The next time your boat is retrieved from a storage rack with a forklift, take a close look at the bow. If it bounces, that means your boat isn't well balanced. No problem here for Cigarette's redesigned 42X. It sat like a stone on the forks.
That translated to a great ride in varied conditions. In calm water, the 42X rode perfectly, balanced at zero degrees on my inclinometer, and hit 100.4 mph. When I drove it into solid 4' seas with plenty of 6-footers rearing up, the boat flew level every time I launched. Stout construction features Prisma stringers reinforced with carbon fiber (engine stringers are wood), Baltek Decalite bulkheads, balsa coring, and a composite transom. Vacuum bagging keeps the weight down.
In the 42X's bottom redesign, the biggest change comes between the second step and the transom. The running surface angles up and aft 1" higher than on the previous model. This brings down the back of the boat and lifts the bow, and because the bow stays up during turns, the change improved the 42X's maneuverability.
A go-fast has to look good, too, especially when the engine hatch is up. In the staggered engine configuration, the starboard motor sits forward. The strainers are on opposite sides of the stringer and use each other as backing plates. Batteries are in custom aluminum boxes and trim pumps are easy to top off.
At the helm, I appreciated the small wind deflector and the comfortably placed controls as well as my view of critical gauges. Aft, the bench comprises three separate bolsters.
Belowdecks, the LipShip Edition package (a $40,000 upgrade) had a surprise in store. Forward of the zippered curtain at what would be the V-berth bulkhead is a changing area. Unzip it and you find a private area with a head, a small lounge, and four large lockers. The rest of the belowdecks area includes facing lounges and a cooler with a top-loading hatch. The 42X is a surprisingly good balance of performance and practicality.