Local Debut

The world debut of a new yacht is a big deal, especially when the builder is located locally, manufactures locally and debuts the yacht locally. Such was the case in late April when the Duffield 58 made its debut at the Newport Boat Show in Newport Beach. Built by Duffield Yachts, the Adelanto, Calif.-based builder whose other venture, Duffy Boats, has cranked out thousands of smaller electric-powered harbor boats over the course of 40 years, the Duffield 58 was introduced to the world in its home waters, which seems appropriate.

We actually had the opportunity to take the 58 for a sea trial before the show and get the story behind it directly from the guy who brought the vision to life, Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, the mayor pro tem of Newport Beach who has been immersed in the world of boats since his youth. You can find some of the back story on page 38 of this issue, which is where the sea trial appears, but I want to share more of the story here.

The idea was to have a semi-displacement hull that would be super-efficient, cruise easily at 17 knots and still be classic looking. To accomplish all that and more, Duffy enlisted Doug Zurn, a renowned yacht designer out of Massachusetts, who came up with the design to make it all work.

With a design in hand, it was time to find a hybrid propulsion system, since Duffy wanted the most efficient yacht he could build. He found it. Unfortunately, it was going to cost far too much to make it practical for a recreational yacht, so he went on the hunt for a diesel engine that could operate solo and still hit the markers. The Caterpillar 12.9 was the one. Hooked to a V-drive, it was placed under the cockpit, which accomplished a couple of other goals the builder had in mind: quieter living spaces and more room for equipment such as a generator and a Seakeeper gyro.

What resulted — what was meant to result — is a couples coastal cruiser with a range of more than 1,000 miles at 10 knots and an easy 20-knot cruise speed. Three staterooms and two heads, a socially oriented flybridge, and abundant seating in the main cabin mean a group could join for a day’s festivities and another couple could easily join for an extended cruise. Find out more about the new Duffield 58 starting on page 38.

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