The [Otam] 58 feels big. She’s brutal in a powerful sort of way, and beautiful. She stands out among the galaxy of sport cruisers on the market today, and in my book she ticks just about all the boxes.
Some features reminded me of the classic Magnum range of sport cruisers, but the 58 has a narrower hull form and, to me, a slightly more refined style. Perhaps she’s best described as Europe’s answer to the Magnum, with a similar racing heritage and attention to detail that allows boats to win races. This didn’t surprise me; in an earlier life I had raced with the company’s major shareholders, Giancarlo and Monica Rampezzotti, a husband and wife team who ran with the legendary Fabio Buzzi back in the 1980s. It turns out I also competed with Otam’s current CEO, Gianfranco Zanoni. Suffice it to say there’s a lot of performance-boat knowledge in the 58.
The keys to this yacht’s refined high performance are her hull design and build. You can specify construction in advanced composites like Kevlar and carbon fiber or straight-up fiberglass, depending on your performance requirements. My test vessel was the former, which made her about 4,000 pounds lighter than her fiberglass version and about 3 knots faster at wide-open throttle. Her aft deadrise is a deep 21 degrees and, combined with her fine entry, should make quick work of nasty chop. In addition, spray rails and powerful chines should help provide a relatively comfortable ride in rough conditions.
There were fairly calm seas during my day on board, but a rather nasty underlying swell from earlier winds was difficult to see or anticipate, making for good testing conditions for a 50-plus-knot boat.
Heading into the swell, I needed to bring the throttles back a shade just to have a reserve in the event that a larger-than-normal wave came along, but the 58 made confident progress. Running across the waves, full throttle was possible, allowing her twin 1,670-horsepower Caterpillar diesels to propel the 58 to an average top speed of 52.3 knots. Her running attitude was the same downwind, where the vessel’s full bow shape lifted the hull, eliminating any chance of her making a nose dive. We could cruise all day at 40 to 45 knots in considerable comfort.
One thing that helps the 58 stand out from the crowd is that each vessel emerging from this Italian yard is fully customized to owner’s requirements. This is unusual for boats of this size and purpose, and with the modern versions of the 58 you can even specify the refinement level of the performance.
|Specifications||Builder Supplied Number|
|ENGINES (std.):||2 x 1,670 hp Caterpillar diesels|
|ENGINES (opt.):||2 x 1,502 hp MTU 2000 diesels or 2 x 1,650 hp MAN diesels|
|PRICE AS TESTED:||$3,181,000 (approx.)|
For instance, the Arneson drives can be matched to a sophisticated gear box that takes some of the brutality out of the gear changes. An auto-trim version of the Arnesons reduces the driver’s workload when coming onto plane. But close-quarters handling is not the strong suit for an Arneson-drive-equipped boat. My 58’s bow thruster helped a lot in tight berthing operations.
This craft’s sleek styling speaks to her power with a striking reverse sheer to the deck, and the stern lies quite low in the water. A small hardtop pod merges cleanly into the deck with an extended shelter at the rear end to allow some cockpit sun protection. At the portside helm, I got a clear view of expansive, uninterrupted foredeck that stretches out in front like an aircraft carrier’s flight deck. A three-person, racing-type bolster seat gives good support, but handholds for the passengers would have been appreciated. Since this is a custom build, I’m sure Otam would add them for you. The dashboard is compact with a large optional Furuno display (Raymarine electronics are standard) flanked by the Cat engine displays, and below, a row of switches includes the power trim (see: drive adjustments) and trim tabs (noted as flaps on the panel). Displays show the setting of the drives, but there is nothing for the tabs. I’d ask the company to add it.
Behind the helm is settee seating around a table plus a sun bed aft. To starboard, owners can specify a bar counter with a retractable TV, an ice maker and a wine cooler. A great feature is the rigid passerelle that swings rather than telescopes, creating secure access from either side or the stern. It also doubles as the tender-launching crane for the swim platform stowage.
Because the diesels are coupled to the Arnesons, the engines are located well aft and access to them is unimpeded. The whole engine compartment opens up under the power-lifting sun bed and settee.
There is space here for the fuel tank and a generator, as well as the domestic systems. Equally well laid out is the 58’s belowdecks space. An owner can have a fully customized layout, subject to the location of the main bulkheads, of course. My test boat had an ingenious salon with a double berth to port that converted into a dining table or a desk, plus sliding doors to use the space as a guest cabin. Opened up, the salon allows dining for food prepared in the well-equipped galley opposite, complete with Miele electric cooktop, microwave and customized fridge and freezer. My 58 was a great example of the sort of finishes possible with rich cream lacquer throughout much of the interior.
The master cabin is forward with its en suite offering separate toilet and shower compartments. A day-head is at the foot of the access stairway, and an optional layout offers a dedicated salon where the galley might be, an enclosed galley on the port side and a twin cabin on the port side aft. There is also space for a basic single-berth crew cabin forward with access from the deck.
There is no doubting the style and performance of the Otam 58, and she creates excitement and adventure, feelings many modern designs seem to miss. She’s a sport cruiser that is at her best when she’s at sea under full power, but she also offers a peaceful haven in harbor when the day’s high-speed fun is over. She’s a complete yacht.