My brother and I have done a Day Skipper
course off Sardinia in a Baltic
42DP, as it happens a South African built one (used to lie in Cape Town). Really good course, BTW, I recommend Riccardo wholeheartedly. Yachting School Sardinia
I specifically chose this school
because of the boat, as I own a Baltic 38 myself. At the time, I had not sailed my own boat yet.
My impressions of the Baltic 42?
The double cockpit
is both a boon and an irritation. It is great that there is plenty of room to work (on my 38 it can be a bit cramped when times are busy). The downside is that it is less sociable. Build quality of the South African built Baltic was good, but I did notice a difference with my Finnish-built boat. One thing I notice in particular, is that the 42 is a significantly slower and MUCH heavier boat than my 38. Displacement
is in the range of 12 tonnes (my 38 is around 7), which makes her a bit underpowered and my 38 is definitely a lot quicker. But the 42 handles heavier winds very very well. I don't know if it is typical of the South African built ones, perhaps the Finnish 42's are lighter (it would not surprise me).
I was very impressed with the layout below decks, which is much more spacious than my 38. The biggest difference is the massive storage
space, lots of room for supplies behind the couches. The two heads are a boon too.
I love the lines of the 1980's Baltics and they are very solidly built boats. Mine does not make any sounds after 30 years, no creaking, and all cupboards and doors still close as perfectly as they did in 1983.
Hard to go wrong with a Baltic.
Here's a little video I shot of the holiday so you can see the boat in action.