The Ron Holland Swan 42. That takes me back many years and great memories. I used to crew on one way back in 1983/84/85 racing
on it in South Africa
I think ours was number 6????????? Was called Thereda Star. Uk flagged although based in South Africa
The owner then entrusted me with the task of delivering it to the UK for him where the boat was to be sold. It was a voyage of about 8 000 miles. So I got to know the 42 very well in a mixed bunch of weather
off the South African coast and for the first few days out into the South Atlantic. Then running for days on end with the South East trades calling at St Helena and Ascention. After that a long fetch and run to the Azores
. Then a bit of everything all the way to Berthons Marina in Lymington, UK.
We were 4 onboard, and then three only from the Azores
The boat had hanked on headsails and a Plastimo/Navik windvane
. No autopilot
in those days. The primary winches were Lewmar
65's. NOT selftailing.
Downwind the boat did okay under the windwane and a poled out no 2 or no 3 genoa
and main. When we used the kite, we would handstear. So I would imagine that with a good autopilot
it will do just fine dead downwind.
With the big 65's handling the headsails were never a problem. I would often tack or gybe the boat at night by myself, without bothering to call one of the off-watch crew. I would even hand the spinnaker
pole back onto the deck
, gybe and re-set the pole by myself with the non selftailing primary winches. Ditto for reefing.
Sailing (cruising) a boat like the 42 was all about technique, not brute force.
Down below the boat was lovely. It takes some time to get used to the dropping down "into the whomb" of the Swan 42. But once you were down below even the roughest of gales seemed a lot calmer. You were after all sailng a Swan!
So, to sum up. Downwind the boat is fine. We had a full duplicate set of IOR racing sails
stashed right in the bows and despite this the boat handled going downwind in the trades without broaching. Mostly under windvane
The Swan was a sailors boat and I loved working the decks, going from winch
whinding and grinding. I think it had NINE!
Peace of mind? It is a Swan, so you will not drown out there. Not once did any of us feel the need to wear a harnes.
And when you arive in port................you're the guy skippering the Swan!
Enjoy your 42 if you have already bought it.