Sabre Blog

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”

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Sabre Yachts visits Volvo HQ in Sweden

Earlier in November, Kevin Burns, Vice President of Design and Product Development attended a Design Seminar hosted by Volvo Penta in Gotenborg, Sweden.  

The seminar was attended by Naval Architects and Engineers from around the world in addition to Volvo Penta distributors.  This event lasted a few days and included multiple presentations from Volvo’s development and engineering staff, Sweden’s Coast Guard, and other shipbuilding customers.  A highlight of the trip was a tour aboard the Sweden Coast Guard Vessel powered by Volvo IPS engines. This should come as no surprise as Kevin is a former member of the US Coast Guard.


Presentation topics ranged from hull form optimization for IPS to classification ‘Type Approval’ for commercial applications.  In addition to the presentations, attendees visited several Volvo facilities including the Marine Testing Center (image below), Volvo Design Department, and the Volvo Museum.

Volvo has been an important partner for Sabre Yachts over the years, and they continue to stand out amongst others in the industry for their dedication to finding creative ways to make boating easier and more fun for our Owners.  This visit to Sweden was an excellent opportunity for us to interact directly with the folks at Volvo who are on the front lines of evolving the current engines, controls, and drive systems as well as envisioning the next generation of Volvo marine products.  Our ability to discuss and feedback on hull forms, design details, control systems, and economics is critical in terms of advocating for the needs of our Owners and their ownership experience – ultimately that’s what it’s all about.

This car is designed by an all-female team in the Design Department.

Some new features for the IPS system were able to be tested in the water including Volvo’s integrated Autopilot and Dynamic Positioning systems.  Along with these new features, the Volvo development team unveiled the ‘Future Helm’ concept of a modular helm unit which incorporated the latest thinking on the ‘glass cockpit’.  Volvo is spending a lot of time on what is referred to as HMI or Human Machine Interface – which translates into a pleasant boating experience for our Owners.  There is another ‘soon to be available’ technology that was introduced and should be available to the public very soon.

Of course a visit to Sweden wouldn’t be complete with trying some local flavors. Kevin and crew visited quite a number of seafood restaurants while visiting Gotenborg.

Kevin reports that the Seafood Platter at Fiskekrogen Restaurant to be his favorite while in Sweden. Although the trip was short, he says, “It is a beautiful place that warrants a lot more time spent roaming along the shore.” The locals recommend he come back during the summer months.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it? We Main-ahs often give the same advice in regard to visiting Maine – You’re always welcome, but shoot for July!

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Sabre Yachts is thankful for….

Sabre Yachts has a lot to be thankful for. At the top of our list – Sabre Associates. As a gesture of thanks, all 130 Sabre employees received turkeys for their hard work and dedication to the company.

“I am very thankful for the talented team that we have here at Sabre.  I am thankful for the growth, hard work, and success we have experienced as a group and look forward to more good things as we head into 2013.” says Aaron Crawford, COO of Sabre Yachts

The truckload of over 130 turkeys ready to be distributed. Gobble gobble.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 – from your friends at Sabre Yachts

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Sabre 48 awarded “Best Downeast Boat 45-55 ft”

A few weeks ago, at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show, the Sabre 48 Salon Express was honored by Active Interest Media (AIM) as “Best Downeast Boat: 45-55 FT”.

AIM publishes some of the country’s leading consumer enthusiast magazines, including Soundings, Power & Motor YachtYachts Internationaland Passage Maker. The Sabre 48 Salon Express, Designed by Kevin Burns and the Sabre Design Team, has been a smashing success since it first launched in 2010. The Sabre 48 follows the highly successful 42 and 54 Salon Express models in Sabre’s motor yacht line. 

She cruises at 27 knots and is one of the quietest motor yachts available today. Her raised cockpit sole brings together the social aspects of the cockpit and main salon, and the aft end of the house opens up fully to connect the spaces. The two cabin, two head layout is fabulous for cruising with another couple or children. Her optional crew quarters created a big stir at the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show a few weeks ago.

