TESTED

TAK­ING THE MI­NORCA 42 FOR A SPIN.

Passage Maker - - Contents - Story by Bob Ar­ring­ton

Mi­norca’s Is­lan­der 42 Bob Ar­ring­ton

You used to be able to tell where things were made. From Ital­ian shoes to Bri­tish cars, re­gional de­sign in­flu­ences were clearly vis­i­ble. But those days are un­for­tu­nately over for many prod­ucts. Global trade and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets have cre­ated a uni­for­mity of de­sign that has all but erased re­gional unique­ness. Span­ish builder Mi­norca Yachts, how­ever, has found a way to blend the tra­di­tional with the con­tem­po­rary, us­ing his­toric re­gional in­flu­ences to cre­ate a boat with mod­ern in­ter­na­tional ap­peal.

Many pop­u­lar styles of recre­ational cruis­ing boats draw in­spi­ra­tion from com­mer­cial fish­ing boat de­sign. As­pects of West Coast trollers and East Coast shrimpers are clearly vis­i­ble in mod­ern trawler yachts, and the essence of the Downeast lob­ster boat shows up in many pop­u­lar cruis­ers avail­able to­day. Sim­i­larly, Mi­norca Yachts draws in­spi­ra­tion from the llaüt, a clas­sic Mediter­ranean fish­ing boat, re­tain­ing its tra­di­tional sea­wor­thy hull while in­cor­po­rat­ing mod­ern ad­vances in ma­te­ri­als and de­sign.

U.S. Splash

Mak­ing its de­but at boat shows this year, the Mi­norca Is­lan­der 42 is a nicely bal­anced ad­di­tion to the com­pany’s ex­ist­ing of­fer­ings, which range from 34 feet to the newly-un­der-construction 68. Avail­able with or with­out a fly­bridge, the Is­lan­der 42 will ap­peal to many as the per­fectly sized cruiser.

Step­ping onto the grace­fully rounded stern of a Mi­norca Yacht, it may feel fa­mil­iar—there’s a swim plat­form, af­ter­deck, sa­loon, all in an or­der you would ex­pect. There’s some­thing unique here, though. The swim plat­form, which houses a con­ve­nient in-deck stor­age locker, is large enough for a ten­der to fit snugly against the tran­som. And it is also avail­able with a hy­draulic lift, mak­ing launch­ing and re­triev­ing a ten­der an ef­fort­less and smooth op­er­a­tion.

The af­ter­deck, which is sep­a­rated from the swim plat­form by a hand­some teak board­ing gate, is a wel­com­ing point of en­try, a com­fort­able space to lounge that’s per­fect for out­side din­ing. With built-in bench seat­ing and stor­age space below each bench, the area will likely be the most used space aboard. Sur­round­ing the ex­te­rior af­ter­deck, walk­ways, and fore­deck, is a teak-capped rail­ing placed at a safe yet at­trac­tive height. Lo­cated within the sole of the af­ter­deck are two nested hatches. A smaller per­son­nel hatch is con­tained within a very large equip­ment/ser­vice hatch. Ac­cess­ing this area for stor­age or main­te­nance is as sim­ple as it gets.

Once in­side the en­gine room you will find plenty of space for stowage, and all the ma­chin­ery is or­ga­nized well. Our test boat was equipped with op­tional twin 355-horse­power, 6.7-liter Cum­mins QSB diesel en­gines. (Twin 320-horse­power Yan­mar en­gines are the fac­tory stan­dard.) The en­gines face aft and spin the props via a V-drive trans­mis­sion to make the most ef­fi­cient use of in­te­rior space and to po­si­tion the props cor­rectly. All ser­vice­able items on the en­gines are within reach.

From the af­ter­deck, en­trance to the sa­loon is through two teak bi-fold doors, which open to the full width of the sa­loon. Like on the small­est model in the range, the 34, this fea­ture cre­ates a large in­door/out­door liv­ing and en­ter­tain­ment space. Don’t pass through th­ese doors, though, with­out first notic­ing the wooden boat hook nicely tucked into a con­ve­nient space ad­ja­cent to the star­board door. Sub­tle touches like this ex­ist through­out the boat and prove the ves­sel’s nau­ti­cal her­itage.

