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Cruisers 42 GLS

The new flagship of the series signals further refinement of Cruisers Yachts’ dayboat-with-accommodations design.

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Until recently, I would never have imagined a Cruisers Yachts with outboards—let alone triples. When I think of the Wisconsin-based builder, what instantly comes to mind is its contemporary Cantius series of inboard-powered motoryachts ranging from 42 to 60 feet. But here I was, standing on the dock at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, about to board the Cruisers 42 GLS with triple Mercury 400 Verados on its transom. The new 42-footer is the latest and largest offering in Cruisers’ outboard-powered dayboat series, which includes the 338 Outboard and 38 GLS.

The initial concept for the GLS series dates back to 2012, when the company departed from its typical motor cruiser design by launching the Cruisers 328/338. “It was our first attempt at doing a bowrider with accommodations below,” said Tony Martens, director of product development and engineering for KCS International, Cruisers’ parent company. The boat was sterndrive-powered initially, but in response to growing customer demand for outboard power, Cruisers launched an outboard version of the 338 by 2017. “It then evolved into the 38 [GLS], and we took it to the next level when we developed the 42 [GLS],” Martens said. “The 38 and 42 were specifically designed on a clean sheet of paper to be able to perform with both I/Os and outboards,” he continued. “It’s the same running bottom; we insert the molds for the decks and the stern to accommodate outboards and I/Os.”

The 42 GLS has a planing hull with no steps and 21-degrees of deadrise at the transom. It’s capable of running “as far offshore as you feel comfortable going in a bowrider,” Martens said. It also has a dedicated space for an optional Seakeeper.

His team designed the boat from the waterline up in-house, a process that included building a foam-core mock-up of the interior. “It makes all the sense in the world to have people actually get on a full-scale mockup. They can make sure they’re not hitting their head when they’re brushing their teeth,” Martens said.

In keeping with the design brief for the series, the 42 GLS has a nicely appointed cabin that lets passengersget out of the sun for some air-conditioned downtime, or shelter from a passing rain shower. It features a convertible V-berth dinette and aft double berth, seating up to six adults and accommodating two couples overnight. Cabin headroom is 6 feet, 7 inches. There’s also a mini-galley and a wet head.

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The yacht’s topsides are optimized for entertaining and water-sports fun. Where the 38 GLS has one electric “beach door”—an aft cockpit gunwale that folds down, extending the deck space—the 42 GLS has two. “When both doors are down, it’s massive. It would be a waste if we didn’t do it,” Martens said. The beach doors are operated by a button in the cockpit, and there is a lock for the mechanism at the helm.

Other innovative features include the aft settee backrest, which rotates to convert the back-to-back seat into dual sunpads, and the small bar built into the on-deck galley, which even comes with a couple of barstools. You can order the boat with side windows that extend all the way to the hardtop or shorter “sport wings” that let in the breeze. Either way, cockpit air-conditioning is available.

Interestingly, when Cruisers got into the outboard-powered boat market, the company predicted that the 38 and 42 GLS would be ordered with sterndrives or outboards depending on whether the owners did their boating on saltwater or fresh. “We always thought, Florida’s going to be all outboards, the Midwest, Great Lakes [region] is going to be all I/Os. It really hasn’t turned out that way,” Martens said. “We are selling outboards everywhere and, for that matter, I/Os everywhere.”

Cruisers 42 GLS Specifications:

LOA (w/outboards): 42’
Beam: 13’
Draft: 43”
Weight: 27,000 lbs.
Fuel: 403 gal.
Water: 50 gal.
Power: 3/400-hp Mercury Verado OBs
Top Speed: 52 mph
Price: $928,340