Soundings - - Contents - BY DEN­NIS CAPRIO

Sched­uled to launch in 2019, Doug Zurn’s plan­ing Hy­las M58 de­sign prom­ises great fuel econ­omy in a sim­pli­fied New Eng­land­style cruiser.

For the sailor who needs an in­cen­tive to em­brace the slightly sim­pler world of power­boat­ing, the Hy­las M58 might do the trick. De­signed by Doug Zurn and sched­uled to launch in 2019, this yacht wears the friendly face of a tra­di­tional New Eng­land­style cruiser with­out fussi­ness or flour­ishes.

Al­though noth­ing about de­sign­ing a yacht is sim­ple, the best ex­am­ples of this art cause ob­servers to say, “Hell, I can do that.” We of­ten ap­plaud overly com­plex styling treat­ments, which are meant to demon­strate a sense of some­thing unique, but those el­e­ments can drown the over­all de­sign in a sea of con­flict. Scalpel-shape win­dows in the su­per­struc­ture clash with par­al­lel­o­gram port­lights in the top­sides; char­ac­ter lines used to mask the un­gainly ex­panse of free­board scar the pro­file, and both mo­tifs dis­turb the de­sign’s sense of har­mony.

You’ll find noth­ing rad­i­cal in the M58. The sheer line in a di­rect pro­file view ri­vals “Mona Lisa’s smile” for sub­tlety. In­stead of won­der­ing what Mona was think­ing, we should won­der what mood Zurn was try­ing to set — un­der­state­ment com­bined with strength of char­ac­ter is my guess.

Sur­pris­ingly small, but im­por­tant el­e­ments of the M58 con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of the over­all de­sign. Most ob­vi­ous are the iden­ti­cal rakes of the wind­shield, the edge of the vi­sor just above it and the front fas­cia of the su­per­struc­ture. The coam­ing around the fly­bridge slopes aft at the same angle as the sheer line, while the re­verse sheer helps to mask the vol­ume in the for­ward sec­tions of the hull. Al­though we may never no­tice the quote in a three-di­men­sional view, it is im­por­tant to the de­sign’s suc­cess. The coam­ing ter­mi­nates in a short, slop­ing plunge to the hard­top, find­ing its equal angle in the for­ward edge of the open­ing be­tween af­ter­deck and side deck.

Hy­las also of­fers the M58 with a fly­bridge. It adds a sig­nif­i­cant amount of height to the su­per­struc­ture, but not ob­jec­tion­ably so. The many ad­van­tages of the fly­bridge notwith- stand­ing, I pre­fer the sedan ver­sion’s looks.

Hav­ing 58 by 18 feet of hull in which to ex­e­cute aes­thetic magic re­lieves some of the stress of getting the de­sign just right. Stretched along that much length, the free­board you need to get stand­ing head­room be­lowdecks doesn’t over­whelm the pro­file. Add a few more inches to the free­board, and you may also hide the trunk cabin be­hind bul­warks, let­ting its sweetly formed crown and grad­ual de­scent to the fore­deck ac­cen­tu­ate the re­verse sheer line.

Al­though a yacht’s ap­pear­ance of­ten sells it to the public, the en­su­ing ro­mance fal­ters quickly if the per­for­mance can’t keep the flame burn­ing. As al­ways, Zurn Yacht De­sign be­gan be­low the wa­ter­line. Her fine en­try warps to a 16.5-de­gree dead­rise at the tran­som. Strakes along the bot­tom and sub­stan­tial chine flats at the turn of the bilges en­hance lift.

“It’s more of a plan­ing hull, rather than a semi-dis­place­ment hull,” Zurn says. “We ex­pect her to be a leader in fuel econ­omy in the class.”

The main deck’s open ar­range­ment plan has a U-shaped gal­ley aft on the port side, a dinette im­me­di­ately for­ward and the helm op­po­site. Rais­ing the dinette and gal­ley al­lowed ad­e­quate head­room in the be­lowdecks state­room amid­ships. Fold­ing glass doors all but dis­ap­pear, which adds to the seam­less flow from af­ter­deck to sa­loon. At the gal­ley, the af­ter win­dow low­ers into the counter, form­ing a three-stool cock­tail bar for guests on the af­ter­deck.

Com­pro­mise gov­erns the de­sign of all prod­ucts headed to pro­duc­tion, and Hy­las and Zurn seem to have cho­sen the right ones for the M58. hy­lasy­

LOA: 64 feet, 7 inches (bow roller to swim plat­form) • LOD: 58 feet • BEAM (max.): 18 feet, 9 inches • DIS­PLACE­MENT (half load): 69,115 pounds • FUEL: 1,450 gal. • WA­TER: 300 gal. • POWER: twin 725-hp Volvo Penta D11s paired to IPS950 drives • SPEED: 2V kno•s •op, 23 knots cruise • BASE PRICE (est.): $2 mil­lion • ES­TI­MATED LAUNCH: fall 20P9

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