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Meridian 580 Pilothouse: West Coast Favorite

The Meridian 580 Pilothouse was the flagship model when Brunswick Boat Group launched the Meridian Yachts brand in August 2002, and she was built through the 2010 model year. Today, Meridian is building sedan models from 34 to 54 feet, but interest in the 580s remains high, with eight of them currently listed for sale on YachtWorld.

The Merdian 580 pilothouse.
The Merdian 580 pilothouse.

Paul Cherney, a spokesman for Meridian, says the company built about 85 of the boats, an average of one per month until the recession in 2008, when production slowed to about half that pace.

“The 580 did exceptionally well for the Meridian brand, primarily because of its vast interior space, performance, and onboard appointments—everything the Meridian brand touted was brought to life on the 580,” Cherney says. “One big reason is her 17-foot, four-inch beam. This widest-in-her-class beam allowed for space and appointments that other 60-foot boats couldn’t offer.”

Interest from buyers was—and even today, still is—especially keen on America’s West Coast, where the 580 was a popular model coming out of the shipyard in Arlington, WA.

“Since 2012, about seven of them have sold, and all but one was a West Coast sale,” says Ron Ginsberg of Emerald Pacific Yachts, who holds the listing on the 2006-christened Crown Royal. Six of the eight listings on the market today are in Washington state or British Columbia, he says, where buyers find the three-stateroom, two-head, raised-pilothouse design ideal for the cruising environment.

Buying the yacht new from the shipyard, Ginsberg says, ran original owners about a million dollars or a little more with optional features. On today’s market, the average price has been just under $600,000 for the 580 Pilothouse boats that have sold since 2012. “When you think about it, the prices today really are pretty good,” he says. “That’s pretty strong considering where the market was a few years ago.”

Buyers can expect to find 635-horsepower Cummins QSM-11 diesels, which gave the semi-displacement hull a top speed a little better than 26 knots right out of the box. Fuel efficiency on the new builds was greatest at about 1,800 rpm, which produced a fuel-burn rate of about 36 gallons per hour.

Stern and bow thrusters were optional and reportedly not missed by owners who went without them, thanks to the model’s ease of close-quarters handling. Other popular options included a Bimini top and tender-lifting davit.

Ginsberg says a good deal on a Meridian 580 Pilothouse today is in the high $500,000s, which happens to be where he and his client have priced Crown Royal, at $595,000.

“The last one we sold was two years newer, an ’08 model, but it wasn’t as nice as this ’06, and we got $550,000 on it,” he says. “This boat has relatively low hours, a brand-new tender, a fully enclosed flybridge—it’s a very nice boat in very good shape.”

See Meridian 580 listings.

Written by Kim Kavin

Written by: Kim Kavin

Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of 10 books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, and is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine

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