Symbol 42 Motoryacht: A Sea of Relief

Worrywart remover.

You’re on the annual trek from New England to Florida for the winter when you feel a bump against the boat’s bottom. What do you do? If the boat is a Symbol 42 Motor-yacht, you’ll probably just smile and keep going. The prop and rudder are both protected by a shield that extends aft off the keel. This extension also provides a strong pivot point for the bottom of the rudder shaft.

More good news: The 42 Motoryacht has a semi-displacement hull, so the boat is faster than pure trawlers. With a single 420-bhp Cat 3126 diesel, it hit a top speed of 15.7 mph. The best rpm setting is 2400, at which the boat ran 12.8 mph with a range of 411 miles. Extra efficiency is gained from the use of lightweight foam coring in the hullsides, deck, and flying bridge. The 42 Motoryacht is built for extended living aboard. There’s lots of stowage, including a mammoth in-sole locker adjacent to the galley. The microwave/convection oven saves galley space. Besides, no one bakes on a boat. At 8’4″ wide, the aft stateroom is larger than some Manhattan studio apartments and it sports a berth wider than a typical queen. Fore and aft heads are all molded with standup showers and electric toilets, but where the outlet hoses for the heads pass through the sole, the sealant was poorly applied.

For skippers, the upper and lower helms have all the requisite gauges, and there’s extra space for aftermarket electronic navigation equipment. The salon provides room to stretch out on cushy lounges and a TV/VCR is included. Also, the wetbar can stock up to 12 bottles.


Critical for extended living is ease of maintenance. Hinged aft salon steps raise and lock in place with a barrel bolt to provide entry to the engine room. (I’d like to see a gas-strut support added.) The engine room has 4′ of headroom, and the single motor looks lonely, installed on steel mounts bolted into plywood-cored stringers. The batteries are in boxes to starboard, and all the hoses are color coded. Plus, the fiberglass fuel tanks resist corrosion.

What about competition? The Atkinson Cape Island 43 Trawler is wider at 15’4″. It’s built in Nova Scotia for year-round use in harsh northern climates. Each boat is custom built. Base retail price for the 43 Trawler is about $350,000 with a 420-bhp CAT.

LAST WORD. Peace of mind on every voyage.


LOA…..41’10” ** **

Beam…..13’8″ ** **

Draft…..3’6″ ** **


Displacement (lbs., approx.) …..33,000 ****

Transom deadrise….11° ****

Bridge clearance ………13’2″ ****


Minimum cockpit depth……2’8″ ****

Max. cabin headroom..6’5″ ****

Fuel capacity (gal.)…450 ****

Water capacity (gal.)…..200 ****

Price (w/standard power) ……….$316,500

Price (w/test power) ……….$325,300 ****

STANDARD POWER: Single 300-bhp Caterpillar 3116 in-line-6 diesel inboard. ****

OPTIONAL POWER: Single diesel inboard to 420 bhp total.****

TEST BOAT POWER: Single 420-hp Caterpillar 3126 in-line-6 diesel inboard with 439 cid, 4.30″ bore x 5.00″ stroke, swinging a 29″ x 22 1/2″ three-bladed Faster manganese-bronze prop through a 2.43:1 reduction. ****

STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): Venturi windshield w/ss frame; ss cleats, pulpit, rails, and swim ladder; transom shower; 30-amp shorepower; compass; TV/VCR combo; AM/FM/CD stereo; windshield wipers and washers; refrigerator/freezer; 3-burner cooktop; microwave/convection oven; 2 heads w/showers, electric heads, and sinks; 17-gal. water heater; water/fuel separators; auto. fire extinguisher; engine room fresh water; 4 batteries; 4.5kW generator; auto. and manual bilge pumps; Hynautic steering; battery switch.