Grand Soleil has had considerable success with its latest performance cruiser models and the company’s latest 58 footer appears to be no exception – an impressive 12 boats were sold within eight months of the design being announced. The hull design maximises sailing length and accommodation volume below decks, but without compromising on great handling characteristics at sea.
In this size of vessel the accommodation can be palatial providing the builders don’t try to cram in too many sleeping cabins. With the Grand Soleil 58 even the two after quarter cabins, which on many boats are compromised by cockpit lockers above the bunks, are impressively spacious, with full headroom throughout. The starboard cabin is fitted out with twin berths, which can be converted to a giant double using an infill between them.
The saloon has a great feeling of space, with ample natural light and a choice of light oak or teak finishes, both with quality solid cappings and reassuringly deep fiddles that hint at a boat designed for serious use at sea. The galley includes Corian worktops and there’s provision for a built in for a dishwasher, as well as extensive refrigeration.
The owner’s suite right forward is of impressive dimensions and is available in two different layouts, with the option of either a conventional central peninsula bed, or the bed placed to one side, which gives additional floor area. A fourth cabin can be added in place of the third heads compartment. There’s also an optional crew cabin in the bow, with its own hatch giving access to the deck and heads.
On deck and performance
Grand Soleil has clearly put great effort into streamlining the deck arrangement as much as possible to maintain clean, crisp lines and layouts. This will undoubtedly be a key attraction to many buyers.
The cockpit can only be described as huge – it’s an open arrangement that will clearly work well if racing with lots of crew on board. Open areas aft minimise weight in the ends of the boat, while the bench seats at the forward end are at the same height as the side deck, which reduces the number of different levels to clamber over. At the same time, unlike a pure race boat, the coamings help to provide protection from any solid water that finds its way on to deck. For inclement weather there’s also a spray hood that drops away beneath fibreglass mouldings as neatly and seamlessly as the hoods of high-end soft top cars. There’s also an option for electric retractable gangways, aimed primarily at owners who will need to berth stern to in the Med, as well as an optional tender garage with space for a small jet powered RIB.
In terms of deck hardware, all lines are led aft, including halyards, genoa (or self-tacking headsail) sheets and furling code 0 controls. The recessed electric mainsheet traveller helps create the clean appearance on deck, while allowing the mainsheet trimmer excellent control of sail shape. Retractable bow and stern thrusters ease in-harbour manoeuvres, while a choice of three keels cater for different types of sailing and, if necessary, the draught restrictions imposed by some sailing areas.
Equipment and options
The Grand Soleil 58 is supplied a generally high standard of inventory, while leaving scope to customise the layout, finishes and inventory to suit individual owners. Similarly the choice of rigs, including a self-tacking jib, and different keel configurations, allow the boat to be optimised for different styles of sailing and for use in different locations.
What it does best and compromises
This model offers the potential for spirited sailing in style with a high level of comfort. It would clearly be deal for an owner plus family, or a small group of friends, to spend civilised time on board, whether making short sails to a new destination in the Mediterranean each day, or crossing oceans. Equally, it has the potential to be used in a race mode for competition either in inshore races or classic offshore events including the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Middle Sea Race and the RORC Caribbean 600.
While the open plan deck layout lends itself to taking a crowd of guests out for day sails, or to racing, this is not a boat that’s optimised for taking a party of 10-12 people away for a fortnight or more, as the accommodation is configured to give more space and comfort to a smaller number of people. While many will love the appearance of the open cockpit and decks, others may feel somewhat exposed with the boat heeled and little to brace themselves against to stay in place.
A slew of new designs in the 55-60ft bracket have been launched in the past couple of years, but few compete directly against the Grand Soleil 58, as most have more conventional cruising oriented deck layouts. The most obvious similar boat is X-Yachts’ Xp55, the flagship of the Danish manufacturer’s Performance range. The same company’s X6 is a slightly larger and more expensive option, with more performance cruising oriented accommodation and deck layouts, while the Jeanneau 58, Hanse 588 and Bavaria C57 are slightly smaller and more budget priced alternatives.
For more information visit Key Yachting or grandsoleil.net.
Grand Soleil 58 specifications
Draught: (standard keel) 2.9m
Fuel tankage: 600 litres
Water tankage: 800 litres
Engine: 75hp diesel