The legend of the Golden Egg, with a modern twist.
WHEN EGG HARBOR Yacht reprised their familiar moniker, Golden Egg, for the new model year, these South Jersey boys did a lot more than just rename their fleet. Throughout the line, from 34' to 58', cosmetic and structural changes were made from the waterline to the flying bridge. In today's intensively competitive marketplace, the people at Egg Harbor are not about to rest on their reputation. But rather, they are forging ahead and innovating, just as New Jersey boatbuilders have always done.
PRECISION SPEED – With 3412 Caterpillars, the 58 topped out at over 36 mph. clean entry forward and chine jogs hasten performance throughout operating range.
Our test boat, the 58 Golden Egg, is a case in point. While sharing many of the interior appointments of the 54 Convertible Sedan that we tested last March, this new Golden Egg is geared toward the serious big-game angler, and has a much larger tournament-grade fishing cockpit.
The overall look is also new. All of the tooling for the 58 was done by Egg Harbor's own R&D facility: expensive, but worth it. With softer, rounded flying bridge corners, and rounded cabin trails capped with varnished teak trim, the boat has a crisp, modern appearance. To save on maintenance, and give the captain more time to fuss with fishing tackle, teak toe rails have been omitted. On some boats the absence of teak detracts from the overall design. Not so on Egg Harbors. Aboard the 58 Golden Egg, teak trim on the aft bulkhead windows, salon door, and cockpit covering boards provides plenty of traditional flavor but in a thoroughly '90s package.
GOLDEN VIEWS – Clean, effective flying bridge layout; galley with all the amenities; the big-game bluewater tournament-ready cockpit; in the master suite.
Speed, too, is part of the package. These days, the best fishing grounds are often far from home, and speed means you can wait for the late bite and still make it to the weigh-in dock before the deadline. Or, you can sleep late and get in a full day's fishing. In other words, you can do what you want when you want to do it.
But speed can be an illusive siren. There are several ways a designer can get maximum speed from any given hull, though each has a price. You can load up the bilge with iron and ream in horsepower. Power, however, also means weight, and that can sink the waterline, creating more drag that must be overcome. In a very real sense, power for the sake of power won't always translate into optimal performance, because performance at the cost of efficiency may not be what you want.
The boatman who’s in the market for a boat like the 58 Golden Egg usually is very interested in efficiency. He probably has his sights set on long-range destinations such as St. Thomas, Cozumel, or deep into western Mexico. The usual drill for long-distance jaunts calls for displacement speeds to maximize fuel economy and range. Serious, tedious running to be sure, but most captains I know don’t mind the assignment.
MAGNIFICENT – Exquisite teak craftsmanship and detail highlight salon and galley; forward head; abbreviated bowrail, rounded cabin trails, and exterior herald Egg Harbor into the 1990s.
OF CATS AND JOGS
With the optional 3412 Caterpillars, the 58 Golden Egg turned in 0.73 nautical mpg at 900 rpm, while moving along at 10 knots. Idle back and the efficiency figure will go higher, perhaps closing in on 1.00 mpg. Efficient and typical of four-cycle power.
On the top end, the Golden Egg hit better than 36 mph, and this boat was virtually factory fresh – no prop experiments or fine-tuning, yet with a full PipeWelders tuna tower, and extraneous gear. Play with the propellers a bit and give the engines a chance to break in, and speeds could climb higher still, or at least not back off any. Note too, that top speed comes at just 2100 rpm; smooth power with lots of torque.
Designer Dave Martin, who is no stranger to 30-knot speeds, incorporated a number of clever features into the hull. Like the 54, which Martin also designed, the 58 has cutaway jogs at the chine, though they are more exaggerated than on the 54. Beginning at about amidships, the jogs travel aft to the stern where the width of the cutaway is nearly 1 ½ from the chine. In addition, the jogs serve to pull in the stern a bit and further narrow the running area. The results is less wetted surface, which allows the hull to slip through the water more easily, boosting performance and efficiency.
The jogs help the boat get on plane easily – at about 1350 rpm – in addition to providing a clean wake at trolling speeds. Fishermen will appreciate that.
Forward, a double chine lays down the water and provides a surprisingly dry ride. How dry? When we tested this boat, the wind was from the northeast at about 20 mph. the ocean off Singer Island, Florida, was an army of three- to five-footers. Despite the absence of a flying bridge enclosure, the amount of spray that found its way to the bridge was minimal. Very civilized. Granted, the way the captain trims out the boat – any boat – has a lot to do with how “wet” the ride will be, but the Egg's double chines forward certainly pay off.
Since this huge flying bridge has an L-shaped lounge forward of the helm console and is apt to be a prime people-gathering space, everyone will appreciate the dry ride. At 7’5” 1x2’ w, that lounge seat should be an ideal spot for the relief man to grab a little shut-eye on long runs.
This new Golden Egg is geared towards the serious big-game angler who wants a tournament-grade, no-nonsense cockpit.
THE EGG'S SHELL
Hull construction of the 58 mirrors other Golden Eggs: solid glass bottom, balsa cored from the chine up. Topsides and decks are cored with either plywood or balsa. Transom deadrise is 7 ½ degrees. Gel coat and glass work are very clean. Egg Harbor plans to build about eight 58s a year, and this regulated pace should contribute to consistently high quality.
