Southerly 42RST Page 2
Our test day started off with light and spotty breezes, so we raised the main, unrolled the genoa, and sailed slowly in 4 to 6 knots of wind. If we'd been cruising, we'd probably have motorsailed, but even in the light stuff we made 2 to 3 knots. Luckily, the wind slowly filled in to a steady 8 knots (or so) as the test went along, and in the slightly stronger and more consistent breeze we were able to get our speed up to a steady 5 knots on a close reach. Upwind, we opted for the ease of the self-tacking jib rather than tacking the geona. The helm returned just the right amount of feedback, and speeds were in the 4-knot range. The dual helms make it easy to keep an eye on the jib telltales and to check for boats to leeward. The 8'11" draft contributes to upwind performance, and the additional ballast (a 4,630-pound plate in the bottom of the hull) promises to smooth the ride a bit in a seaway. The dual rudders should keep the boat well in control at much greater heel angles than I experienced.
The boat was easy to maneuver as we motored away from the dock. We quickly accelerated to a cruising speed of over 6 knots and jumped to the high 7's at full throttle. Sound levels were acceptably low down below, thanks to excellent insulation in the engine room. We also powered right up the beach to test the hydraulically powered swing keel. People on the beach who saw this traditional-looking offshore cruiser motor into 3 feet of water thought we were crazy, but with the keel fully retracted it was easy.
Some Features to Consider:
The Southerly 42RST offers evidence that you can have your cake and eat it too. It's a conventional offshore cruiser that should prove comfortable in a seaway, but it's unconventional in the access it offers to shoal waters. The interior joinery is excellent; sailing performance is spot on, even in a light breeze; the accommodation plan works well despite the large keel trunk; and the raised saloon is a pleasant place to hang out. Not a bad collection of attributes.