The first thing I noticed about the potential client was his iconic square timepiece, a Tag Heuer Monaco. First made a half-century back for Steve McQueen’s character in Le Mans, the watch sported a deep blue sunray dial but also orange and light blue racing stripes emblematic of Gulf Racing livery. The color scheme was an exact match to the Awlgrip hull and UV-resistant Silverguard orange soft goods of the boat we were about to board. As we made our way up opposing stairs from the swim platform, I was hard-pressed to envision a more suitable client at the Cannes Yachting Festival for the Vanquish VQ58.
Netherlands-based Vanquish Yachts is part of the new breed of boldly-styled dayboats slash tenders turning heads from the Med to Martha’s Vineyard. An axe bow, copious freeboard and a severely raked windshield are right on brief, as is her near-horizontal sheer. From here, she veers away from her competitors with highly customizable, all-metal construction.
Founder Tom Steentjes launched the company in 2012 with the goal of incorporating his work as a master welder into the marine space. At first hard to believe—credit a paint job without flaw and invisible welds—the flagship VQ58 (like the rest of the model line) is built of marine-grade aluminum. Inspired by on-road exotics, Steentjes tapped Guido de Groot Design, whose principal began a career in automotive design, to draw a line of performance-driven vessels.
The builder launched its last model, the VQ50, with a paint scheme that pays homage to the ionic Gulf Racing teams of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 50-footer garnered a lot of attention, and as I stood just under her hardtop near her summer galley and looked aft, so did the VQ58: The queue to board her had grown exponentially.
The 58 has a more graceful sweep than her siblings to accommodate wide side decks and the optional ($108,300) fixed roof and three-sided glass of the hardtop. It’s also available in an open version or with a T-top; I’d lean toward the protection and air-conditioned space of the hardtop version with her wide, single-piece windshield and enormous sunroof. However, the others have a slick frameless windshield that’s a fine match to her hull.
From here, hull and soft goods color (as well as layout) is buyer’s choice. Aluminum construction allows for moving essentially everything around both above- and belowdecks. The 58 is available in a two- or three-stateroom layout, both with a tender garage under the large aft sunpad for a 9-foot, 6-inch Williams Turbojet 285. Interested in day-boating and schlepping an army of water toys? Order your 58 with the additional side garage (or sans aft garage) and a big, forward single cabin.
The choice in propulsion is varied as well. For lack of a better word, she comes standard with twin 600-hp Cummins Zeus drives, the same engines as on the 50-footer. I’d wager most buyers will opt for larger options: a pair of Volvo Penta’s 725-hp, D11s with IPS drives or massive, 16.2L V8s from MAN rated at 1,300 hp apiece and paired with France Helices surface drives; the latter will reportedly push the 58-footer to 50-plus knots. —Jeff Moser
Fuel 400 gal.
Water 105 gal.
Power 2/600-hp Cummins Zeus drives
Cruise Speed 30 knots
Top Speed 50 knots
Standard Horsepower 1,200
Price $1.94 million