What makes a good bluewater yacht for a cruising couple? Discovery thinks it has the answer with its 58ft luxury cruiser, tricked out with everything a shorted-handed crew might want. We sailed the first new Discovery 58 to the Channel Islands to find out.

If you were to go long distance cruising, what would be the primary features you would look for in a yacht? I would wager that both looks and reward on the helm might play second fiddle to more practical concerns such as comfort and the ability to access and service systems.

Discovery Yachts knows this. It has employed a tried and tested formula, putting practicality before fashion, since the launch of its first yacht designed for short-handed cruising in the late 1990s. The company has built up a popular niche following, particularly from couples going bluewater sailing.

We wanted to find out why this recipe works so well, so we sailed this first new Discovery 58 from the Solent to Jersey in late April to explore in detail the features that go into making the ideal short-handed cruising yacht.

Three years ago, the Southampton-based company launched the Ron Holland-designed 57 – see the video of our test HERE

The styling particularly met with mixed reaction however. So Discovery took the feedback on board and implemented aesthetic and practical changes to that existing hull. The result is now re-launched as the Discovery 58.

Other than looks, the main differences are the versatile options that the Discovery 58 provides. Owners can now choose between either single or twin wheels – the only centre cockpit yacht I believe that has this option – and a fourth cabin instead of a technical room.

The appeal of this £1.26m Discovery yacht lies with its exhaustive specification, luxury build quality and design specifically tailored to suit a cruising couple.

See our full report in the September issue – out now

Discovery 58 video

On deck at dusk mid channel on the Discovery 58