To learn more about the Best Downeast Boat: 45-55 ft, the Sabre 48 Salon Express, please visit the new Sabre Yachts website.

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Design Team & New Design Studio

Entrance to Back Cove Yachts. The stairs lead to the new design studio

Last month Kevin Burns, VP of Design & Product Development, and Adam Carlson, Senior Designer, moved into a new Design Studio! Here is a peek at the new space…

As you can see from the photos, the entire design team does not work out of this studio. Adam and Kevin are the lucky ones! The team is comprised of eight members and they meet 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, Chris Evans, Director, Ed Miller, Chairman, Bentley Collins, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Aaron Crawford, Chief Operating Officer, Dave Newcomb, Head of the Engineering Department and Adam Carlson, Senior Designer.

The 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.

New Design Studio waiting area

Adam Carlson, Senior Designer, and Kevin Burns, VP of Design and Product Development, have new work stations that are well suited for the design work they do for both Back Cove and Sabre Yachts. 

Adam Carlson, Senior Designer & Kevin Burns, VP of Design and Product Development, at their workstations.

Kevin Burns is Sabre Yacht’s Vice President of Design and Product Development. Kevin joined us in 2006, 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.”

Kevin Burns and Adam Carlson after a sea trial in Rockland Harbor.

To learn more about the latest models designed by the team, visit the Sabre Yachts website 

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Ft Lauderdale Boat Show (10/25-10/29)

Today (Saturday) is Day 3 of the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show and we finally have some sunshine! Hurricane Sandy brought high winds over the last few days but today is looking great and we’re expecting a big crowd. 

Below are photos from the last few days.

Day 1 (Thursday): It’s a full boat on the new Sabre 38 Salon Express.

Day 1 (Thursday): Fishing boats galore

End of Day 1 (Thursday): Rain and high winds made for a challenging day on the docks.

Day 2 (Friday): The overnight winds caused some damage in one of the tents but thankfully our boats survived the night without any damage.

Day 2 (Friday): Sabre Yachts Engineering Manager, Dave Newcomb, is all smiles now that we have a bit of sunshine.

Day 3 (Saturday): The Sabre Yachts 48 Salon Express is ready for the crowds today!

Day 3 (Saturday): From left to right — Back Cove 37, Sabre 38 Salon Express and Sabre 48 Salon Express.

More pictures and videos from the boat show coming soon!

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Here is a beautiful photo of two Sabre 456 Sailboat’s at the dock in Manchester, Massachusetts. With the leaves already turning and the temperatures dropping in New England, these boats are getting ready to hibernate for the winter.

If you’re looking for something to do while your boat is out of the water this winter, check out Sabre’s new website. The videos and beautiful photos should keep you connected to the water until you’re ready to launch next Spring!

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Drawing Sabres

An interview with Kevin Burns, VP of Design and Product Development

Photography by Billy Black

When he was growing up in Rocky River, a suburb of Cleveland on Lake Erie, Kevin Burns says, “I was that kid who was always taking things apart. My Christmas gifts were frequently disassembled immediately.” These days, Burns, now 40, is no longer taking things apart. Instead, as the newly appointed Vice President for Design and Product Development at Sabre and Back Cove Yachts in Maine, he’s putting them together. Burns’ career arc has always flowed toward a life afloat. After attending Miami University of Ohio, he enlisted in the Coast Guard, where he learned to love navigation, and spent his time on the bridge of a 270-foot cutter “with my nose in the charts.” As a civilian, he captained 150-foot vessels supplying rigs in the oil fields of the Gulf. But Burns wanted a broader view: “I felt a captain should know as much about boats and naval architecture as a pilot does about aircraft and aeronautics.” To that end, he went to the Landing School in Arundel, Maine, to learn Yacht Design. Burns then landed a job with the Setzer Design Group in Cary, North Carolina.

