Sailyachts 1 February 2019
The new Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon is a twelve-metre boat that is solidly built and designed for serious sailing. It does very well, even in Mediterranean breezes, thanks to the lines designed by Berret Racoupeau. The raised dinette with sea views dominates the project
by Luca Sordelli – photo by Robin Christol
Sitting in the dinette I enjoyed the view of the Gulf of Saint Tropez which was running alongside me. On the deck there are people working and handling the new Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon. The breeze is blowing at around a dozen knots, the Code 0 is up. Sailing is a pleasure, and between sailing close hauled or with the wind on the beam, we are doing eight knots, with the boat just having got going. I feel the water running along the hull.
I have decided to spend a few minutes here, in the middle of the boat: these twelve metres designed by the Berret Racoupeau design studio fully capture the inheritance of Wauquiez and reinterpret the Pilot Saloon concept in a very modern way. So now there is a dinette that is raised above the level of the rest of the interiors, and while I sip my Pernod, I can watch landmarks slide past as we head east: Cogolin, Saint Maxime, Pointe de Sardinaux. I have to confess that I even indulge in playing with the “trimmable” windows in the saloon of the Wauquiez boat. These can darken according to the amount of light coming in from outside, either manually – which is exactly what I am doing – or automatically. It is an impressive feature, but is also very useful given the notable size of the transparent areas.
I considered the real nature of this boat, which was planned to be a boat “for life”, perhaps costing a bit more than production boats, but designed to last and cover many miles, perhaps even crossing “over there”, to the other side of the Atlantic. And with that in mind, everything is where it should be, and everything is well made. Starting from the materials, up to the finish, everything is top quality. Even inside the lockers and cabinets the workmanship is beautiful, while the Scheiber display is a little masterpiece, with a double device – one traditional electric one, with cables that plug into the screen, and also the French company’s own digital monitor, which can interface with a smartphone.
The Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon is a protected, safe boat, and one that is full of handholds, with a limitless number of lockers and cabinets. It might not delight people who don’t like steps on board, but it has a real galley, a real chart table and is clearly well equipped with an all-round below-decks ergonomic set-up that is suitable for travelling even when inclined at an angle. Another small, but significant, example of the approach behind the PS 42 is that as soon as you get down the five steps from the companionway, there is a ventilated cabinet for oilskins. That is not something that is easy to find on a 42-footer. The tanks are also well done, they are large and in the right place, in the middle of the boat.
I looked outside and thought that it is nice to let yourself be carried away by this boat. It really makes you want to sail. Then they called me. It was time to “work”, so I went up on deck. I took the helm, the helm of a cruising boat, and so not a light one, twelve tonnes fully laden, and which now – rather than the ocean – had to cope with very Mediterranean conditions: wind constantly at around twelve knots, with a few extra gusts thrown in.
The fundamental choices are ones that are typical of this designer – two wheels, two rudders, a real angle in the stern, fairly slender bows – which are not sacrificed to give more room in the bow cabin. There is a decent amount of sail, and the sails are very easy to use. Everything (except the halyard of the genoa) is brought together so as to be accessible by the helmsman and the two Andersen electric winches do their job very well. So, even with the Code 0 you can sail the boat alone. I quite like the helmsman’s position, even though the wheels are a bit too close to my knees. Above all I like the figures that I can see on the chartplotter: pushing the Code 0 a bit we reach eight knots, and going at seven isn’t a problem. The boat is fairly reactive to the helm.
I confess that I was fairly surprised, and I am also surprised by how little wake the Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon leaves, comfortable, wherever you goleave, despite the boat’s volume. The figures, as we sail close to the wind, do of course fall (the genoa is just overlapping), but we manage to sail close hauled quite well and to accelerate with a certain reactivity with the gusts of wind. The long mainsail’s aspect ratio helps.
On deck the gangways haven’t paid the price for the width of the large Pilot House, but unfortunately the shrouds, fixed low to the hull, block the way – and quite a bit. That is an inconvenience, the people from Wauquiez explained to us, owing to the concern to increase the strength of the equipment and reducing the risk that the mast is put under too much pressure when running with the wind. That is a more than reasonable consideration, seen through the eyes of somebody who wants to sail the oceans, but is a bit less so for people who have got more ordinary ambitions and it is no coincidence that in the next boats this aspect of the rigging will be redesigned.
Both Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon’s ends of the boat are well thought out. The steel bow roller in the prow is both beautiful and practical, and the external vertical axis winch is a bit retro, but is still my preferred solution for cruising; the transom can be taken down by hand and has the self-inflating raft hidden inside it, where it is also accessible from the water. It is the best place on board to store it.
Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon
Project: Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design
Hull: LOA 12.99m • Waterline length 12.80m • Maximum beam 4.34m • Draught as standard 1.65m • Deep draught 2.1 m • Displacement 11.593 kg • Ballast 3.400 kg (3.100 deep draught) • Fuel tank volume 416 l • Water tank volume 615 l • Main sail surface 47.8 m2 • Genoa sailing surface 42.5 m2 Code 0 sailing surface 65 m2• Gennaker sailing surface 125 m
Main propulsion: Yanmar 4JH5E • Outlet mechanical power 39.6 kW (56 hp) • Bore& Stroke 88mm x 90mm • 4 cylinders in line • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Swept volume 2190 l • Dry weight 201 kg • In line propulsion and three foldable blades
EC Certification: CAT A
Price410,000,00€ as standard Excl. VAT
Z.I Du Vertuquet
F-59960 Neuville-en-Ferrain Cedex
Marina Calagalera 24
I-58018 Porto Ercole (Gr)
Tel: +39 0564 830234
(Wauquiez 42 Pilot Saloon – Barchemagazine.com – Novembre 2018)