In­te­ri­ors

The sa­loon is bright and sur­pris­ingly large, thanks to the 13-foot beam be­ing car­ried al­most the en­tire length of the boat. Mi­norca of­fers the Is­lan­der 42 with sev­eral in­te­rior con­fig­u­ra­tions, as well. The sa­loon is avail­able with op­pos­ing set­tees and a pedestal ta­ble, which places the gal­ley for­ward and down four steps (as was the case with our test boat). The sa­loon can also in­clude the gal­ley along the port side for sin­gle-level con­ve­nience. In both ver­sions, the helm is for­ward on the star­board side. A com­fort­able pi­lot seat faces a well-laid-out helm, con­tain­ing ev­ery fea­ture needed for safe and en­joy­able op­er­a­tion. All helm elec­tron­ics can be in­stalled at the fac­tory. Mi­norca will work with any of the ma­jor elec­tron­ics com­pa­nies to suit an owner’s wishes and cruis­ing needs. Vis­i­bil­ity from the in­te­rior helm is truly 360 de­grees with large for­ward wind­shields. On both the fly­bridge and stan­dard sedan ver­sion, the cabin roof pro­vides shade to the in­te­rior with a nicely scaled over­hang.

The Is­lan­der 42 seems equally adept as a week­end/va­ca­tion cruiser, but I could also eas­ily see trav­el­ing long dis­tances and spend­ing ex­tended time aboard. The first Is­lan­der 42 de­liv­ered to the United States, which we had the plea­sure to tour, has a gal­ley-down and a fly­bridge. The gal­ley is thought­fully ar­ranged with plenty of stowage, in­clud­ing an ad­di­tional bin tucked into the gal­ley sole. Ac­cess to space below the sole is com­mon in many boats, but most only give you ac­cess to the glass hull and framing.

Mi­norca took the ex­tra ef­fort to line all of th­ese stowage ar­eas with acrylic bins molded ex­actly to the space. This pro­vides clean stor­age while keep­ing items neatly con­tained and easy to lo­cate.

The gal­ley was out­fit­ted with high-qual­ity ap­pli­ances and fixtures. An Isotherm cab­i­net-style re­frig­er­a­tor is lo­cated un­der a three-burner cook­top with over­head space avail­able for a mi­crowave. Mi­norca, not wast­ing any space, even used an area un­der the helm seat for a small freezer. In the gal­ley, they’ve added the con­ve­nience of a fan/light com­bi­na­tion above the cook­top, an easy-to-use pull-out re­cy­cling/waste bin, and a unique drawer within a drawer to help or­ga­nize dry food items.

From the gal­ley, the master state­room is for­ward with the guest cabin lo­cated to star­board. The master is a gen­er­ous size and has suf­fi­cient hang­ing lock­ers and draw­ers to keep a sea­son’s worth of warm-weather clothes. Un­der the master berth is ac­cess to a bow ma­chin­ery area, in­clud­ing the bow thruster and its ded­i­cated bat­tery. Hav­ing in­di­vid­ual bat­ter­ies for the bow and

stern thrusters elim­i­nates the need for long cable runs and the po­ten­tial for as­so­ci­ated volt­age drop. All ma­chin­ery spa­ces are painted and neatly fin­ished.

Each cabin has its own head with en­closed shower. There is also ex­te­rior ac­cess to the guest cabin’s head from the lower deck com­pan­ion­way. Showers use a slot­ted floor drain, al­low­ing wa­ter to flow from both showers to a com­mon sump box.

Ev­ery us­able space on this boat has been opened for stowage and has been fin­ished nicely enough to store any­thing you could want. A good ex­am­ple is a large area ac­cessed through a bulk­head in the guest cabin. Mi­norca’s in-house de­sign­ers have ei­ther taken good feed­back from boat own­ers or have cruised enough them­selves to have cre­ated such thought­ful use of space.

