Vanquish VQ58

Aluminum construction allows for a wellspring of options and layouts, granting this Dutch vessel a leg up in a crowded field.

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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 hull. 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 deGroot Design, whose principal began a career in automotive design before designing yachts, to draw a line of performance-driven vessels.

The builder launched 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 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.

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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 IPS950 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 48 knots.

It looks as if the VQ58’s days as Vanquish’s flagship are numbered; the builder is developing additional larger models. I’d wager there’s a buyer out there who’ll color-match his quad-powered 43’s engines and hull to his favorite Rolex or Formula 1 team.

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This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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