A Welcome Addition
Editor-At-Large Peter Frederiksen put the new 42 Cantius through its paces in Tampa Bay. His first impression? One of completeness.
Introduced at the 2017 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, the new 42 Cantius by Cruisers Yachts exemplifies the Oconto, Wisconsin builder’s prowess in merging bold, tasteful design and smooth performance. This strategy began with the 48 Cantius in 2011 and now includes the flagship 60 Cantius, a 54, 50, and 45. Stepping aboard the 42 at Galati Yacht Sales in St. Petersburg, Florida, I immediately picked up on the family resemblance.
The first impression is one of completeness. “Each new model is designed around a full-size mock-up assembled in the plant. The process shows us how all of the boat’s features and accommodations will function in real-life conditions, under way and at the dock,” says Matt VanGrunsven, Cruisers’ marketing director. The design process is not about cramming things into the boat, but rather making all of the details useful and practical. After a few hours aboard the boat, putting it through its paces on Tampa Bay, I can report that from the forward lounge area—conveniently accessed from the walk-around side decks with molded nonslip and substantial bowrail—to the engine room, there is not one square inch of it that isn’t put to good use. It may be a new model for Cruisers Yachts but it welcomes you aboard like an old friend.
Boarding the boat is easily accomplished via a large, molded staircase that leads from the wide swim platform to the cockpit, where there’s a locking stainless-steel-framed transom door. But this is no ordinary swim platform. An electric grill is built-in, flanked by massive stowage compartments with lids that double as counter space when cooking. A shower outlet, washdown system, and the electrical power cord feed from the Glendinning Cablemaster to starboard. Our test boat had the available hydraulic lift, and when the platform descends into the water a staircase on the portside provides safe egress to the cockpit steps above. Ten-inch stern cleats are mounted on the transom haunch to prevent stubbed toes, and stainless-steel grabrails and drink holders are aptly placed.
The best way I can describe this express cruiser is by calling it an all-weather boat. The exterior profile is modern with plenty of curves, hullside window glass, and polished stainless steel. The cockpit is huge with 12 feet of plump L-shaped seating with stowage underneath, drink holders, table, Vitrifrigo icemaker, sink, and cooler. A retractable awning provides shade and when the multi-directional sliding stainless-steel-framed glass door is open to the salon a single social space is created. Inside the salon, large opening side windows, a single pane windshield with narrow corner mullions, and the power-actuated fiberglass sunroof bring in natural ventilation and a galaxy of light.
Gallery: Cruisers 42 Cantius
A compact galley is to port with a bone-white, L-shaped, solid-surface countertop, stainless-steel sink with cover board, Kenyon two-burner electric cooktop, microwave, satin walnut cabinetry, and 27-inch flat- screen television. A cleverly designed molded fiberglass base module maximizes space for the dinette opposite the galley by raising the L-shaped Ultraleather lounge several inches above the Amtico salon sole. The height gives guests good views of the television, the horizon outside the window, and the activity in the cockpit.
The module extends forward to the command station and the height provides excellent visibility for the boat’s operator, including a view astern to ease backing into a slip. The Ultraleather double-wide helm seat is fully adjustable and has a folding armrest so the driver can exit easily, and there’s a walnut footrest for the long haul. A polished U-shaped stainless-steel railing in the companionway provides security for passengers when they head below.
Our test boat was equipped with a dual-screen Raymarine Axiom Pro 12. Set up in the raised dash, it was easy to read as we tracked our way across the bay. Less friendly to read, however, was the Volvo display—unless I was standing at the helm. The screen is on a flat surface to the left of the adjustable leather-wrapped wheel and it is difficult to discern all of the information at a glance because everything on the screen is so small. Since an operator is likely to run the boat while sitting in the helm seat, a larger screen or even a bank of analog gauges would help the cause. Otherwise, the helm arrangement is beautifully done with dark materials to prevent glare. In keeping with the social nature of the 42 Cantius, there are two lounges to the left of the helm station—one faces forward; the other faces aft. The rake of the windshield provides an acre of flat space forward of the helm, where air conditioning vents to keep the salon cool in spite of all the glass work.
As with many express designs, the air-conditioned master stateroom is forward. The 42 Cantius carries its wide beam to the bow and uses the volume for a centerline queen-size bed with a therapeutic foam mattress, which faces the 24-inch flat-screen television. Four drawers are in the base of the bed and two hanging lockers provide ample wardrobe stowage. Headroom is 6'5". The hullsides are lined with shelving for more stowage, and a pair of non-opening longitudinal portlights add function and drama to the hull styling. An overhead Bomar hatch invites natural ventilation.
