Some builders enter the outboard market timidly, with one toe in the water at a time. Cruisers, however, jumped into the deep end with a full cannonball, first with its 38GLS and now with the triple-engine 42GLS. If you don’t fall in love with this fun boat at first glance, well, check your pulse.
For starters, Cruisers decided that if one foldout beach on the 38 was good, then two on the 42 would be more than twice as good. And the builder is right. Having hullsides that morph into extended deck areas doesn’t just recapture space lost to outboards on the transom platform, but it also creates an entirely new fun area to explore. Suddenly, you don’t just have a boat with 13-foot beam, but one with nearly 19 feet of deck for entertaining and playing in the water.
Aside from the 4 feet in length and two beaches, why opt for the 42? There’s a lot of reasons. The 42GLS is a true express cruiser with a full hardtop running far enough aft from the windshield to give sun protection to the wraparound dinette, and it has a big electric sunroof (standard) for when you want some breeze. The 38GLS had a T-top but is really a big bowrider, while the 42GLS has not only the hardtop but also a full glass enclosure on the sides, an express-cruiser feature we appreciated in a lumpy inlet leading to the Gulf Stream.
Interior and Accessories
That 4 feet also translates into a civilized cabin (6 feet, 7 inches of headroom) that would encourage overnighting, with a full queen berth tucked in a private playpen aft, a dinette that converts to a tapered queen for kids (or in-laws), and a mini galley with a fridge and microwave to heat the coffee when you don’t want to tiptoe out to the cockpit galley in your jammies.
There’s a rinse-off shower on the transom, but the big enclosed head in the cabin has a stand-up shower to get you squeaky clean, plus a vanity with toiletry stowage.
The cockpit galley is impressive, with the available Kenyon grill, and even a TV (think alfresco movie nights) that moves from the salon to the cockpit. Stools turn the raised galley counter into a bar, and I settled in there quite comfortably for our outing.
The skipper has the best seat in the house: a bolstered double-wide helm chair overlooking an impeccably arranged dash with twin Simrad monitors and clearly labeled buttons for systems. The joystick for the triple outboards is exactly where I wanted it, just in front of the throttle and shifters. The skipper gets air-conditioning vents, and with the addition of a zippered back door to the cockpit, this entertaining area can be cooled or heated for all-season comfort just like the cabin.
Safe access to the bow is through a clever windshield door that flips away. There’s also a recessed gate for spray or breeze protection, and parents will delight in the high coamings forward for kid security.
There’s nothing unusual about the wraparound seating in the bow until you lift a cushion, where you’ll find nicely finished storage bins. In fact, Cruisers has gone to lengths to make every possible dead space into a stowage nook, cranny or locker. The bow seating has a table that converts to a sun pad, multiple cup holders (even in the fold-down armrest), and an optional sunshade. A Genius anchor windlass is hidden out of sight under a foredeck hatch, with controls by foot buttons or at the helm.
This hull is a development of the well-proven 38GLS, and we had a chance to give the 42GLS a serious test in some square-edged Atlantic seas. On a couple of waves, we got to play astronaut—you know, we went weightless. But the hull, with its 21-degree transom deadrise, brought us down softly.
Cruisers does an excellent job with construction, using a mix of infused resin and hand-laid glass (but no wood) to create a tough hull and superstructure. I was impressed that the builder makes all its own wiring harnesses in-house, with every wire labeled for future tracing, and it does its own woodwork and upholstery to a luxurious level. The weld work on stanchions and rails is polished and jewellike.
I also liked the outstanding access to the various underdeck systems, with filters, batteries and seacocks in well-finished bilges and compartments. Our test boat had the optional 5.5 kW diesel genset to keep the margaritas flowing and the air conditioner blowing, and it was readily accessible along with its separate 20-gallon fuel tank. A Seakeeper gyrostabilizer is an option, and Cruisers has allotted ample room for it in the machinery area aft.
Shopping around? Check out the Sea Ray 400 SLX ($718,078), which is a bit shorter, and comes with a T-top and no beaches.
So, what’ll the 42 do? Our test boat had a trio of 400 hp Mercury Verados, giving us a solid 52 mph in the smooth spots. You can opt for 350 or 450 hp Verados, but I thought this triple outboard package was perfect.
I loved the 42GLS for its flexibility, fun, performance, and solid design and construction. Small enough and fast enough for water toys, elegant enough for cocktail cruises, and comfortable enough that overnighting will be a plan, not an afterthought. What’s not to like with this cannonball into the deep end?
How We Tested
- Engine: Triple 400 hp Mercury Verado
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/14.5″ x 15″ Merc 4-blade XP
- Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 350 gal. Water On Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 600 lb.
- No-wood construction uses fiberglass infusion and hand layup for strength and durability.
- Deep gutters on deck hatches prevent water intrusion.
- Oversize and sturdy hinges on all lockers and hatches.
- Not enough handrails or sissy bars.
- Bar stools might not be a suitable substitute for a companion seat.
Pricing and Specs
|$1,081,619 (with test power)
|Max Cabin Headroom:
|Triple Mercury Verado outboards
Speed, Operation, Efficiency
Cruisers Yachts – Oconto, Wisconsin; 800-743-3478; cruisersyachts.com