Our day for a sea trial came while the boat was en route from the United States Power­boat Show in Annapolis to the Fort Laud­erdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show. The Is­lan­der 42 and her sis­ter Is­lan­der 34 were pass­ing Ori­en­tal, North Carolina, where I boarded the 42 for a run south to Beau­fort, North Carolina. Near Ori­en­tal, the mouth of the Neuse River is six miles wide where it joins Pam­lico Sound and has the fetch of the en­tire sound en­ter­ing it. We pulled out into the river with white­caps and good-size rollers on our port quar­ter. Im­me­di­ately no­tice­able was the sub­stan­tial keel and re­spon­sive steer­ing on the 42 as it tracked well in this quar­ter­ing sea.

Many semi-dis­place­ment hull forms awk­wardly go from dis­place­ment speed into some form of plan­ing mode, never re­ally feel­ing like they be­long in ei­ther. Mi­norca’s ex­ten­sive test­ing and reliance on a proven hull shape has elim­i­nated that. The Is­lan­der 42 is solid at seven knots and never loses that feel as the throt­tles are pushed for­ward. You never get that “over the hump” sen­sa­tion of the boat com­ing onto plane. It just smoothly glides up to faster cruis­ing speeds with a min­i­mal amount of bow rise. This sta­ble ride and ease of han­dling is partly due to hull de­sign and partly due to Mi­norca’s use of Zip­wake’s dy­namic trim con­trol. The sys­tem’s mo­tion-con­trol sen­sors ac­tively man­age trim and pitch dur­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion, de­cel­er­a­tion, and turns. With min­i­mal dis­tur­bance to wa­ter flow un­der the boat, the trim sys­tem also improves fuel con­sump­tion as com­pared to con­ven­tional trim tabs.

The route to Beau­fort took us through the calm wa­ter of Adam’s Creek, where we were able to ex­per­i­ment with sev­eral speed/trim com­bi­na­tions. A fast idle at 1,000 rpm gave us 7 knots, while burn­ing a com­bined 2.2 gal­lons per hour as in­di­cated on the Cum­mins and Garmin helm dis­plays. Bump­ing the throt­tles to 1,400 rpm brought us to a very com­fort­able 8.7 knots with a fuel burn of only 5.2 gal­lons per hour. Look­ing for the sweet spot in a fast cruise, we set­tled in at 2,300 rpm, run­ning 18 knots and burn­ing 18.4 gal­lons per hour. Top speed was 25.2 knots at 3,040 rpm and a fuel burn of 36.6 gal­lons per hour.

The Is­lan­der 42 gives more flex­i­bil­ity in speed, range, and com­fort than many boats in its cat­e­gory. With the fly­bridge model, you can en­joy a day in the sun sur­rounded by friends and fam­ily, all of whom can be com­fort­ably en­sconced in the sa­loon and lower helm in less cle­ment weather. Mi­norca al­lows many op­tions to tai­lor this boat to your type of cruis­ing. Whether you’re on short cruises or ex­tended travel, the Is­lan­der 42, with its open lay­out, solid build, and CE Class A rating, is ready for any ad­ven­ture.

The llaüt has long em­bod­ied the nau­ti­cal soul of the Mediter­ranean, with its art­ful shape and proven sea­keep­ing abil­ity. The orig­i­nal crafts­men who built it were re­ferred to as mestres d’aixa (masters of the adze). The new Is­lan­der 42 from Mi­norca would no doubt make th­ese masters proud.

May/June 2018 pas­sage­maker.com 63

Above: Open sight­lines, lots of light, and com­fort­able seat­ing in­vite crew and guests to re­lax. Right: Roomy is­land berth fills the for­ward state­room. Below: The size of a ball­room dance floor, the af­ter­deck is the per­fect spot to watch this clean wake and en­joy the sun. Also vis­i­ble in this photo is the clever nested hatch de­sign that permits ac­cess to the en­gine room two ways.

Left: The op­tional in­line gal­ley leaves the chef vul­ner­a­ble to be­ing tossed about when the seas get snotty. Bot­tom Left: On the fly­bridge, the helm is straight­for­ward and un­clut­tered.

LOA: 43’ 5” BEAM: 13’ 1” DRAFT: 3’ 7” DISPL: 22,516 lbs FUEL: 317 usg WA­TER: 132 usg STD POWER: Twin Cum­mins 260 hp CRUIS­ING SPEED: 12-19 knots CAB­INS: 2 CE Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion: A

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