TESTED – Grand Soleil 42 LC: when appearances can be deceiving. PHOTOS

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Grand Soleil 42 LC TESTWatching it moored at the dock during the Cannes and Genoa boat shows this boat seemed to slyly rock. High on the water, with significant interior volumes, we felt it was a vehicle that conveyed a great feeling of comfort but at least apparently did not have the “physique” for great performance. As is often the case, however, one must go beyond appearances.

THE ENTRY LEVEL FOR THE BIG CRUISE

The Grand Soleil 42 LC, designed by Marco Lostuzzi, interior and exterior design by Nauta, is the entry level of the long cruise range, the one that Cantiere Del Pardo has dedicated to cruising. We tested it in the Gulf of Tigullio, sailing between Lavagna and Sestri Levante, on a day where an initial breeze around 7 knots gradually increased to 20 while also raising a fairly formed wave. The version under test is not the one with the rollbar provided for the entire Long Cruise line, but the sportier one with the double luff for the headsail (one for self tacking and one for a low overlap jib) and the fixed point in the cockpit for the mainsail. The deck layout includes one double winch per side on which all maneuvers are deferred. The boat was rigged with self tacking jib and furling mainsail, both sails laminated and with vertical battens.

BEYOND APPEARANCES

There is no doubt that this boat aesthetically reveals its pure cruising soul. With a freeboard very similar to its big sister, the 46 LC, and Nauta Design interiors, the 42 LC is a true comfort thoroughbred that boasts impressive interior volume at times. On a similar boat concept, however, Marco Lostuzzi stepped in to give those important sailing characteristics that have always been in the DNA of Cantiere del Pardo. A soft hull, with a flaring of the broadside at the stern (Lostuzzi’s typical signature) that ends in a gentle knee; the latter when submerged helps give stability and dynamic thrust to the boat. But, for the more daring who dare to peek under the “petticoat,” it is in the living work that one of the secrets of this boat lies: A long, narrow rudder blade that goes down to 2.10 meters, an indispensable tool to give those exciting and sparkling “driving” sensations that a true sailor wants to experience, even if he or she is sailing on a cruising boat. The rudder blade is paired with an L-shaped keel with a draft of 2.25 m-a profile choice that is not performance-oriented but seeks the right compromise between a draft that is not excessive for cruising use and good efficiency under canvas.

Grand Soleil 42 LC sea trialGrand Soleil 42 LC Sea Trial

We start our test with 7-8 knots of southeast wind and long wave, despite the self tacking jib the boat goes up to 5.2 knots, we don’t force the angle, stay around 40-43 real, and let it glide. On the turn we lose 1.2 knots but quickly restart and meanwhile the wind rises: 10,12, 14 knots. The upwind steadies above 7 knots, with peaks at 7.6 and an angle peeping below 40 degrees, even up to 36 in real, we definitely enjoy it also because the helm feels like a real sports car and not that of a quiet “long cruise” boat. But then again, who said that on a cruise one should not fully enjoy sailing? This, in our opinion, should also be part of the concept of comfort. Is a boat that is comfortable but sails poorly comfortable? Our answer is no.

We unroll the Code Zero, rigged on an Ubi Maior whisk and, with the air increasing a few more knots, up to 16, we test the slack. We sail between 120 and 130 degrees of angle, the most suitable sail would be an asymmetric with a more pronounced ear while the Code under test has an obviously lean entry, but the boat does not struggle to exceed 9 knots with averages settling around the 9.3, 9.4 With some decidedly pleasant surfing. We force the boat and rig a bit by tightening up to 90 degrees with the wind that has risen up to 17-18 knots, we would expect the strake but in fact once again it is the Grand Soleil 42 LC’s paddle that imposes itself: without it becoming necessary to let the mainsail go too far, just a touch to the wheel rest and the boat “escapes” on the accelerating wave transmitting perfect control to the helmsman.

Grand Soleil 34 LC testWith the air rising up to 20 knots, we also treat ourselves to a long broad windward edge: dry boat, easy to steer, speeds touching peaks of 10 knots without the need to make too many adjustments.

All in all, a decidedly positive test even in conditions that were beginning to be muscular for Cantiere Del Pardo’s new “baby,” which showed us how important comfort is but that without true sailing skills comfort is something incomplete. The Grand Soleil 42 LC thus promises to become a new best seller for the shipyard: sly only in appearance, sincere and responsive under canvas, suitable for long sailing and extremely comfortable and refined inside.

Mauro Giuffrè

FULL DETAILS OF THE TRIAL, INTERIOR DETAILS, ISSUES AND PHOTOS, IN UPCOMING PRINT EDITIONS OF THE SAILING JOURNAL

TECHNICAL DATA SHEET.

Overall length13.85 m

Hull length12.95 m

Maximum beam4.18 m

Draft2.25 m

Displacement9.5 t

Engine50 hp

Fuel tank230L

Water tank340L

DesignerMarco Lostuzzi

Exterior and interior design Nauta Yachts/CantiereCantiere del Pardo

www.grandsoleil.net

 

 

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