All in all, this careful rigging made the twin 473-bhp Yanmar 6LY3-ETP diesel inboards look happy as a pair of clams. They probably would have been ecstatic had their raw-water intakes been fitted with internal sea strainers. Internal strainers are optional, and I'd suggest them for the added protection and ease of winterization they provide. Nonetheless, these motors (the only choice -- to lower costs) accelerate the 37 Billfish with authority. Grab the levers. You'll power to a 37.4-mph top speed lickety-split. Wheel it around. The 37 Billfish turns with crisp precision. Need to maneuver on a fish? This boat swings its transom as though mounted on a jeweled pivot, which is surprising when you consider that the props reside in pockets. Pockets reduce its draft to a creek-behind-the-house-friendly 2'6". Many boats with pockets don't respond well in reverse. But the 37 Billfish's pockets are shallow, just 4¾" deep above the strut (less at the prop), and incorporate a thrust outlet aft, so the push can exit the transom and let you spin on a fish.
The Great Wide Open
Some may balk at the lack of a cabin bulkhead, citing structural concerns. By way of reference, many commercial craft, working everyday in the roughest weather, lack full four-sided deckhouses. Lobster boats come to mind. Remember, a convertible's bulkhead is swiss-cheesed with windows and doors. So don't worry.
Instead, enjoy the benefits of the 37 Billfish's open deckhouse. Where the salon would be on a convertible, the 37 Billfish offers comfortable, low-maintenance lounging, big enough for the whole crew. It's out of the cold, out of the hot, and out of the rain in a way that an express boat with a hardtop and canvas, such as Cabo's 35 Express ($451,152 powered like our test boat), can never hope to be. In fact, not having to deal with acres of canvas is a plus. Compared to a convertible, such as Cabo's 35 Flybridge ($487,635 also powered like our test boat), where crew often seek the climate-controlled salon and then miss a fish because they were watching a video, the 37 Billfish's layout keeps everyone aware of the action. Of course you can get an express with a tower and a second control station, but only one person will be able to join you while running from up top. Running from the 37 Billfish's center pod flying bridge helm, you can surround yourself with a gang. Dockside, after weighing in and enjoying a sundowner with friends in the open deckhouse, skipper and mate can retreat to the wood-paneled lower cabin, done in cottage style, where a full head, forward stateroom, and large galley await. Bravo, Ocean, for a timeless boat, suited to so many boaters.
EXTRA POINT: Unlike competitors', the 37 Billfish's transom door has no top gate. Instead, it's fully framed, strengthening the transom.