|Beneteau 42s7 |
This and all other images of the 42s7 were taken from yachtworld.com, where there are several of these boats listed for sale
Here are some dimensions and stats:
LOA: 42'- 6"
LWL: 35'- 9"
Bmax: 13'- 6"
Ballast: 5,840lb (std), 6,283 (race)
Draft: 7'- 7" (race), 5'- 11" (standard), 5'-6" (shoal)
Sail Area: 771sf (std), 845sf (race)
Displacement/Length ratio: 178
Sail Area?Disp ratio: 17.8 (std), 19.5 (race)
The boat we sailed aboard has the deep keel and standard rig. This is a good combination where there is plenty of water, but the deep draft limits where the boat can be cruised. The taller racing rig includes running backstays, which most cruisers would object to. The hull, rig and foils were designed by the Bruce Farr office while the styling and interior were done by Philippe Starck. The Honcho's styling and interior were also done by Starck, with the hull and foils by Jean Berret. While the Honcho has impressive sailing performance in view of it's cruising accommodations, the 42s7 is certainly the better performing boat for its size. Drawing from their vast experience with racing yachts, the Farr office gave the 42s7 a slippery hull with a fine entry, relatively narrow beam and fairly powerful stern sections. This hullform is more racer than cruiser and that racing pedigree makes the hull a pleasure to look at.
On deck, the similarities between the 36s7 and 42s7 are obvious. Both boats have sleek cabin trunks and very distinctive styling. In my opinion the 36 is the better looking boat with regard to the decks. Designed after the 42, it shows subtle refinements to the shape and details that I find more attractive and functional. With that said, both boats suffer from cockpits that are too small for really comfortable cruising or racing efficiency. Being from sunny California, I like big, comfortable cockpits and it would have been very easy for the designers to make the cockpits longer and more spacious, thus making them better for both cruising and racing. The cabin trunks on both boats are very wide, leaving little space to move around the decks. I understand the reasoning behind this, a wider cabin trunk means a more spacious interior, but my preference would be to go with a slightly narrower cabin and wider decks.
The 42s7 has a unique swimstep arrangement. It pivots out of the transom to create a large and convenient platform, and when in the stowed position, fairs into the transom. There is a lot to like about this arrangement but I would be just as happy if the builder had opted for an open transom. As you know, I had to build a swimstep on the Honcho and would have been much happier if it had been built with an open transom or at least had a serviceable swimstep molded into it. I should say, however, that within the crowded confines of the 42s7's cockpit, everything is egonomically sound and well designed. This particular boat has the mainsheet traveler mounted just forward of the helm, which is good from a sailing standpoint, but makes it difficult to lie down on the cockpit seats and take a snooze, which is very important to me. Fortunately Beneteau molded a beam into the cabin top where a mid-boom traveler can be installed, and many of the 42s7's have that arrangement. I was aboard one with a mid-boom traveler not long ago and its cockpit is definitely a friendlier place without being bisected by the traveler.
The 42s7 has the same type of cabin portlights as the 36s7. They open outward instead of inward. this has the benefit of making them better at keeping water out of the boat, but the drawback of being magnets for jibsheets. In fact, the Honcho had a broken portlight when we bought it because a jibsheet got caught on it sometime in the past. We are very careful about them when sailing.
The 42s7 has lots of space below. This is due in part to the smallish cockpit and the wide cabin trunk. The 36s7's interior layout is, in my opinion, just about perfect for a small cruiser. Having lived aboard the boat for several months now, I can say that it's as comfortable and functional as can be expected in a small boat. The same is true, for the most part, of the 42s7. Beneteau offered both a two-cabin, and three-cabin layout in the 42s7. The three-cabin version was probably intended for the charter business, with three large double cabins and the galley strung along the port side of the main salon. This galley arrangement would work well in an apartment but is not suitable for an ocean going boat. The two cabin version has a large and well designed 'U' shaped galley aft to starboard in the main cabin. With the large dinette and tasteful design elements, it's a nice layout for living aboard and entertaining. Sleeping arrangements are great for cruising. The owner's suite, just forward of the mast, includes a large pullman berth, lots of lockers and storage, and a private head and shower in the bow. There is also a large private stateroom aft to port, with an adjoining head. The only downside is the lack of good sea berths. Queen size berths are great at anchor, but when you're at sea, you want nice deep berths with secure lee cloths or boards.
|Two cabin layout.|
I occasionally hear critical remarks about the structural integrity of Beneteaus. After living aboard one, and crawling all over many of them looking for cracks and flaws, I can say that with regard to structural elements every one I've been aboard has been very well designed and built. I did reinforce the stemhead on the Honcho, but there are dozens of unreinforced 36s7's sailing around without stemhead problems. There are lots of Beneteaus out there that aren't pretty, or particularly good sailers, but I'm pretty certain they are all structurally sound. If I had the time, I'd gladly jump aboard my friend's 42s7 and sail it across the Pacific to
Overall, I like the 42s7 quite a lot. It's big enough to be comfortable at sea, fast enough to make sailing it exciting and it's nice looking too. I plan to do some racing aboard one in a few weeks...I'm looking forward to that.