Henriques 42By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
New Jersey-based Henriques is known for building solid boats with seemingly never-ending cockpit space and fishability in abundance. One thing it is not known for is introducing models at the rate of reproducing rabbits. So when I heard it was launching a new 42, I was on the phone ASAP.
According to plant manager Manny Costa, the 42 is based on the popular Henriques 38, but besides being longer, she carries about a foot more beam amidships and about two more all the way aft. Henriques has also carried that beam farther aft to compensate for moving weight aft and opening up the interior.
As you'd expect, the 42 has a truly massive cockpit—try 155 square feet. This is accomplished by adding beam, since the 42's cockpit is identical to the 38's in length. That cockpit also houses two removable fishboxes that measure a whopping 54"x19.5"x23". Your bigeye tuna will fit here nicely—that is, after you've slid them through the 28-inch-wide transom door. The fishbox hatches are fiberglass and heavy and could probably stand to use a couple of gas-assist struts, not to mention some gasketing to help insulate and eliminate potential rattling underway. Other fishing amenities that easily fit onto this "dance floor" include an optional Release bolster with room for four rods and a bait freezer and sink to starboard. Cleverly located in the centerline door leading to the engine room is three-drawer tackle stowage. In addition to the six gunwale-mounted rod holders there are also three per side in the pilasters, three per side under the gunwales, and a seven-rod rocket launcher on the flying bridge. (If you're keeping score that's 29 places to stow rods.)
Like the cockpit, the engine room is impressive when it comes to space. That centerline cockpit door leads down a couple of steps to the 261?2-inch-wide catwalk between the two standard 700-hp Caterpillar C12 diesels, which sit on beefy, capped-fiberglass engine beds. With 4'4" headroom here, I was able to easily turn my 5'7", 160-pound frame between the powerplants and get to all regular service points. One place that usually suffers is outboard access, but this is not the case on the 42. While outboard of each powerplant is a freshwater tank, they do not intrude on the engines: There is 211?2 inches of space between the tanks and the diesels. One issue I did have was the 1,100-gph Rule bilge pump just past the last step leading into the engine room. It's slightly exposed, and there's a chance that you could step on it or the float switch. I'd like to see that step come out another inch or two or the pump moved aft.
The 42's hull construction is as tough as those beefy capped stringers, with hand-laid, solid fiberglass below the waterline. Divinycell coring in the hull sides keeps her weight respectable. (She's 38,000 pounds.) She also features a one-piece deck, and her in-house-manufactured fiberglass fuel tanks are glassed to the hull, making them part of the overall structure. Henriques also constructs its own hardtops, bowrails, and towers, except for the 38's full tower. I observed clean welds, and her rails easily handled my weight while transiting the side decks.
I also noted the 42's solidity underfoot while commencing our sea trials off Margate, New Jersey, on an unusually mild late-March morning. There was a two- to four-foot swell left over from a Nor'easter, but the 42's fine entry and modified-V running surface—14-degree transom deadrise compared to the 44's ten degrees—handled the mild conditions with aplomb. She boogied along to a comfortable cruise of 34 mph (29.6 knots) at 2000 rpm while the Cats burned 48 gph. When I firewalled the single-lever Glendinning electronic controls, the 42 hit 39 mph at 2300 rpm with a fuel burn of 75 gph.
Throughout her runs, the 42's hydraulic steering was real- time reactive. And while her trim angle hit six degrees (without tabs), sightlines forward were unaffected. The clean sightlines were rivaled only by the equally neat helm console, which housed two Cat marine power displays, a Northstar 958, Furuno NavNet system, VHF, LCD depthsounder, Simrad autopilot, and Clarion stereo, all of which were easily viewed with a quick glance forward and down. There's a small benchseat for three or four guests just ahead of the helm that allows them to enjoy the ride with the captain. However, the companion-seat access is the most impressive thing here. Most 40-foot convertibles I've been on require you to cross in front of the wheel to get in and out. Henriques has built a walkway behind the helm and aft of the cockpit ladder so guests can walk to the port-side companion seat without interfering with the helmsman.
Another well-thought-out piece of design is the 42's interior. All that cockpit space steals some interior room, although Henriques has maximized what's left. The standard layout has a dinette directly to port upon entering from the cockpit, a saloon with L-shape lounge to starboard, and a full galley down to port just forward of the dinette; a galley-up design is available. One 42 owner eliminated the dinette in place of additional tackle drawers. That's the advantage of working with a semicustom builder.
There are also variations available in the 42's accommodations. The standard layout on my test boat featured an island berth (bunks are optional) forward with bunks in the guest quarters aft and to starboard. A full head that sits across from the guest stateroom can be accessed from both staterooms. However, the shower (28"x28") on my test boat featured 6'2" headroom. If you're taller, you may want to lose the doorway from the master forward and bring the shower forward several feet to provide more headroom. The standard washed ash interior, which Costa says started out as a way to make the interior appear larger, can be upgraded to whatever wood you'd like.
At $742,000, my boat was competitively priced with several comparably sized production boats. But unlike production boats, she can be tricked out the way you like her. There's something to be said for that, as well as the fact her limited production should enhance resale. If you're a hardcore tournament angler who wants a comfy interior in which to rest between bites or you want to have a cockpit dance contest, the 42 is more than up to the task. And with her solid ride, fuel economy, and pedigree, the 42, like her predecessor, should have a long life on the production line.
This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.