F42/5 — By Capt. Bill Pike — April 2002
|Part 2: Sweet, Easy-Drivin’|
A somewhat lesser yet still important innovative feature announced itself on Miami’s Biscayne Bay during the sea trial. While a comfy, adjustable benchseat at the upper helm as well as some excellent sightlines fore and aft made my driving experiences enjoyable, a touchpad-type control head on the dashboard for the German-built elTrim electric trim tabs added a rare sense of mastery. Certainly, fast-acting electric tabs (as opposed to the more common electro-hydraulic type) are nothing new–both elTrim and statesider Lenco Marine have been doing them for years. But what really raised the lid on my locker were the integrated LED indicators that allowed me to instantaneously see what was going on with the tabs and the single-gang switches for raising and lowering both tabs in unison–a sweet, easy-drivin’ feature.
Of course I enjoyed sea-trialing the F42/5 for reasons other than the savvy configuration of her trim tab controls, among them a zesty average top end of 37 mph, some nice out-of-the-hole form (see acceleration curve), the facile throw and distinct detentes of the ZF/Mathers single-lever electronic engine controls, the smooth action of the Hynautic hydraulic steering, and a true-tracking, shallow-tunnel, modified-V hull form that’s got enough heft and upfront fineness to split a whole pile of choppy miles without splashing a drop on the windshield.
This latter bit of excellence results from Sealine’s substantial approach to FRP construction. While the deck is cored with Baltek balsa, the entire hull is solid glass composed of multidirectional fabrics and general-purpose resin, with a protective layer of osmosis-resistant isophthalic gelcoat. Stringers and transversals are glass as well, filled with two-pound-density polyurethane foam and bonded in place with several alternating layers of glass tape and chopped strand. Additional strength comes from a couple of interior liners glassed into the hull sides and stringer tops. One stretches from the anchor locker bulkhead to the forward engine-room firewall, and the other nests into the lazarette area. Even more strength comes from a belt-and-suspenders hull-to-deck joint accomplished with rivets, fiberglass bonding all the way around, a 2"x2" interior band of wood to add thickness and strength, and yet another round of fiberglass bonding over the wood.
I examined the amidships engine room of the F42/5 as soon as we returned to our slip, which was directly behind the offices of Global Yachts International, Sealine’s Miami-based dealer. While machinery spaces under the saloon sole seemed cramped (with just 11 inches between the engines), removing the appropriate panels from the sole–supported on a grid of big aluminum box beams–and opening a hatch in the engine room’s aft firewall produced reasonable access to mains, sea strainers, and transmissions. I especially liked the massive, galvanized-steel H-beams that serve as engine bearers–gusseted and bolted into fore-and-aft firewalls, they obviously add strength and stability not only to the drive trains but to the entire boat.
My examination of the F42/5’s two-head/two-stateroom interior layout came next. The resulting impressions were generally favorable, with high marks going to the fold-down vanity/laptop table (with ottoman) in the guest stateroom, the sweetly joined varnished teak in the saloon, the side windows at the lower helm station that go up and down via electric motors, and a set of automotive-style switches. I had two complaints, however. First, considering the elevation of the steps to and from the lower helm station, the headliner here is way too low–at 5'10" I banged my head four times on it during the test, despite repeated never-again resolutions. And second, getting to the Marine Air air handler for the forward accommodation spaces was tough. Once the hatch in the galley sole is removed, along with the stowage bin immediately under it, the path to the unit is still, to borrow a phrase from the realm of golden oldies, a long and winding road.
I wound up the day satisfied, but not really surprised. Sealine’s F42/5 Flybridge Motor Yacht is a solid-running, solidly put-together cruising vessel, with a truly innovative extendable cockpit that really is both new and improved.
And hey–there’s not even a faucet to be found near the V-berth, let alone a bathtub.
Global Yachts International Phone: (305) 371-2628. Fax: (305) 371-4420. www.globalyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.