank you for a wonderful first time experience.”

To Learn more about DiMillo’s Yacht Sales, please visit their website.

Bookmark and Share

A Cruise through the Bahamas in a Sabre 38 Salon Express

Sabre 38 Salon Express in the Bahamas

Sabre 38 Salon Express in the Bahamas

Patrick M., Chief Operating Officer at Mack Boring had a tough work assignment over the holiday season. Task? To run a Sabre 38 Salon Express outfitted with Yanmar engines and ZF pod, through the Bahamas with his family. Sounds like a fantastic adventure!

Mack Boring, a long time supplier for Sabre Yachts, is a supply chain partner for diesel and related products. Mack Boring and Yanmar approached Sabre Yachts because they needed a platform to couple their motor to a pod drive system. Yanmar is a manufacturer of Marine engines and marine transmissions for pleasure boat use in a range from 15 hp to 900 hp. Mack Boring worked with Sabre to install the system. The Sabre 38 Salon Express is a prototype of that collaboration.

Back to Patrick’s “task”….take the Sabre 38 Salon Express, Sabre’s newest model, and continue to test drive the ZF pod system with joystick control throughout the Bahamas over the holiday season. “We had many admirers of the 38’ along the way, including many who promised to look us up in Miami and take a closer look at the boat.  Everyone said they are so happy to know you can now buy Yanmar’s in this model.” says Patrick McGovern, COO of Mack Boring.


Captain Patrick , COO of Mack Boring

He writes, “We had a great cruise, leaving from Port Lucaya Marina, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island on December 21st, 2012 and arriving at Treasure Cay Marina, Abaco Island. It was a 120 mile run with 4 adults and 3 children on board. All were very comfortable for the six hour run.”

Holy Mackerel! Patrick's son Will with his big catch.

Holy Mackerel! Son Will with his big catch.

The group stayed at Treasure Cay for 4 nights; from Treasure Cay they had a short run over to Green Turtle Club Resort and Marina on Great Abaco Island for a 3 night stay.  This was their favorite stop, “very beautiful beaches, a great value, and a great feeling of remoteness to it all. “

2012-12-25 16.58.40

Next stop was the Abaco Beach Resort and Marina, another 3 night stay.  The group had a good time here, including a nice near year’s eve celebration prior to returning to Port Lucaya Marina on Grand Bahama Island the first of the New Year. 


Patrick writes, I think this will be a winning package, we made it back to Port Lucaya in perfect running conditions the first 100 miles or so, cruising at 29-30 knots the whole way which was great.”

Bookmark and Share

BIW Engineers visit Sabre Yachts

In mid December a group of General Dynmaics, Bath Iron Works (BIW) Engineering Leaders visited Sabre Yachts to meet with the Sabre Engineering Department and receive a tour of the facility. Bath Iron Works is based in Bath Maine; the company is a full service shipyard specializing in designing and building high tech US Navy destroyers.Aegis-Destroyer-Dewey-DDG-105

According to John Manganello, Employee Development Specialist, the goal “was to share a common experience that would provide the opportunity for reflection, comment, and comparison in terms of safety, quality, and leadership.”

Approved Sabre 1 Compressed

John writes, “While these were the loose guidelines, the tour of SABRE allowed for each individual to get whatever insights or takeaways he or she may have found most relevant. The Associates at Sabre Yachts were incredibly accommodating, and we at BIW are very grateful for their time and energy.”

Below are some images taken by General Dynamics BIW as well as some participant comments following the event.

Approved Sabre 7 Compressed

Approved Sabre 5 Compressed

One of the BIW Engineers’ wrote, “The trip was very interesting.  It is always a pleasure to see firsthand a well run Maine based manufacturing enterprise that is doing well.”
Approved Sabre 6 Compressed
BIW Engineer: “Sabre exemplified the type of company that truly cares for their workforce and their customer while producing the highest quality product.”
Approved Sabre 3 Compressed
BIW Engineer: “My observations at Sabre were that they have been able to foster an attitude of all 160 employees being part of one team.  They either succeed or fail together.  The associates were very polite and helpful when asked questions and were clearly proud of what they do.  They each appeared to have a clear sense of job ownership which fostered a lot of pride in their work.  Quality and attention to detail was evident in every stage of the process.”
Dave Newcomb, Engineering Department Supervisor writes, “General Dynamics BIW engineering group is obviously a very highly skilled and focused engineering team. It was fascinating to discuss with them the similarities, differences, & challenges of our separate engineering departments. We benefited greatly from their visit.”
To learn more about General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, visit the BIW website.
Bookmark and Share

Profile: Sabre Associate Mike Inman

Profile on Sabre Yachts Associate Mike Inman – Lamination Department Supervisor

Sabre lamination dept

Associates in the Sabre Yachts Lamination Department

One never knows where life is going to lead you. Just ask Mike Inman, Supervisor of the Lamination Department for Sabre Yachts. 

