Duffield 58 Mo­to­ry­acht

Passage Maker - - Contents - Jonathan Cooper

It’s not every day that a brand-new 58-foot per­for­mance­trawler ap­pears on the mar­ket­place radar, but that seems to have hap­pened with the de­but of the Duffield 58 Mo­to­ry­acht. More pe­cu­liar still is that this new en­try—and you may rec­og­nize her name—sport­ing grace­ful, downeast lines and a New Eng­land navy hull, comes not only from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, but from the same builders of the highly suc­cess­ful, if not ubiq­ui­tous, Duffy elec­tric boat. As most wa­ter­front home­own­ers know, you can’t throw a Titleist very far in New­port Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, or Fort Laud­erdale, Florida, with­out hit­ting a Duffy or two, such is their pen­e­tra­tion into the quiet, clean, leisure pocket-craft mar­ket. So when you think of build­ing a 58-foot, 53,000-pound fast trawler on the heels of this busi­ness, you’d be hard-pressed to find an anal­ogy that suits. Per­haps if Honda sud­denly de­cided to build limousines? But when you scratch past the sur­face and dig deeper, there was con­sid­er­able thought, prepa­ra­tion, and in­spi­ra­tion poured into the de­sign.


Mar­shall “Duffy” Duffield won’t say so him­self, but he’s a bit of a le­gend in Or­ange County cir­cles. The boat­builder, yacht de­signer, cruis­ing en­thu­si­ast, and next mayor of New­port Beach, Duffy’s fam­ily has cruised for 25 years on Fol­low­ing Sea, a C. Ray­mond Hunt-de­signed/ Ber­tram-built 56-foot mo­to­ry­acht. The wooden boat has served the fam­ily on count­less trips to Santa Catalina Is­land, and, through de­sign tweaks and im­prove­ments to make the boat bet­ter every sea­son, the decades-long process has pro­vided all the in­spi­ra­tion nec­es­sary to con­ceive of the need for the Duffield 58. Armed with a con­cept in mind, Duffy made a sin­gle phone call to Doug Zurn, the prodi­gal naval ar­chi­tect re­spon­si­ble for, among other suc­cesses, the high-per­for­mance MJM Yachts, Mar­low Marine, and the sleek and stun­ning Shel­ter Is­land run­about.


Duffy’s vi­sion was sim­ple so long as Zurn was in­ter­ested in the project: “I wanted the 58 to be tra­di­tional look­ing and per­form well us­ing much less fuel. When I saw boats de­signed by Doug Zurn, they looked right to me. What clinched it was Doug’s em­pha­sis on us­ing mod­ern, ad­vanced com­pos­ite build­ing ma­te­ri­als for fast, com­fort­able cruis­ing and fuel ef­fi­ciency.” The project got un­der­way roughly three years ago, when the fi­nal draw­ings were ap­proved and the tool­ing be­gan. For­tu­nately for Duffy, a host of talented trades­men, who had honed their skills at the for­mer Cabo Yachts, were avail­able lo­cally. That skill and process un­der­stand­ing helped iron out a few of the bumps that go hand-in-hand with brand­new builds, and the re­sult is an in­trigu­ing blend of downeast style merged with con­tem­po­rary per­for­mance.

On Board

The big­gest dif­fer­ence be­tween the Duffield 58 and her con­tem­po­rary downeast cousins is that from the be­gin­ning the boat was meant to be driven on a sin­gle engine, and her slip­pery hull was de­signed to max­i­mize fuel econ­omy. For the

first hull, Duffy and the first hull’s owner opted for a 985-horse CAT that is ac­cessed by a huge, elec­tric lift hatch. Apart from the ex­tra cost and main­te­nance that go with twin en­gines, Duffy hated try­ing to ser­vice the twins on his Ber­tram and felt that the new de­sign should, like his small elec­tric boats, fea­ture ul­ti­mate op­er­a­tional sim­plic­ity. Other rea­sons to go with a sin­gle pow­er­plant were the re­duc­tion of noise un­der­way and the ef­fi­ciency gained through weight re­duc­tion. “In early sea tri­als we were burn­ing 1.4 gal­lons per mile (gpm) at 17 knots and 1.75 gpm at just about 20 knots. We fig­ure that’s about 47% less than oth­ers in this class,” says Duffy.

True to her style, the 58’s tra­di­tional join­ery is teak, with a nearly sin­gle-level saloon, gal­ley, and pilothouse, as well as three state­rooms and two heads be­low the fore­deck. The main saloon sports a slight, sin­gle step to a raised-pilothouse and a U-shaped dinette to port of the helm sta­tion in the op­tional and

stan­dard lay­outs. The op­tional lay­out sim­ply moves the gal­ley from mid­ships to the af­ter bulk­head to en­hance en­ter­tain­ing in the cock­pit; the cock­pit it­self is enor­mous, and would serve that pur­pose well. From here, the fly­bridge lad­der is a lit­tle steep to my lik­ing, but for­tu­nately Zurn and com­pany de­signed in an in­te­rior stair­case to ac­cess the bridge.

Be­low the sole is a cav­ernous lay­out of the 58’s nerve cen­ter, from her generator, tanks, and bat­tery bank, to her Sea­keeper 9 gy­rosta­bi­lizer. Though the head­room isn’t tall, the lay­out is clean and every in­stal­la­tion is easy to ac­cess for ser­vice or mon­i­tor­ing.


With the CAT mounted so far aft, there is lit­tle noise in the saloon/pilothouse, even while run­ning 17 knots. My deci­bel me­ter never ticked higher than 79, even at max speed, and reg­is­tered as low as 72 dB at a com­fort­able 10-knot cruise. At this speed, fuel burn ticked a mod­est 8 gal­lons per hour. Vis­i­bil­ity from both helm sta­tions is su­perb, and the ex­tra-large win­dows help the helms­man keep an eye on traf­fic in busy sea­ways or give ev­ery­one aboard great views while swing­ing around the hook. Due to the Sea­keeper sta­bi­lizer, which is stan­dard equip­ment on the 58, the mo­tion at slower speeds dur­ing a gen­tle Pa­cific swell was muted, though the con­di­tions didn’t give it a thor­ough trial. Ad­di­tional fea­tures that are wor­thy of men­tion in­clude wide side decks, joy­stick ma­neu­ver­ing, and a dou­ble-door tran­som that opens to a hy­draulic ten­der/swim plat­form with stow­able dinghy chocks. The low free­board, too, helps for sin­gle-hand­ing the boat, manag­ing lines, and board­ing. All in all, the Duffield 58 is an im­pres­sive de­but for a first hull; she is well de­signed, en­gi­neered, and sports a play­ful at­ti­tude in a tra­di­tional pack­age.

Top: The third state­room still fea­tures plenty of nat­u­ral light. Above: Fly­bridge fea­tures am­ple seat­ing and cuphold­ers. Right: Teak decks and stain­less hand­holds en­sure safety while walk­ing fore and aft.

The Doug Zurn de­sign takes full ad­van­tage of large win­dows through­out the saloon and pilothouse, with an open lay­out and a pro­tected stair­case to the bridge.

This Photo: The 58 fea­tures a hy­draulic swim plat­form with built-in chocks, and dou­ble- open­ing tran­som doors that ef­fec­tively ex­tend the aft cock­pit. Below: Combo washer/dryer hid­den in a cabi­net next to the elec­tri­cal panel pro­vides longer-range...

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