If the glasswork aboard the 58 is precise, the interior woodwork is superb. Egg Harbor has always been known for their joinerwork, and the new Golden Egg is a floating showcase. The tone of the teak is evenly matched throughout the interior, with a durable satin finish that looks elegant with daylight filtering through the tinted Taylor salon side windows, or under the various mood and indirect lighting. You can choose from six different pastel decors, or customizing can range from conservative to wild, depending upon the buyer's preferences. Our test boat, for example, was decorated by Lawson Interiors, Ltd. of Alexandria, Virginia. The solid-teak grabrail overhead on the vinyl headliner, however, was a strong reminder that Egg Harbor hasn't lost sight of the fact that this is a seagoing boat.
WHERE WE LIVE
In terms of layout, there are few surprises here, as the 58 follows the basic arrangement that's been proven on the 54. The deckhouse salon has a sculpted carpet and a convertible sofa with rod stowage below. A wet bar (with Perma-Pub automatic liquor dispenser, Nu-Tone blender, Raritan Icer-Ette) is to port, hidden in a teak cabinet.
The starboard galley has the familiar U-shape, which is probably the most effective use of space. The 58’s layout is even more inviting because by using under-counter Marvel 6.1-cu.ft. refrigerator and freezer units, the galley becomes an extension of the salon. For entertaining and meal preparations you couldn't ask for more. Behind the solid windshield is a battery of teak cabinets and drawers, along with built-in appliances. Everywhere there are countertops, there are good-looking teak fiddle rails.
Opposite the galley, there’s an L-shaped dinette which again shows off the high level of Egg Harbor craftsmanship – the teak table has a thick, clear finish that’s durable, beautiful, and fiddled. the remote-controlled Kenwood entertainment center is built in behind the windshield and over the companionway.
Each of the three staterooms has a private head and shower. The master, to starboard of the companionway, is especially lavish. There’s a queen-size walkaround berth, remote-control Hitachi color TV and VHS recorder in the overhead dressing area, and so much stowage space you could park Imelda Marcos’ and Nancy Reagan’s wardrobes.
Aft, you walk down three steps to another dressing area where there’s still more stowage, and the optional ($9,100) Sea Recovery watermaker.
Lift the steps for another stowage area (actually a crawl space about 12’ long and 3’ wide) that contains three Galley Maid MSD pumps, Galley Maid freshwater pump, and a shower pump.
Mounting the pumps in a dedicated cation frees up space for the big Cats in the engine room. Headroom is nominal 5’5”; a little less when standing on the battery boxes between the engines. Maintenance checks are all inboard except for the port transmission, which requires a bit of a reach. Large hatches in the sole lift out for checking bilge pumps and getting at through-hulls. Hose clumps are doubled and stainless steel. Sea-water intakes for the Cats are forward of each engine, easy to reach and service. Each engine also has a built-in emergency Y-valve readily accessible. High-water alarms are standard.
The 20kw Onan is on the centerline aft. On the forward bulkhead, there's a freshwater outlet, an X-Changer lube-oil pump system, and a fuel manifold to draw and return from the four 300-gallon tanks below the cockpit sole. Each engine is protected by a pair of Racor 1000 FG fuel filter/water separators; the Onan has a Racor 500 FG.
Outboard of the port engine are compressors for the Lunaire air conditioning units, the Glendinning power cord take-up wheel, and engine synchronizer. The Bradford-White water heater, a pair of 40-amp Ci-Charger battery chargers, and the compressor for the cockpit bait freezer are outboard to starboard.
BORN TO FISH
The cockpit is set up to achieve its mission with a similar measure of detailing and space. The area is 11'6" l x 12’2" w, and includes a transom door, and built-in stowage for tackle, bait freezer, and controls in fiberglass consoles. There's a livewell and fishwell recessed beneath the nonslip pebble sole. Cockpit depth is 2'2", and the wireman has an ideal 3’7" reach over the teak covering boards. Releasing billfish should be a snap. Fresh and saltwater washdowns will help the mate clean up between bites.
Our test boat had Panish series 5000 single-lever controls that provided instant response. For backing down on fish you can't beat it. So responsive are the controls that Panish wisely labels a warning sticker at the cockpit station informing the operator that sudden “panic stop” conditions should be avoided to prevent damage to the transmissions.
Base price of the 58 with the 3412 Caterpillars is $945,800. Twin DDC 12V-71TA come in slightly less $898,600. Optional equipment on the test boat, including upgraded interior, electronic, PipeWelders tower, Rupp riggers, trolling valves, and International helm seats and fighting chair, added another $110,348.
The 58 Golden Egg is the flagship of the new Egg Harbors, and is the result of the company’s ongoing policy of staying on top of trends and listening to customer input. Additionally, many of the interior and fishing appointments come from suggestions of company captain, Dorsey Prothman, and Egg Harbor’s Chairman of the Board, Bob Traenkle, who campaign the boat regularly on the tournament circuit. With all the makings of the bluewater winner, perhaps it’s fortunate that these fellows prefer to release the billfish they catch. And I’d say they’ll probably catch a lot.