Six years ago Mike Inman was working for Spurwink Services in a home for adults with Autism and severe mental disabilities. Mike and his wife, Leanne found great reward working with this group of people and helping these adults lead positive and productive lives.

Mike Inman

Mike Inman, Lamination Department Supervisor

In 2006 Mike and Leanne decided to build a home in Raymond, Maine. Mike, who many describe as an extremely skilled craftsman, acted as his own general contractor and worked on the house every minute he could spare. Mike completed all the fit and finish on the house as well as all electrical work, tiling and floor projects. As the house project was wrapping up, he started looking for jobs closer to Raymond and their future home. Luckily for Sabre, Mike stopped in at the front office and was soon Sabre Yacht’s newest mechanic. Working for a boatbuilding company made sense for Mike who was a Merchant Marine sailor for five years before he met his wife, and spent months at sea working in the bulk shipping industry.

Mike enjoyed work as a mechanic but Sabre saw more in this skilled craftsman. In 2010, Don Wentworth, Production Manager, appointed him supervisor of Deck Assembly. A few months later he became supervisor of Fiberglass Lamination.  

Mike clearly has an eye for details. He enjoys lamination because “it’s the foundation – where everything begins.” He takes pride in his job and he is constantly learning. “I’m proud of the direction that Sabre is taking me. There are always new things being introduced.” He notes how the infusion process has improved. Mike says, “We, the team, look at each hull and discuss what we can do differently next time. We really try to make each hull as close to perfect as we possibly can.”

Outside Sabre, Mike keeps himself busy as an auto customization and restoration enthusiast. He and his father, Michael Sr. are restoring a 1940 Packard Coupe. He and Leanne also have two kids, Logan age six and his daughter Lauren who is fifteen months old. Mike enjoys his work at Sabre Yachts. “I work with a great bunch of individuals who truly care about their work”. We know that the other Sabre associates feel the same way.

Bookmark and Share

Sabre Associates pick their favorite APPS

Perhaps you just received the latest tablet (iPad, kindle etc) as a holiday gift. Now for the best part! Downloading the apps….

We at Sabre absolutely LOVE our smartphone and tablets. In fact, we give an ipad away to each new Sabre 48 Salon Express owners (complete with owners manual etc).

So now that you have a new tablet, where do you start? We’ve assembled the TOP 5 most essential apps for our fellow boat lovers.

Sabre 48 Rooster's Tale in Portland Maine.

5. Harbor Master

iTunes says, Relax and let the sounds of the sea transport you far away. You are the Harbor Master in a busy harbor. Direct boats into the docks, watch them unload their cargo, and direct them off the screen. But be careful not to let the boats crash, and watch out for the pirates, monsters, and cyclones!

Sabre Associates say, “If you’re like us and have snow on the ground right now, this app is a fun way to stay connected to the water while sitting next to the fire”.

4.  Ship Finder

iTunes says, The original and most highly rated ship tracking app, ranked top 10 in the Navigation category in over 30 countries.

Sabre Associates say, “It’s like Facebook for ships….enter the boats surname and you can view pictures, its height, length, home port. It’s very entertaining!”


iTunes says, “ iNavX brings the freely available, official and up to date NOAA RNC raster waters marine charts to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Included detailed chart coverage: West Coast, Gulf Coast, East Coast, Great Lakes, Alaska, Hawaii and US Virgin Islands and beyond….”

Sabre Associates say, “We use this app everywhere…from the Coast of Australia to Monaco to Maine. It never lets us down.”

2. DragQueen

iTunes says, DragQueen is a simple anchor alarm. It provides distance and GPS accuracy alarms along with an alarm delay. The alarm is quite annoying and is the perfect thing to waken you at night if it detects anchor dragging to your specifications.

Sabre Associates say, “The name alone is entertainment. My wife actually was worried…it’s a bonus that it actually is quite effective!”

1. Sabre Yachts

iTunes says, Sabre motor yachts are available in Salon Express and Fly Bridge styles and in lengths from 38 to 54 feet. All models cruise in the mid-twenty knot range and use pod drive systems for quiet and efficient operation.

Sabre Associates say, “Our new app allows you to view brochures of all of our models. The app has videos and pictures. You can even pick out the color hull you want!”

What are YOUR favorite apps?


Bookmark and Share

A review of the Sabre 38 Salon Express by BOATS.COM

Sabre 38 Salon Express: Powerboat with Feng Shui

Zuzana Prochazka from writes a review of the new Sabre 38 Salon Express. “Pod drive handling, a planing hull, and an unbeatable liveaboard flow come together on the 38 SE.”

“With this new baby in the Sabre family, I wasn’t going to be disappointed. In fact, the 38 SE added a third feature that sets it apart – great livability created by a fantastic indoor/outdoor flow”. Read the entire review on the Sabre website – “In the News”

Bookmark and Share