The Jeanneau 42i is not of the same family as the iPod, iPhone, or iMac, but it's just as much a piece of 21st-century technology. At Jeanneau, the "i" stands for "resin infusion."
Resin infusion is an engineering process that makes a strong laminate with optimum glass:resin ratios and few voids while reducing factory emissions. Jeanneau uses the method to make decks, laying the cloth inside a female mold as usual, then covering it before drawing resin through the dry laminate with a vacuum pump. The hull is hand-laid in the conventional manner.
The standard cast-iron keel on the boat I sailed carries an external bulb and a draft of 7 feet. The optional performance keel is 7 inches deeper, while the optional shoal-draft version draws just 5 feet, 3 inches. I found good access to the keelbolts and seacocks through the gasketed cabin sole. Everything in hidden areas, including the plumbing and untinned wiring, appears to be installed to a good standard. It's also easy to reach the engine and shaft for maintenance.
DECK AND COCKPIT
The Jeanneau 42i's deck has a low, sleek profile. It's a wide, nearly-flat space, so walking onto the cabintop is easy, as is moving forward or athwartships. However, the cabintop teak grabrails are too low to be useful. Going below feels much more secure, thanks to the perfectly angled steps and low companionway sill.
The cockpit seats are comfortable and it's easy to step over them, but I did wish for a better backrest at the helm. The sturdy table in the wide cockpit makes an excellent footrest under way and sports a strong grabrail, too.
Look up and you'll see an in-mast furler (an option widely chosen by Americans) and swept-back double spreaders. Look down and you find a single, undivided anchor locker with a windlass and a dual bow roller. The dock-line chocks and cleats are large and strong. A midboom traveler spans the
cabintop, with all the sail-control lines running through stoppers next to it. Our test boat carried an optional electric halyard winch to port.
It's bright down below, and I could see a bit of the outside, thanks to the fixed ports below the sheerline. The dinette will seat six easily and the settee is comfortable, but its curved end limits its use as a seaberth. I liked the efficient, attractive galley. Overhead grabrails in the cabin are sizable and easy to reach.
Our test boat was the charter version, with two aft cabins. The owner's version, with a single aft cabin, has a separate shower compartment and extra stowage space in the port sail locker.
In 10 to 12 knots of wind and carrying 6 to 7 knots of boatspeed, the helm felt just fine, with easy resistance and a neutral response. The boat tacked smoothly through less than 90 degrees, and heel angles were reasonable. Although the mainsheet traveler is on the cabintop and the jibsheets are near the helm, the dual wheels make it easy for a singlehander to stroll forward and handle both sets of lines.
I felt a little resistance in the steering wheels under power, probably because of the propwash flowing over the rudder, as this disappeared under sail. A 2,800 RPM engine setting yielded 8.5 knots, and I measured an 82-dBA sound level in the saloon, which is a bit high. A fixed three-blade prop is standard, but many sailors will prefer the optional feathering prop to improve performance. All the usual close-quarters maneuvering went without a hitch.
HEADROOM: Main saloon 6'6", aft cabin 6'6", forward cabin 6'3" » BUNKS: Aft 6'6"×4'10", forward 6'6"×4'10". Settee 6'3", cockpit seats 1'4"×5'3"
Price: $213,193 (Base, FOB Baltimore, MD) includes main and jib, pressure water, refrigeration, basic electronics, windlass, and ground tackle.
Builder: Chantiers Jeanneau, Les Herbiers, France; www.jeanneau.com
U.S. office: Jeanneau America, Annapolis, MD; 410-280-9400 www.jeanneauamerica.com
Designer: Jeanneau Design Team
LOA: 41'4" » LWL: 38'1"
Beam: 13'8" » Draft: 7'
Displacement: 18,541 lbs » Ballast: 5,628 lbs
Sail Area: 832 sq ft (furling main)
Power: 54-hp Volvo w/saildrive
Tankage Fuel/water/waste: 34/94/22 gal
Electrical: (house) 220 aH, plus 110 aH (starting)
Displacement-Length ratio: 150
Sail Area-Displacement ratio: 17.3
Ballast-Displacement ratio: 30%
Certification: CE Category A (Ocean)
- Well-executed cockpit ergonomics
- Pleasant sailing qualities
- Good electronic, plumbing, and mechanical installations CONs: Some untinned wiring Sound level higher than average under power CONCLUSION: The Jeanneau 42i is a pleasant-sailing cruiser that combines resin-infusion construction technology with proven standards of workmanship into a sleek, modern package.