Wait. Doesn’t Duffy build electric boats? Yes, the California-based boatbuilder does. In fact, during the past four decades, Duffy has built more than 10,000 of them. But founder Marshall “Duffy” Duffield had a dream to create an efficient, quiet and stout single-diesel cruiser with traditional motor-yacht lines and a semidisplacement hull form.
Say hello to Duffy’s vision: the Duffield 58 Flybridge.
Visit the builder’s website, and with one look at his Hunt-designed, 56-foot wooden trawler Following Sea, you’ll see the inspiration for the 58, a modern take on the 1965 motoryacht.
To help bring his idea to life, Duffy partnered with naval architect Doug Zurn, who has penned powerboats for everyone from Marlow to MJM to Billy Joel. Duffy and Zurn came up with a list of must-have features. The 58 had to have one-level living. Check. It also had to cruise at 17 knots on one motor. Check. And the yacht had to be owner-operator friendly for a cruising couple. Check.
Another requirement included using half the fuel of similar-size and -class vessels. We haven’t run the boat yet, but the builder says Hull No. 1 is equipped with the optional 1,000 hp Caterpillar 12.9 diesel and is burning 1.4 gallons per mile at a 17-knot cruise speed. I did some quick math: Based on the 58’s 1,000-gallon fuel capacity, and considering a 10 percent reserve, ballpark range at cruising speed is 642 nautical miles.
At 20 knots, fuel burn is reportedly 1.75 gpm. If you want to up the fuel efficiency by trading off a little speed, a 650 hp 8.7 Caterpillar diesel is available.
With 47 years in the electric-boat segment, Duffy knew that quietude is also key. The 58 has an enclosed shaft system to minimize vibration throughout the fiberglass hull. Taking the sound dampening a step further, the 1,000 hp diesel is on soft mounts abaft the salon. You should hear only the water running across the hull.
The 58’s look is traditional, but her build is thoroughly 21st century. The hull, topsides and bottom are vacuum-bagged fiberglass with Airex coring. Her stringers, soles and bulkheads are also resin-infused.
The cruising-comfort quotient is not lost on the builder, so the 58 has a three-stateroom, two-head layout. There’s a forepeak master, and abaft to port and starboard are guest staterooms with full-size berths for another couple and the kids.
Duffield is a semicustom yard, but Duffy tells me that at the $2.5 million base price, this yacht is ready to go. So, where to?