There are some things that are just right from the go – the E-Type Jaguar, Fawlty Towers, fish and chips – and the Hardy 42 is as popular now in 2020 as ever. You can still order one new from the yard, who are still going strong in North Walsham, Norfolk, and past customers such as the RNLI, who have a brace of Hardy 42s for helm training roles, and Raymarine, who have a 42 as the test platform for their marine electronics, are irrefutable evidence that this rugged British semi-displacement cruiser offers something a little different to the norm.
The UK yachting press agree:
“The serious cruiser’s choice.” – Motor Boat & Yachting
“Few boats offer such a degree of comfort, practicality and performance in such a capable seagoing boat.” – Power Boat & RIB.
So what makes this recipe so successful?
Primary ingredients are a superb initial hull design by Andrew Wolstenholme (his resume includes Cockwells, Broom, Westwood and Duchy – confirming his flair for drawing rounder-bilged powerboat hulls) for a soft, stable upwind ride, smooth transition through her speeds and the ability to push through broken water with complete confidence. The Hardy Marine build of this design is then reassuringly substantial (rated at Category B for RCD), with a dry weight of 14 tons, and is assembled by a very experienced team of boat-builders, to Hardy’s exacting standards. Access to systems is well thought-out, with the saloon floor being sectioned for engine room access, instrumentation is clear, with the main array of switches and gauges all visible from the main lower helm console, and quality components are fitted for best longevity.
One of the key pulls of the 42 is the Master aft cabin – a self-contained, full beam en-suite with good headroom, plenty of light and ventilation, storage in well-finished lockers, and a large forward-facing double berth. Practical touches such as easy access to rudders and pumps reinforce the commercial savvy of the way this little ship is built, whilst remaining comfortable for day-today living and cruising.
Moving forward through the 42 – We hope the video is helpful in showing you around? Watch the movie here –
There are a couple of steps to the saloon deck level – again masses of storage in the range of cupboards to your left, and a big U-shaped sofa to your right, with the space lit by picture windows, and deck access via sliding doors to either side. Moving safely and securely around any yacht is a primary concern, so rounded edges and sturdy handholds are featured throughout the accommodation.
The lower helm console is set on a plinth to port, with a raised view over the bows through those three big demisted screens, and everything to hand from the pair of KAB suspension seats. Two steps from the helm and you are on the port side-deck, four and you are on the starboard deck, and if your crew want to stay warm and involved, then there is a clever hinged double seat by the starboard door, so you can face forward at the chart table above the galley area. All simple, practical detailing.
The forward area drops down three easy steps: galley to the right, the optional third single cabin to the left, and access straight ahead to the forward guest cabin. Hardy manage to build in a decent forward head (with shower), and access is en–suite to both cabins forward cabins, and both cabins have hanging lockers to keep your blazer and gowns in pukka shape.
Venturing out of the saloon, the main deck completely rings the superstructure. As you would expect, the guardrails are high and solid, rising from a generous bulwark – so at sea this is as safe as safe can be. The decks are kept uncluttered, with substantial mooring gear as needed, and secure handrails. The well-protected and raised aft deck (on top of the aft cabin deckhead) is the obvious choice for a relaxed lunch, or maybe a sundowner or two. Two deck lockers on either side, an aft seat and central table seats 6 comfortably, and the flybridge set on top of the saloon has two permanently fixed seats at the console, and a lower-level wrap-round moulding (with internal lockers and removable cushions), for passage-making in the open, with the increased height giving excellent all-round visibility for berthing, close-quarter handling and just generally taking in the view.
So – to sum up – if you are considering an aft cabin motor-cruiser with timeless looks, true seagoing ability, safe decks, proven engineering and a trusted manufacturer, then the Hardy 42 should be right at the top of your shopping list. “Achates” is completely fresh to the market, lying ashore in Lymington on the South Coast of the UK, and ready to wander!