Boat Review: Southerly 42RST

Paul and Cheryl Shard, the relatively new owners of the Southerly 42RST I took for a test sail on Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis, Maryland, have been live-aboard cruisers (and sailing filmmakers as well) for over 15 years. They logged thousands of offshore miles on their previous boat, and when it came time for a new boat, they chose the Southerly 42RST (stands for raised saloon, twin wheels). I
Author:
Updated:
Original:
southerly_42RST
raised_saloon

Paul and Cheryl Shard, the relatively new owners of the Southerly 42RST I took for a test sail on Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis, Maryland, have been live-aboard cruisers (and sailing filmmakers as well) for over 15 years. They logged thousands of offshore miles on their previous boat, and when it came time for a new boat, they chose the Southerly 42RST (stands for raised saloon, twin wheels). I soon found out why.

Construction

Northshore Yachts builds the 42RST using its patented "Nordseal" three-layer laminating system, which is designed to protect the hull from osmosis. The Nordseal system replaces conventional gelcoat below the waterline by laying up the hull in three osmosis-retardant layers. The hull and decks are built of solid hand-laid-up fiberglass using this system. Structural bulkheads are bonded into the hull to ensure optimum strength and rigidity.

On deck

At first glance, the 42RST appears fairly conventional. Dual helms facilitate easy walk-through access from the stern. The cockpit is both secure (deep with excellent bracing points) and comfortable with its nearly 6-foot-long seats and tall, angled seatbacks. Lifeline stanchions are sufficiently tall and sturdy. The side decks are narrow, but not so narrow as to make going forward difficult. The coachroof-mounted traveler keeps the cockpit relatively clutter free. The anchor locker is large, and the beefy ground-tackle system should meet the needs of any cruisers.

Things are a little less conventional (for a medium-displacement offshore cruiser) below the waterline. The dual helms control dual semi-balanced rudders, and the draft of the 3,400 pound keel can be hydraulically adjusted from 2 feet, 9 inches to 8 feet, 11 inches with a touch of a button at the helm.

Accommodations

Northshore's designers did a excellent job of hiding the keel trunk in the furniture that forms the saloon's inner edge. The saloon, to port at the base of the companionway steps, is comfortable, provides an excellent sea berth, and affords both light and 270-degree visibility. The nav station also benefits from the visibility of being "up" on the saloon level -- "up" in that the galley is forward and a couple of steps down from the saloon. There are good handholds and brace points, but you will need to remember the steps. Down in the galley you'll find excellent stowage, good counter space, and an opening hatch over the stove for ventilation. The master cabin is two steps down and aft from the saloon. It has a genuine walk-around bunk, drawers and lockers that will swallow lots of stuff, and a private (accessible only from the cabin) head with a roomy shower stall. The guest cabin forward is slightly smaller, but it, too, should be plenty comfortable, and there's a second head close by.

aft_cabin
forward_cabin
Southerly_42RST_interior

Under Sail

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 into 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.

southerly_42rst_vital_statistics

Under Power

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 cockpit is wide and deep; a good cruising set-up
  • Winches are made by Lewmar
  • Dual rudders provide good control and don't need to be retracted if you want to rest the boat on the beach
  • Dual wheels provide excellent visibility and free up lots of space in the aft cabin
  • The dual headstay option allows for a large self-tacking working jib and a larger genoa

Our Take

Pros:

  • Variable draft
  • Raised saloon
  • Construction quality
southerly_42rst_exterior

Cons:

  • Multi-level accommodation
  • Galley somewhat removed from
    the saloon
  • Side decks on the narrow side

Conclusion

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.

Related

01-LEAD-Vento-Solare-action-(1mb)_Stephen-Cloutier

Ida Lewis Distance Race 2021

This year’s annual Ida Lewis Distance Race on Narragansett Bay will offer something for everyone. In addition to ORC and PHRF, there will be sections for doublehanded, youth and collegiate racing. Racers will also have a choice between the event’s traditional offshore distance ...read more

01-LEAD-Lag01-oon-620---Raiatea---French-Polynesia-(12)

Internships: Run Away to Sea

Not the office type? College isn’t an option, or your degree in philosophy isn’t panning out? If a job in the marine trades sounds like your dream career but you don’t know where to start, here are three places to both get some good training and a foot in the door. Dream Yacht ...read more

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 9.58.55 AM

Summer Sailstice Turns 21

Summer Sailstice’s will celebrate its 21st birthday this year. This annual worldwide celebration of sailing occurs on the weekend closest to the solstice, landing on June 19th this year. Over the past two decades, the event has grown to include nearly 5,000 boats and 19,000 ...read more

e60aa842-1c3c-41da-b0ba-dfd7678479e4

The New York Yacht Club Submits a Protocol Alteration with its America’s Cup Challenge

The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) has submitted a challenge for the 37th America’s Cup to the current Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Auckland, New Zealand. The challenge was accompanied by a draft protocol for the regatta, which would see the Cup take ...read more

01-LEAD-CCA-Antarctica2-01

Cruising: Honoring Remarkable Ocean Voyages and Seamanship

The Cruising Club of America, an organization of about 1,300 offshore sailors, has been honoring remarkable ocean voyages and seamanship with an array of prestigious awards for nearly 100 years. The club’s highest honor, the Blue Water Medal, has recognized renowned and ...read more

2.4mR's racing at the 2018 Clagett Regatta-US Para Sailing Championships credit Clagett Regatta-Andes Visual

Host for 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships Announced

The 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships will be hosted by The Clagett Regatta at Sail Newport, in Newport, R.I. on August, 24-29, 2021, according to a joint announcement from the host and US Sailing. "We have had a very long working relationship with US Sailing and look forward ...read more

Reflections-photo-CMerwarth

Cruising: Reflections of an Old Salt

I am 90 years old, dwindling in mind and body and fear living too long. Twenty years have passed since I last weighed anchor. Still, when a Carolina blue sky is polka-dotted with billowing cumulus clouds and the wind blows fair, I sorely miss raising sail and setting forth. I ...read more

DSC_0145

Waterlines: Solo Sailing

In spite of the fact I came to the sport of sailing alone and untutored, in a boat I acquired on my own, I never really aspired to become a solo sailor. It just sort of happened. All these years later, I still never explicitly plan to sail anywhere alone. I’m always happy to ...read more