Sabre Blog

“The Life Aquatic” – Profile on Kevin Burns, VP of Design and Product Development

Our in house designer, Kevin Burns, is featured this month in Maine HOME+DESIGN . “I want a design that’s going to be just as appealing 10 years from now as it is today, without ever becoming old fashioned.” Burns says.


The article written by Maine Home and Design magazine writer Jaed Coffin is titled, The Life Aquatic”. He writes, “The secret of Burns’s design insight has a lot to do with the fact that the shop where his boats are built is just a few seconds’ walk from the desk where he dreams them into life. You can smell the fiberglass resin through the wall, hear the sounds of careful construction as if it were in the room next door. Burns takes pride in what he calls the “symbiotic relationship” between his office and the shop floor. There’s no emailing between engineers and craftsman, no driving between site visits: it’s all right here in what Burns calls a “flexible space.” “Good design,” Burns says, “requires diligence on every level. It’s about minimization and efficiency. If I draw something up, I can bring it downstairs, and my guys can tell me if it’s going to work. If not, back to the table.”
rockland 10.2.12 039
To read the article in it’s entirety along with other Sabre news, visit the Sabre “In the News” section of our website. To find a copy of this month’s Maine Home and Design magazine, click here.





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Glenn Almlov retires after 40 years at Sabre Yachts

glennAlmlov 2003

Sabre Yachts is proud to honor Glenn Almlov for his 40 years of service to the company with a retirement ceremony on May 2nd.

Sabre began building yachts in 1970 and Glenn became an assembly associate in 1973, building the Sabre 28 and Sabre 34 sailboats.  He was soon transferred to Wood Shop and as his expertise grew, he became an integral part of the Product Development team.  This department built the plugs and molds used in the development of many new, successful models of boats over the years.


In 1992, Glenn became the Supervisor of both Wood Shop and Product Development.  Glenn took a strong interest in the safety of the associates at Sabre and his role gradually evolved into his present position of Safety and Environmental Manager.  Glenn created our Safety Committee that meets quarterly to discuss safety at the plant.  The outstanding safety record at Sabre is a tribute to Glenn’s hard work in this area.  He oversees the facility, transportation of our product, and all environmental issues and regulations.  Aaron Crawford, COO at Sabre says “Glenn is a critical part of the daily operation of Sabre Yachts, a great associate for over 40 years, and beyond that, a great person”.


Glenn lives in Bridgton with his wife, Wendy.  They have raised two children he is extremely proud of, his son Erik, a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and his daughter Alison. Glenn has one grandson and a granddaughter on the way.  Glenn enjoys spending time with his family and continues to work on boats in his spare time.  He is also very interested in agriculture and has a small family farm that he tends.

Glenn retires after 40 years of service and he will be sadly missed at Sabre Yachts.  

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Sabre in Shanghai


Last week Bentley visited China for the China International Boat Show. Bentley went in search of an importer and to learn more about the boat market in China. The fantastic Sabre and Back Cove booth display highlighted the company’s models and drew in people from all over the country visiting the show.


East meets West. Walking the streets of Shanghai.


Brenda and Bentley visit the great wall – one of the 7 Wonders of the World.


Here is a typical Chinese Power Cruiser complete with a Mahjong Table and Karaoke machine. Mahjong is a popular game similar to the Western card game Rummy. 


On Saturday evening at the Boat Show, Sabre + Back Cove Yachts held a reception at our display. We invited new friends we met at the show and served Schramberg Champagne, which should have some significance for Americans.

Schramberg Champagne Blanc de Blancs was presented at a banquet in Beijing during President Nixon’s historic visit to China when he visited Zhou En-lai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China. Nixon made a “Toast to Peace” during a state dinner in Bejing in 1972.

Bentley reports it was an excellent trip. “China’s boating market holds tremendous potential but is today in it’s infancy. It will be a decade before a significant percentage of the population learns about and begins to enjoy boating. With (lots of) patience, this will be a big market for our motor yachts.”

Although the boating industry is far behind the US — he compared it to the US in the 1940’s — he met some fantastic people and is looking forward to having some Sabre Yachts cruising the China Sea. 

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Helpful product alert!

Sabre 38 in Portland Maine

A beautiful boat such as a Sabre 38 Salon Express, deserves a little TLC (tender loving care) so when one of our Sabre owners showed us this excellent product, we were thrilled share it with you. It’s called “No Spill” and apparently it’s very effective in preventing diesel fuel from spilling into our precious ocean. As we all know, spilling fuel into U.S. waters is illegal and bad for the environment. Prevent diesel from making a mess of the hull while also doing good for the environment? Sounds like a win-win!

no spill_device

What is it? No-Spill is a fuel resistant bottle designed for temporary attachment to the hull, over the fuel tank vent, while fueling. 


It captures fuel spilled from the vent when the tank reaches a full level, fuel that would otherwise stain the hull and run into the water. No-Spill attaches to the hull using two super strong suction cups.


According to the description on various websites, it is designed for use with gasoline or diesel fuel. The cost is under $20 and it fits all boats with fuel tank vents up to 1.5″ (3.8 cm) in diameter. Are you excited or what? Let’s go boating!

To purchase this item, visit the JSM Marine Online Supply.



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Bentley goes swimming in MAINE in March….really!

Bentley Collins, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sabre & Back Cove Yachts tells us about the “dip” he took a few weeks ago in Portland, Maine. Here’s his story!


On St Patrick’s Day I awoke, flipped on the TV and saw dozens of crazy Mainers going for a dip in the 42 degree ocean at Portland’s East End Beach. Buuurrr. Back under the covers for me. Not to be, I have an open house at the local dealership so I dress for the cold spring day and head down to the event. The very first thing I am asked is to do is a sea trial on the Sabre 42. It’s a beautiful morning so why not.

As I step on the swim platform to recoil the boats power cord I walk to the port side where the morning sun has yet to dry the water from the surface. To my surprise this is not water, it’s ice. Before I know it, I am swimming in the very cold water of Portland Harbor just like those craze people I saw on TV an hour or so ago. Am I crazy or what?

It’s a times like this that everything you have ever learned about being on and in the water comes streaming back to you but it’s all in fast motion. My mind reminds me I have two minutes in this temperature before hypothermia sets in. I relax once I know I have time and decide not to do anything rash. Next image is the swim ladder. Yes all of our boats are built with ABYC certified ladders that allow a person to recover him/herself from the water unaided. Of course by this time there are plenty of people gathered to help me but I am a big guy and with the soaking wet clothes nobody is going to get me out of the water easily.

Sabre 42 swim platform

The Sabre 42 Salon Express Swim Platform.
The retractable, stainless steel swim ladder is on the port side tucked under the platform.

I reach for the swim ladder, deploy the ladder towards myself reach for the hand hold on the platform and gracefully climb up and onto the platform. Total water time maybe 45 seconds in all. In a few minutes I am in the car then home to take a hot shower and then back to the open house.

As I reflect on my incident (which could have been a disaster), I wonder how many boat owners would know all this stuff that is embedded somewhere in my brain. I am going to encourage owners to jump in (to warmer water) and make sure they can get themselves back out. More boating deaths happen at the dock, at anchor or at a mooring than happen underway. The reason usually is that the boat they were on did not have a good swim ladder to use for self-recovery.

Swim ladder test done. Tick

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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