Grand Soleil GS 58 Performance, good at all the points of sailing

A fully Made in Italy cruiser boat of 18.37 meters long, built at Cantiere del Pardo with the naval architecture by Felci Yachts and the design by Nauta Yachts

by Niccolò Volpati

“We are convinced that this pairing is the right one. That is why we are thinking of putting them on different length models”, says Gigi Servidati, the yard’s sales manager. The pairing he is talking about is that of the designers who have created this new 58-footer: Umberto Felci for the waterlines and Nauta Design for the deck and interiors.

Felci’s boat ought to perform well, but the Gulf of Tigullio has got the normal light thermal inversion. We hurry to slip moorings because the other thing about this gulf is that the breeze dies off quickly. From Lavagna we go to the mouth of the Entella River, hoping to find some slightly more convincing wind. And fortunately that is how it turns out. Nothing too exceptional, but the true wind is at least six knots. We hoise the Code 0 and immediately the GS 58 shows us its generosity. Even without much wind, the Code 0 unfurls and creates its own apparent wind.

Grand Soleil GS 58The boat actually clocks up a speed that is close to that of the wind. The SOG on the GPS shows about half a knot less than the wind speed. Not bad at all, especially because this, which is the first model turned out by the yard, is set up for cruising. The acceleration is also excellent. Immediately after tacking, you just have to put out the mainsail and the boat takes off. The lack of wind means we can’t change sails and so we stay with the Code 0.

We bear away and take it first on a beam reach and then on a broad reach. The performance improves further still. I note that the 58 doesn’t object to sailing close hauled, but gives the best of itself sailing downwind. We can only imagine what it would have done with a stronger wind, but it is definitely the case that including “Performance” in the boat’s name was a good decision. In conditions that are not easy, it handles very well with performance under sail which is more that of a racer than a cruiser. Umberto Felci has once again hit the target. And Nauta? We think they have too. The reason for that can be seen from some decisions and some details. Nauta has a touch that means that things which are complicated for others, he manages to make simple.

So many issues that appear to be problems, Nauta solves with perfect solutions. The deck has clean lines and everything works as it should. Sheets and ropes run under the deckhouse and come out close to four winches all of which are close to the two wheels. What’s odd about that? Actually, nothing. But sometimes you see boats that have lead blocks or counter-rotating winches to do a circuit of that sort. But on the GS 58 Performance everything is clean, and nicely done, without anything complicated or strange. The same is also true for the volumes of the cockpit, that has a shape that is slightly trapezoidal, so as to make the most of the full width of the boat at the stern. Even the table has got the same shape, and when it is open, it is very large and fits in with the benches, while not being ever a hindrance when closed.

The stowable spray hood, the mainsail track under the deck and the flush deckhouse portholes all contribute to the cleanness of the deck lines. The high and low shrouds are on the topside, so the gunwales remain clear. This very clean feel to the gunwales is also created by the mainsail sheet fitting under the teak and coming out in the cockpit 20cm from the winches. In optimising the spaces, Nauta has also succeeded in finding space for a large tender garage. That’s another solution which we shouldn’t take for granted. There is a lot of space on board the GS 58, so it is possible to fit in a 270cm tender that is inflated and ready to use.

Grand Soleil GS 58Below decks, we were really struck by how liveable the forward spaces are. The owner’s cabin is over two metres tall. There are two layouts available for it: with a centrally-located double bed, or with it against the wall. The latter solution means you can have a lot of space to move around inside the cabin. The owner’s bathroom is in the bows, and not towards the dinette as often happens. In that way the space available is used best. All in all, the centimetres are not wasted, even though we are on board a boat with a 17 and a half metre hull. The Nauta touch is comparable to the Force of the Jedi Knights in Star Wars: you can’t see it, but you know it’s there. What we liked about the interiors of the GS 58 is the very fact that you don’t really notice them. They are not made to make an impression, but just to help you enjoy life on board. Everything is as it should be. Everything works, it is practical, simple and elegant.

When the feint morning breeze in the Gulf of Tigullio finally gives up on us, there is nothing else for us to do but test the engine performance in returning to harbour. The engine is an axle line 150 hp Volvo with a Flex O Fold propeller with foldable blades. There is a lot of power, and it really pushes. With the throttle right open, we nearly get to ten knots, and without a lot of effort we go at between eight and nine knots. The water lines designed by Umberto Felci even perform well under power. Despite the sound-proofing, you can hear the engine and at a rotational speed of 2500 – 2900/min and the noise level in the rear cabins is over 80 decibels.

Grand Soleil GS 58 Performance – Technical details

PROJECT Interiors Nauta Yachts • Exteriors Nauta Yachts • Naval Architecture Felci Yachts

HULL LOA 18.37m • Hull Length 17.50m • Waterline length 16.20m • Maximum Beam 5.20m • Draft 2.90m • Light mass displacement 18,900 kg • Ballast 6,100kg • Fuel tank volumes 600 l • Water tank volume 800 l • Sailing surface 191m2 • Mainsail 106m2 • Jib (108%) 85m2 • Gennaker 262m2

MAIN PROPULSION Volvo Penta D3 • Outlet mechanical power 110 kW (150 hp) • Engine type 4 stroke • Number of cylinders 5 • Bore & Stroke 81mm x 93,2mm • Total swept volume 2,4l • Compression ratio 16,5:1 • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Weight 297kg

CERTIFICATION EC Category A – 12 people

PRICE 859,000 € (June 2017)

Measurements: Dinette headroom 202cm • galley 198x188x96cm • chart table 105x69cm • linear sofa 185cm • U-shaped sofa in the dinette 140x228x170cm • Stern starboard cabin headroom 194cm • Berth 204x84cm (each) • Berth to ceiling 88cm • Bathroom headroom 213cm • Port side stern cabin headroom 189cm • Berth 200x170cm • Berth to ceiling 88cm • Bathroom headroom 208cm • Table in the dinette 96x140cm • Master cabin headroom 205cm • Berth 200x160cm • Berth to ceiling 138 cm • Owner bathroom 195cm • Walkway at side 74cm • Benches in the cockpit 310cm • Cockpit area 370x280cm • Distance between the wheels 140cm • Stern platform area 270x98cm

Via Fratelli Lumière, 34
I-47122 FORLì (FC)
0039 0543 782404
[email protected]

(Grand Soleil GS 58 Performance, good at all the points of sailing – – June 2017)