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Old 07-08-2016, 09:42   #1
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Info On Grand Soleil 42

I am thinking of buying a Grand Soleil 42, early 90,s. They look lovely, although I have not seen one up close yet. Information is a little sparse, so I wonder if anyone has any experience of them, are they well built? My primary concerns are keel bolts that are 25 years old, how the hull and deck are joined-bolted and glassed over or just self tappers and goo?! And any other info would be much appreciated.
Many thanks, Robert
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:14   #2
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Boat: Grand Soleil 52
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Re: Info On Grand Soleil 42

Hi Robert,

The general opinion (but remember that I am biased here!) is that the Grand Soleils built around the 90's are of better quality than the newer ones. This has to do that in that period, the builder Cantiere del Pardo decided to try to compete with some of the top European builders like Swan. This can be seen clearly in the design which looks like a Swan copy. Regardless, this resulted in excellent design and improved quality under deck and hardware. However, this new policy wasn't a success which may be the reason that it didn't last. It is expensive to build quality!

I checked the keelbolts when I bought mine (GS52 91'). Underneath the layer of glass fibre and paint, their condition was shiny like new. The same cannot be said about the base for the mast, which was completely rusty and had to be changed immediately. I got a new one in ss fabricated by Pier12 in Italy (they launch all the GS's in the Adriatic). I have another set of keel bolts bolting the bulb to the keel, I haven't checked those yet.

A few other things to have in mind:
- The GS's of that era were made for ocean sailing and are solid and tough. Deck layout is great with winches where you need them.
- The hull has more V shape than the modern designs, this means better sea motion and not so much rolling at anchor, but less speed, especially downwind.
- Perpendicular spreaders are much better than back swept ones in my opinion. The main sail can be trimmed properly downwind with less chafe.
- If the teak deck hasn't been changed, calculate to change it the next few years included fixing the deck where 1000 screws may have made some leakages to the chore.

The GS42 is a beauty! Go for it
S/Y Herminia
Voyages of S/Y Herminia
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:12   #3
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Re: Info On Grand Soleil 42

Hi Rune, wow you have a lovely boat there! Thanks for the info, I will certainly agree with you about the non swept back spreaders, it is very annoying to not be able to trim the main properly. The teak deck could be an issue although I was hoping that maybe they were not skrewed down and only glued, but maybe that is wishfull thinking!
Having the keel bolts glassed over i suppose is good so they do not get corroded from bilge water but on the other hand it makes it hard to inspect their condition, some owners may not like the idea of a potential buyer breaking off the glass cap. As I understand some keels were lead and others cast iron, I would off course prefer the lead, and also there are at least two draft options 2.05m and 2.48m. I think the deep keel would make it difficult to get in to many places, including my local marina.
Thanks again, Robert
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