by Quentin Warren
Blue Water Sailing
An elegant, go anywhere cruiser
Every once in a while a fresh semi production adaptation of a vintage sailboat all but forgotten makes its way onto the contemporary scene, and when it happens just right, all you can do is bang your forehead and mutter something about how the answer was sitting in front of you all the time and why didn’t anybody think of it sooner. So it was when BWS took a long hard look at the Bruckmann 42 a year ago in the October 2001 issue. We called it “a lively remake of designer Mark Ellis’s 1980s-vintage Niagara 42, and a marvelous platform for comfortable cruising and blue-water voyaging.”
Central to the success of the boat, at least in our eyes, was the synergy that emerged between Ellis the designer, Mark Bruckmann the builder, Dave Harris the broker and facilitator, and Paul Maeder the hands-on owner. It allowed a proven stock production vessel to evolve into an outcome far better for the variety of its parts, reinterpreted in the context of advanced building techniques and modern-day gear and equipment.
“The Bruckmann 42 fits into the continuum of Hinckley, Morris, and Shannon, a relatively conservative boat built to modern standards and designed to be sailed actively and far. It is family-oriented more than racy, elegant and pretty more than predatory and sleek.” The hullform enjoys graceful overhangs at the bow and the stern, deep sections and a medium-long, 5’6” Scheel-like keel, with a minimally balanced rudder hung off a high-aspect skeg. It’s the kind of design that provides for a dampened, comfortable, predictable motion in lumpy seas, which is what you want when it’s just you, your wife and two young sons aboard.
“I wanted a boat on a manageable scale, light enough not to be a constant threat to my kids,” explained Maeder. Forty feet and 22,000 pounds fit the bill, resulting in a moderate, some might say conservative D/L mark of 286 (calculated using the vessel’s 32’6” waterline length), especially when combined with Ballast/Displacement at 36 percent. Sail Area/Displacement settles in at 17.3—not supersonic, but hardly dead in the water either.
The boat is built conventionally with Corecell, fiberglass roving and vinylester resin, all stiffened with transverse floors and longitudinal girders. We got a look at her innards during the commissioning process and remarked, “Execution is first-rate.” The accommodations plan revolves around “two fairly tight couples or, as in this case, a couple and their two children,” with V-berth forward, cheerful saloon and longitudinal galley amidships, double berth in the port hip, and navigation plus pilot berth in the starboard hip.
Our sailing excursion took place on Buzzards Bay (Mass.) in a solid 18 to 20 knots of breeze. We observed, “In bouncy conditions the motion of the 42 is dampened and loping, which makes for a comfortable ride in the cockpit aft and certainly mitigates the stress level below, where the pounding of flatter sections would be unpleasant.” Quite satisfied with the whole ball of wax, we concluded, “As blue-water boats go, in this size range the Bruck-mann 42 would have to rank with the best in terms of concept, comfort, manageablity and soul.”
LOA 42’2” (12.9 m.)
LWL 32’6” (9.9 m.)
Beam 12’9” (3.9 m.)
Draft 5’6” (1.7 m.)
Ballast 8,000 lbs. (3,629 kgs.)
Displ. 22,000 lbs. (9,979 kgs.)
SA (100%) 850 sq. ft. (79 sq. m.)
Fuel 60 gal. (227 ltr.)
Water 150 gal. (568 ltr.)
Auxiliary Yanmar 4JH2E 50-hp w/Saildrive
Designer Mark Ellis
2265 Royal Windsor Drive
Mississauga, ON L5J 1K5
Harris & Ellis Yachts
77 Bronte Road S.
Oakville, ON L6L 3B7
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