Yachting Monthly|Summer 2020

For versatile adventure, there are plenty of go-anywhere cruisers on the market, as Duncan Kent discovers
Duncan Kent

Originally designed by the Rob Humphreys Design house, together with Northshore Yacht’s own in-house development team, as the twin-ruddered Southerly 42RS (Raised Saloon), it wasn’t long before she was reconfigured to have twin wheels (RST) as well, by completely redesigning the deck.

Every aspect of the Southerly 42RST’s construction reflected the highest standards of British craftsmanship at that time. Northshore incorporated its Nordseal triple layer laminating system, specifically devised to protect against osmosis that is, unusually, finished with a transparent gelcoat. All structural bulkheads are also bonded to the hull to ensure optimum rigidity.

Her modern plumb stem increases waterline length and a broad transom maintains volume aft, for increased performance and interior volume. Twin, semi-balanced rudders offer responsive steering and precise directional stability under sail, although they make close-quarter manoeuvring tricky under power without the optional bow thruster. A solid skeg not only protects the prop from floating debris, but also provides a robust support when drying out, keeping the rudders off the ground.

The piece de resistance of all Southerly yachts is, of course, their famous swing keel. Below the waterline, the hull is solid laminate and is very heavily reinforced around the keel area, which features an inset cavity designed to contain a vast, bolt-on ballast plate. The latter protrudes beneath the hull bottom just enough to enable her to take the ground without damaging the hull. The topsides and deck are balsa-cored for weight saving and improved insulation properties.

The keel plate itself is a pivoting, cast iron aerofoil with a Spectra rope-lifting tackle that is electro-hydraulically controlled using push buttons on the binnacle. An indicator on the control panel shows its relative position. The mechanism on the 42RST gives her a variable draught of between 0.84m- 2.72m (2ft 9in-8ft 11in) and in the event of an accidental grounding the keel plate will swing up into the keel box harmlessly unless secured in place with a locking pin (usually only done for extreme weather conditions in mid-ocean).

Fully lowering the keel enables a powerful upwind performance. However, at the touch of a button, the keel can be raised to explore shallow creeks, rivers and inland waterways.

Designed for serious offshore sailing and long-distance blue water cruising, she offers abundant stowage and high-capacity fuel and water tanks. Installation of machinery, wiring, electrics and ancillary items are carefully planned and carried out to ensure easy maintenance and accessibility.

Below, the joinery, fittings and upholstery are of the highest quality with practicality and durability being high on the list of priorities. The raised saloon is bright and airy, thanks to the large windows in the elevated coachroof, and the companionway steps are wide and ideally angled for safe access under way.


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Summer 2020