But the hatch, or hatches, I especially liked were beneath the carpeted sole, providing access to plumbing systems in the bilge. Although the pump for the Dometic air-conditioning system was running under my feet, I couldn’t hear it through the thick carpeting. But when I lifted the hatch, there in clear view and with easy access was the seacock, the pump, a manifold to provide water to other systems, the bronze Buck Algonquin raw-water strainer, and a bilge pump. Another hatch accessed the macerator pump and MSD discharge fitting, and a third hatch revealed the shower sump. The bilge is finished with white gelcoat for easy cleaning, all fittings are labeled, chafe gear protects wire and plumbing runs and wherever an underwater thru-hull fitting is required, it penetrates a solid glass laminate. Even limber drain holes are fitted with PVC pipe.
Express cruisers often fall a little short when it comes to the midship stateroom, making the best out of what space is left; but not on this boat. The area is full beam and unusually bright thanks to hullside windows with opening ports for cross ventilation. Indirect lighting frames the stateroom. The overhead clearance ranges from 5 to 4 ½-feet and the berth is near queen size. A 6½-foot-long settee lines the starboard side. According to VanGrunsven, “The size and accommodations in this stateroom have a few of us at Cruisers calling this a second master.” That’s a nice problem to have for the family with children, or when guests are aboard.
Savvy express yacht owners will appreciate Cruisers Yachts’ attention to detail in the brightly lit engineroom and will have a breeze handling the maintenance. Systems and equipment are clearly labeled, installations are neat and well thought out. Access is through a large insulated hatch with rubber gasket in the cockpit; a stainless-steel ladder leads below, where there is an average of 4 feet of headroom. The forward bulkhead and overhead are covered with thick, sound-absorbing, lead-lined insulation. To simplify chores, systems are strategically placed, requiring minimal effort for access. Against the forward bulkhead on centerline is the 13-kW Kohler generator. Adjacent to port is a Reverso oil-changing system and batteries in boxes for the Volvo diesels. On the starboard side is a pair of boxed house batteries, a Pro Mariner charger, an electrical distribution panel and an 11-gallon Whale water heater. Aft, the reservoir for the Bennett trim tabs and the Cablemaster power cord barrel sit to starboard. There is more than enough room to install a Seakeeper if an owner so desires.
Cruisers Yachts has been using Volvo Penta’s IPS system for many years and the IPS 500 engines aboard our test boat are a great fit with 40-inches between them. Separ and Racor filters are easy to change and fuel is massaged via an Algae-X fuel conditioner at each one. Another Volvo item I liked is the easy to inspect and clean raw-water strainer mounted directly on the engine with the water flowing to it from the IPS drive to minimize hose runs, hardware, and keep the work area less busy. The engine room—like the bilge throughout the boat—is gel-coated in white, but here you can easily view the robust, foam-filled fiberglass encapsulated stringers, which exemplify the construction process favored by Cruisers Yachts.
During our test run, Tampa Bay was slick calm and there wasn’t much wave activity—only the occasional surface ripple from a curious manatee. But based on the boat’s solid construction I’ll bet it will perform nicely in any conditions an owner would venture into. As for its handling, the boat planes quickly and is responsive at every throttle setting I tried. Top speed was a hair under 30 knots, where the Volvos drank 41 gph. A true sweet spot was at 2750 rpm, where the boat slid along just under 18 knots. If you’re sitting in the cockpit at cruise speeds noise levels should be modest and won’t interfere with a conversation. In tight corners around the dock, the joystick controls the pods for maneuverability an eel would be envious of.
The 42 Cantius is a nice addition to the Cruisers Yachts’ fleet. Whether you’re moving up or down in the product line or just thinking about joining the Cruisers Yachts’ family, this new boat has a bright future.
Cruisers 42 Cantius - layout diagrams
Test Conditions: Temperature: 76°F; seas: calm; wind: 1-2 knots.
Load: 150 gal. fuel, 10 gal. water, 2 persons.
Cruisers 42 Cantius — Final Boat Test Numbers:
Speeds are two-way averages measured with Raymarine GPS. GPH taken via Volvo Penta display. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.
LOA (w/swim platform): 43'2"
Displ.: 30,850 lb.
Fuel: 300 gal.
Water: 80 gal.
Test Power: 2/370-hp Volvo Penta D6 500 IPS
Warranty: Five-year structural
Price as Tested: $1,004,697