Compass 58 Pilothouse

A his-and-her compromise between sportfisher and motoryacht.

Yachts, like marriages, involve compromises. In the case of the Compass 58 Pilothouse, that's particularly true. A compromise in a marriage led to this particular yacht, and to a story that will ring familiar to many skippers.

The husband is a serious fisherman; the wife is not. Over the years, he has had sportfishers that fit his needs perfectly. They were Spartan to say the least, perhaps not at the hose-out-the-potato-chips-and-beer-cans level, but without many cruising comforts. It became apparent that husband leaving wife at home while he went off fishing wasn't a good idea, so the two set out to find a yacht that would fit both their needs.

They discovered the Compass 55 Pilothouse, and a 3-foot stretch of the hull created the 58. The new hull allowed for a large fishing cockpit yet still provided motoryacht luxury for cruising or living aboard. It was, for them, the perfect solution.

The starting point is the Compass hull, which was tank-tested to 30 knots at BC Research in Canada and which has been successful with sportfishers and motoryachts alike for years. It is solid fiberglass with Blister Guard gelcoat below the waterline, and there is Divinycell coring in the topsides and superstructure for strength and light weight.

Since fishing was still a primary concern, the 180-square-foot cockpit was set up with an 80-gallon bait well built into the transom and molded fiberglass cabinets on each side of the sliding door to the saloon. A big refrigerator fills the starboard side, while the bait prep area and tackle stowage are to port. Other thoughtful details include recessed hinges on the hatches in the sole, an insulated fishbox, high-pressure fresh- and raw-water washdowns, easy steps to the side decks (with 34-foot Rupp outriggers), and a gently sloping ladder to the bridge.

While a fishing bridge with aft helm and fiberglass hardtop is optional, these owners stayed with the standard cruising layout. The helm is forward to port with a triple-wide bench seat; an entertainment cabinet is to starboard with refrigerator, ice maker, sink and JennAir barbecue; and an L-shape settee is aft. This choice allows the standard 11-foot Rendova RIB to stow neatly on the boat deck. A Nautical Structures 1,100-pound crane handles hoisting duties, and the setup leaves room for entertaining on the bridge.

But without a tournament bridge, how can the skipper keep an eye on the fishing action? By standing in the cockpit with the corded Glendinning remote that provides full engine, steering and bow thruster controls. The unit combines with a television screen and bridge-mounted camera to give a view forward. Fighting a fish or backing into a slip, the skipper can move from side to side with full control.

Though the fishing amenities had to be added, the Compass 58 kept the 55's well-appointed interior. The saloon has large windows that allow a good view from the leather settee, or from the facing pair of built-in chairs separated by an end table.

The galley and pilothouse share a level just above the saloon, finished with high-gloss cherry. The galley has granite counters, full appliances and eye-level cabinets that I would eliminate to give the cook a better view forward (there's more than enough stowage elsewhere). The helm is behind a low instrument panel with the comprehensive standard Raymarine electronics package flush-mounted in glossy pear. Behind the wheel is a Stidd helm chair that makes for a tight passage between the galley counter when the chair is slid aft, but the skipper has a good view forward and of the yacht's after corners, through openings in the galley bulkhead.

To starboard is a cleverly designed L-shape settee with a folding burl pear table. The settee's after section lifts out easily, providing access to the sliding pilothouse door. When only the portside door is needed, the section lengthens the settee for guests to gather. Not seen, but important, is the huge crawl space under the instrument panel. It makes adding or servicing the electronics convenient.

The master stateroom spans the beam and is swimming in high-gloss cherry, with the low queen berth giving the cabin a pleasant sense of uncramped space. Lockers line the port side, while a vanity and desk are tucked to starboard next to the head with granite counters and oversized shower. Detailing is nicely executed, with a headboard combining a beveled mirror with blue leather padding. A ceiling treatment mimics the shape of the berth.

The VIP is forward with the usual raised berth beneath a burl and inlaid headboard. There's a crew cabin to starboard with two bunks, and the use of pocket doors on both forward cabins adds space and accessibility to both areas. An oversize head serves the two forward cabins and doubles as a day head, with a spacious shower and granite seat.

One sacrifice was moving the engineroom entry from the area now fitted with the cockpit bait prep console to a hatch in the cockpit sole, and a ladder leads to both the engineroom and the after electrical compartment. The twin 635 hp Cummins QSM 11 diesels are readily accessible on diamond-plate flooring, and the 16kW Northern Lights genset is set amidships. Other systems include a Spectra 600 gallon-per-day watermaker, a 2,500-watt Statpower inverter, MarineAir air conditioning and a Nobel 24-volt bow thruster. Care was taken with systems, such as the twin sea chests for raw-water intake and outlet.

There is good access to the steering and shaft logs. The standard fuel capacity is 1,000 gallons, but with the long-range missions planned for this 58, the fuel capacity was upped to 1,240 gallons.

Under way, the Compass feels like a yacht much larger than 58 feet. The steering is precise but light, and the Twin Disc Power Commander shifters are positive, though fitted with three stations. We had long swells for our test but, even running with the seas abeam and the Naiad stabilizers turned off, the 58 had an easy motion that would make passagemaking comfortable.

With nearly full fuel, full water and all the gear from tools to tender to personal effects, our test 58 topped out at 21.8 knots. With some hours on the boat, the owner has found the "sweet spot" at 1800 rpm, which gives a nice mix of speed and economy, running 14 knots but consuming just 30 gph.

While there aren't many raised pilothouse sportfishers, the Compass 58 handles the dual duties of war wagon and comfortable luxury cruiser with aplomb and style. That she meets the needs of her owners is sufficient praise, and similarly challenged couples are likely to find she provides a workable balance between sportfisher and motoryacht.

Contact: Compass Point Yachts, (206) 625-1580; bking@compasspointyachts.com; www.compasspointyachts.com.