58 — By Capt. Ken Kreisler — November 2001
Survival of the Fittest
|Part 2: Davis 58 continued|
Blount and Davis also designed a cockpit dedicated to the 58's primary mission. Measuring 12'10" wide by 10'4" long, it is equipped with a long list of standard features including circulating baitwell, in-sole fishbox with macerator pump, transom fishbox, in-sole line and fender stowage, teak covering boards, a pair of Glendinning Cablemasters, a top-loading freezer, and a built-in tackle center. Unfortunately, the top of its lid is flush with the bottom, so if you happen to keep your fingers there while lowering the lid: Ouch! Cutting a channel so it fits like a box would prevent that possibility. However, I was assured that this would be taken care of on subsequent boats. Cockpit options included a teak sole and coaming boards, an Eskimo E600 shaved-ice machine, electric reel outlets, custom fighting chair, rocket launchers, rod holders, and Rupp triple box spreader outriggers. Also here is access to the Awlgripped engine room, where I found 6'2" of headroom and plenty of work space.
The bridge layout allows the captain to keep an eye on all the action by positioning a pair of pedestal seats--both with removable backrests--well aft. The helm has enough room for an array of flush-mounted electronics on a console that disappears with the touch of a button. Forward there's seating for five with additional seating for six to starboard. Stowage areas are supplied beneath the seats.
The only thing I found better than being at the wheel of the Davis 58 was looking over to my left and seeing Buddy Davis sitting next to me. I slid the single-lever controls forward to bring the twin 1,480-hp DDC-MTU 12V2000 Titan Series diesels to 2000 rpm, where my Stalker radar gun showed 36 mph (31.3 knots). "Go to the top, Ken," said Davis. And I did, hitting a top speed of 41.4 mph.
While sea conditions off of Stuart, Florida, presented nothing to challenge us, I held the 58 at 2250 rpm and at almost 40 mph put her through a series of tight turns, hard-over maneuvers, and with rudders amidships, straight tracking runs. We also did several backing-down routines. The 58 was agile and fast in her response to the helm, lost little rpm in the 360s, and tracked straight and true.
While she's all hard-core fishing on the outside, the Davis 58 is designed for comfort on the inside. The saloon has 6'5" headroom, and large windows admit plenty of light. A pair of rod lockers is in the overhead, and there's an L-shape couch to port. To starboard there's a credenza, and forward of that is the dinette. The galley is to port and features large Corian countertops, convection/microwave oven, four-burner electric stove top, and Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator and freezer. Galley options include a dishwasher and trash compactor.
The 58 is offered with either three staterooms, as on my test boat, or four. Regardless, there are three heads. The forepeak has bunks in an over-under configuration. Aft of that and to starboard is a stateroom also with bunks, and the master is located amidships and to port. The fourth stateroom is aft of the starboard quarters. All have large stowage areas, including cabinets, lockers, drawer space, and closets that display fine joinerwork and matching grains.
Boats with that unmistakable bow flare, broken sheerline, and rakish profile slip down the ways of many Outer Banks builders, but those bearing the Davis name seem to occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of horizon-chasing, bluewater adventurers. The 58 is designed and equipped with all the refinements of her predecessors and proves that survival of the fittest need not be limited to living things.
Davis Boatworks Phone: (877) 779-2248. Fax: (252) 473-6222. www.buddydavis.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.