Symbol 42 Classic Trawler

Symbol 42 Classic Trawler By Capt. Bill Pike — April 2004

Classical Gas

Symbol offers an atttractive, 42-foot traditional trawler with an easy-living layout.
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Symbol 42
• Part 2: Symbol 42
• Symbol 42 Specs
• Symbol 42 Deck Plan
• Symbol 42 Acceleration Curve
• Symbol 42 Photo Gallery

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• Boat Test Index

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Holiday Marine Sales

These days nothing ever seems to go the way I imagine. For example, when I strolled into the Seattle office of Holiday Marine Sales looking for Leif Bentzen, I was expecting a tall, young guy with Viking-type characteristics—like a full beard and fierce blue eyes. The Dane sorting paperwork behind the desk evinced none of these features, however. He was well into middle age, of average height, and clean-shaven. Moreover, his eyes were kindly, not fierce.

I recognized a kindred spirit immediately. While Bentzen may not explicitly resemble his seafaring ancestors, he’s obviously a boat guy of the first order. All the signs were there: baggy khaki trousers, comfortably broken-in deckshoes, deeply tanned countenance, and a powerful enthusiasm for the vessel we’d be dealing with for the rest of the day: Symbol’s 42-foot Classic Trawler.

“She’s out on the end of the dock,” he said, adding that our test boat had wood-cored stringers and bulkheads, unlike the all-glass version Symbol’s building today. Without further ado, we got boat-test bound, heading toward a two-stateroom, two-head vessel that, as we drew near, seemed to glow with the traditional tricabin design influences of West Coast trawler mavens like Ed Monk, Sr., William Garden, and others. I stood near her stern for a moment and gave the big, hefty vessel an appraising look, taking in her towering mast, her high, beefy bulwarks, and her broad-shouldered bow. In a way it seemed I was examining the trawler equivalent of the guy standing next to me—both Bentzen and his 42 were plainly time-tested classics.

We jumped aboard. The interior layout was the first thing to capture my attention—it was reminiscent of many other trawlers I’ve spent time aboard over the years, boats some folks might deem old-fashioned today. The location of the two doors in the saloon highlighted the arrangement. One opened onto the starboard side deck from a spot adjacent to the standard lower helm, the idea being to put the skipper close to a spring cleat during a starboard-side-to docking. The other opened onto the port side deck from a spot just abaft a long, straight stretch of galley cabinetry, the idea being to easily cross-ventilate the entire saloon in conjunction with the forward door without having to open the sliding side windows. In my opinion, this is way ahead of the two-doors-abeam-of-the lower-station setup so popular these days.

I checked the oil in the mains for Bentzen. First we lifted out two of the four heavy, teak-and-holly-paved panels in the saloon sole and set them aside. Then I dropped down onto the walkway between the twin 210-hp Cummins 220B diesels, checked the dipsticks, and proffered them for inspection—levels were perfect and, despite the fact that the boat was an older model with a few hundred hours on her engines, the oil was the sweet golden color of pancake syrup.

Next page > Part 2: The 42’s superstructure is balsa-cored to reduce weight aloft. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the March 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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