At Setzer, Burns was lead designer for Wombat, the 82-foot Lyman Morse motoryacht that is arguably one of the most beautiful yachts of the past decade. There Burns embraced “the architectural concept of ‘informed simplicity,’ which is something I carry around with me. It’s both a goal and an approach to design.”

Six years ago, Burns joined Back Cove and today he lives with his wife and son, 7, and daughter, 5, in Friendship, Maine. Why Friendship? “It’s authentic,” he says. “It’s a fantastic out-of-the-way coastal village to raise a family.” On the waterfront there, Burns says, “I feel a camaraderie with the lobstermen. I value their company, as well as their perspective on boats, boating, and the sea.

-written by Peter A. Janssen

This is an except from Power and Motoryacht Magazine’s September Issue. To view the complete story, “A Cut Above”, click on the PDF or visit Power & Motoryacht Magazine.

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The Ultimate Captain’s Chair

Today I was walking thought the shop and came across this custom Stidd Helm Seat for a hull #23, a Sabre 48 that’s in production. My first thought — this is a sign of a good marriage! Wouldn’t you agree?

Stidd helm seats are ergonomic marine seats and the Admiral 500N (shown below) upholstered in UltraLeather comes standard with all of our Sabre Motoryachts…this really is the ultimate captain’s chair.

Interior of a Sabre 42 Salon Express with two Stidd 500N helm seats for the captain and navigator.

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Young crew win Monhegan Sabre Yachts Trophy

Max Jennings has been sailing most of his life-all 19 years! He started sailing at age three aboard his family’s 34-foot Sabre sailboat, Milady. Max’s grandfather purchased Milady in 1985 and Max remembers spending summers sailing along the coast of Maine. Max’s father Kris enjoyed racing Milady and the family participated in many races. The Monhegan Island Race, the oldest and longest offshore racing event in Maine was their favorite. Max said his dad was especially fond of this race because there was a chance of winning the prestigious “The Sabre Yachts Trophy”. This perpetual trophy is given any Sabre yacht with the best finish in any of the divisions. Milady won this award in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and in 2011 placed third in the double-handed Seguin Race.

At the end of last summer Max mentioned racing in the Monhegan to his buddies; Spencer Egan, Evan LaMarre, Bennett Wade and Scott Ross. They all were “psyched” to join Max and the preparations began. To make sure everyone was comfortable on the boat, he and his friends participated every week in the Wednesday Night big boat races at the Harraseeket Yacht Club in South Freeport, Maine. And every Wednesday they improved. “It really helped train us and my Dad came out with us as well. He really was a big help in preparing us.” It sounds like Kris Jennings has been preparing Max for this race for quite some time. Max said, “my dad taught me how to sail and encouraged me to race on the Colby College team.” Max added, “I like the strategy involved in sailboat racing and thinking through the small changes on the race course.”

It appears this year’s race involved plenty of strategy. “I was pretty nervous. You never know what’s going to happen on the water.” And luckily all those years of sailing with his family made him stay calm in the midst of a serious storm. Max said “we did run into a squall during the race. We were listening to NOAA and heard a report of thunderstorms heading for us. We were flying the spinnaker and someone saw lighting on land.” Given Max’s leadership and calm demeanor the crew didn’t panic. Max explained “we talked it though and braced ourselves for what was coming. We dropped the spinnaker before the storm hit and we sailed with just the main until the storm passed.”

After a long 23:36:34 hours, the crew of Milady landed on the dock. The team received second place for finishing the 83 NM Manana Trophy Race. They also received the prestigious Sabre Yachts Trophy continuing the tradition of his father. Both accomplishments are very impressive for any sailor – never mind a 19 year old. And will he do the race again next year? Max said “who knows what I’ll be doing next year. But no guarantees.” Ahh, spoken from the mouth of a true nineteen year old!

Ann-e Blanchard photos. Ann-e Blanchard also contributed to this story.

Media Director, Sarah Helming Stern can be contacted at 207-655-2396 (235) /

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