Much more than just a straightforward restyling job, the new 17-metre model from the Podenzano boat builder has new layouts, fittings, more attention to detail and a higher level of luxury
by Luca Sordelli
«WHAT’S THE SAME? JUST THE HULL». We’re leaving the berth and Gimmy Valente is at my side. He’s one of Absolute’s longstanding dealers, we’ve known each other a long time and have tested practically the entire range at the Podenzano yard. I can’t disagree with him – even the initial sensation when just stepping onto the new version of the Navetta 58 was completely different. I’d tried the first version when it came out three years ago, and I know it well.
«This is in another league» – stresses Gimmy, and while we’re chatting he’s at the controls, getting us out of the tight berth in Genoa. The marina is full of boats, it’s early morning and, right on time, the north wind bites hard. So in other words, not the easiest of manoeuvres. The space was really limited, and turning meant squeezing past the other moorings. Gimmy is an expert skipper of course, but I can’t help but notice how the boat, which is over 17 metres long, with a distinctly mighty hull exposed to the wind, is extremely agile to manoeuvre. This is thanks to the IPS, the precision of twin 800 D8 600 horsepower engines, the joystick, and the bow propeller, making everything so easy.
The flybridge on the new Navetta 58 also has new features – the hardtop has been restyled with the central canvas section that can open via electric operation. A power-assisted bimini top can also be fitted, which extends towards the stern.
I take advantage of the time it takes to get outside the seawall by having a look at the boat. Layouts have changed on the main deck and the night area. The interior decor is also completely new.
The new position of the galley stands out immediately, which now faces onto the cockpit and is no longer at the centre of the boat. A solution with an American vibe, but extremely practical and always appreciated by owners. What’s more, the three-leaf glass sliding door, made of steel, is concealed once closed. Indoors and outdoors become one. The concealed glass solution and electric operation which, from the other side of the galley counter faces towards the lounge, is also a nice touch.
The main saloon is characterized by windows which allow you an all-around view. The layout is classical, functional and comfortable.
Here too the aim was achieved to transform space according to the intended use. Other features stand out in the lounge, such as the air conditioning outlets, which are concealed thanks to some clever carpentry. Overall the finish and materials are top quality. Of particular appeal are the alternating fittings in light and dark oak, dark, polished lacquered oak, and numerous curved lines, which are harder to model but create an impact. I can’t help but think that since the arrival of the flagship, the Navetta 73, Absolute has been getting closer to the world of superyachts. With the Navetta 58, the step forward is evident. «This is the result of extensive work, with our experience as the starting point», explains Valente. «The market is demanding increasingly higher standards, and we’re losing no time in responding to that».
This work has also involved additional costs. «The price difference between the two models is around 3-4%, but the increase in the boat’s value is considerably higher».
The stateroom area on the lower deck is undoubtedly the large master cabin in the centre of the boat. Not only does it fully exploit the maximum five metres of hull beam, it is also extremely bright thanks to large side windows.
The wonderful feeling of luxury continues on the lower deck, where fewer changes have been made, but those which have are still noticeable. The new diagonal orientation of the bed in the VIP cabin at the bow works well, and capitalises on the space available, in addition to the doors, which slide into the bulkhead to gain additional precious walking space.
What about sailing it, how does it perform? Very well, and it would have been pointless to make changes to the previous version, which has had significant appeal on the market. Underlying the entire design is the well-established partnership with Volvo Penta, in which Absolute has optimised a formula that works, even though it seemed difficult to reconcile propulsion with IPS and the design of Navetta at the start. In reality the impossible has been achieved thanks to an extremely versatile hull, delivering both good displacement and planning performance. The test figures demonstrate this. The changeover occurs around 14-15 knots. Lower than this enables sailing in complete comfort, silence, zero vibrations and reduced consumption (100 litres/hour at the most).
In terms of external design, the new Navetta 58 stands out first and foremost due to the different shape of the glazing, and the absence of the fibreglass ‘fins’ on the astern columns between the main deck and the flybridge.
A maximum speed of 26 knots can be reached by opening the throttle. Worthy of note is how the consumption curve, as with all hulls in the Navetta range, is very flat at the top: between 2500 and 3000 revs/min, so from 17 to 26 knots, consumption remains at 250-255 litres an hour i.e. 9.4 litres per mile. Overall these figures are excellent given the considerable 33 tonnes of displacement, and also given the generous volumes of this 58.
The engine room houses two Volvo Penta IPS 800 D13 600 horsepower engines. Combined with a distinctly versatile hull, they deliver both good displacement and planing performance.
PROJECT: Shipyard technical department
HULL: LOA 17.42m • Maximum beam 1.39m • Draft 1.40m • Displacement 33,190 kg • Fuel tank volumes 2,400 l • Water tank volume 650 l
MAIN PROPULSION: 2 Volvo Penta D8 IPS 800 • Outlet mechanical power 441 kW (600 hp) • Bore & Stroke 110mm x 135mm • Swept volume 7.7 l • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Weight 1,410 kg
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT B-14
PRICE: 1,250,000 €, Excl.VAT, powered with IPS 800 (January 2021)
(Absolute Navetta 58, an entirely different boat – Barchemagazine.com – September 2020)