I was on the same test sail as Charlie and Mike (yup, it was a regular 420 pep rally). The fluky wind was a problem and didn't give any of the people on any of the boats a decent idea of how they would sail. There was the St Francis 50 out there flying a big chute and it was barely making headway with that thing popping every which way. (All of the sail boats were trying to stay out of the way of the big stink boats, too.)
Here's a list of my observations of the boat:
1. It is a prettier boat in person than the pictures suggest, but I still wouldn't say it is "pretty", unless you're a fan of the squarish Volvos, in which case you'd love it. I like at least a few curves. The boat is bigger than the photos suggest, though. It is a BIG 42 footer.
2. The feeling of spaciousness in the salon
and hulls is very hospitable.
3. Very nice headroom
-- I saw 6'5" guys in there who didn't have to slump.
4. The large, single
pane Lexan salon
windows are very nice for taking in the view. That's right -- Lexan
. You do have to watch out how you clean them to avoid scratches, but these things aren't going to crack.
5. The heads are well laid out and quite functional.
6. Most of the plumbing
is easy to access and service
. Not all of it, but much better than most any other boat I've been on in this class.
7. The forepeaks and "extra" storage
area behind the owner's head
are spacious and give a lot of storage
, as well as a place to put in a work room with work bench, but you have to go on deck
to get to them.
8. The berths are quite comfortable and very easy to get into and out of, without having to go over your bed
9. The new bimini
supports are much improved and now seem solid.
10. The wide, flat decks are very nice to walk around on, even when things are a bit bumpy.
11. The gull wing nacelle really works. We were going through lots of big power boat
wakes and I was down below watching the wave action through the emergency hatch
. Cut through it all, efficiently and quietly. Not a slam nor pound.
12. The electrical
panel box with removable top is very handy and easy to access and identify all the breakers. The wires are all labeled and traceable to their opposite ends.
13. The lines leading to the helm
make a lot of sense, are easy to identify, and have much less friction than you might expect. They did a really good job on these.
14. The overhead window at the helm
station is bigger than you might think and actually has a pretty good view of the main, better than I expected.
15. Close quarters maneuvering really is a dream. Easy, predictable "throttle", no "clunk" when shifting "gears", just a quick "snick" and there's your new gear
. The helm is light, with decent feel. Very nice to manuever. No "thrills" at the marina, even in very tight spaces.
16. Yup, when motoring the boat is q u i e t. Even when the genset is on, you can be within 3 feet of it and comfortably carry on a conversation without having to raise your voice, at all. Down below, the water
running down the hulls is louder than the genset.
Some things I didn't like:
1. The wood frankly is not to my taste -- looks "plasticky". Been told they are changing it and the samples on the website of the supplier do look much better.
2. I was disappointed that there wasn't more storage space in the interior
of the boat. At least for passage-making, some modifications would be needed (perhaps turn one of the three separate shower
stalls into a "semi-walk-in" pantry). If you're only doing week long or less, then you won't have any issues with this.
3. The silly backless hassock seat in the salon is useless for anything other than at anchor
. I've previously commented on my distaste for the thing -- others may differ, but that's my opinion.
4. Running jacklines
may become a problem. I didn't see any readily obvious places for them, but I didn't spend a lot of time looking for that. That's going to take some thinking.
5. Do not waste your time or money
on their Waeco refrigerator
if you're going to be in the tropics. The insulation
is pitifully inadequate for that. Bite the bullet and get something made for the tropics.