Yachtsman Dmitry Havansky. went to the south of France to test the younger model of the updated line of bluewater cruisers at the French shipyard. Wauquiez, who conquered him on a bottle show in Dusseldorf. See below the video report from the test drive of Pilot Saloon 42 2018 and read a story about it.
Imagine: you go off season across the Baltic, or even the North Sea or the Atlantic, around the stunning nature and no yacht, the whole world is yours! But this is not exactly a joy: you are on a regular mass yacht in a wind-blown cockpit, protected only by a rag awning. Of course, you can get warm and eventually spend the night in a cozy marina, but did you go out to sea for this?
Things are a little different with the new Wauquiez yacht. Whether you are at anchor or on the move, you can always spend time not only outside in the cockpit, but also in the salon, raised and equipped with large windows for an almost complete all-round view. Parking in comfort overlooking the surrounding cold fjords is invaluable. True, in hot climate it could turn into overheating, but French engineers have provided for this and made electrochrome windows, which are smoothly tinted with a switch in the cabin. The same little trick will help in the port parking lot: you do not need to hide from the neighbors with the help of curtains, just darken the windows.
The Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42 was presented at this year's Düsseldorf fair. It is the youngest of the three models in the range and complements the larger 48- and 58-foot yachts. It does not look like an artificially reduced copy, but is a completely self-contained model that targets its audience.
I was able to get to know a yacht in a two-cabin layout that seemed optimal to me. However, if you are satisfied with the size of the boat and the number of passengers is expected to be more than four, the French shipyard also offers a three cabin version, which is also sometimes called the «charter version».
The two-cabin version «for the owner» is equipped with a very spacious aft cabin with separate shower and island bed. The interior is very bright with a number of windows, although the cabin is right below the cockpit. Opposite the bed can be fitted with a fairly large diagonal TV if the owner so wishes. The forward cabin is a little smaller, but also comfortable. By the way, it is the «owner's cabin» in an alternative layout. It also has a separate bathroom with shower, and the light seems even more.
The interior is characterized by minimalism and quality of materials, which is especially evident in the abundance of light. There is a choice of European oak or light teak finish.
The navigation table is a special story. While some manufacturers refuse it at all as an atavism, Wanquiez has kept it and specially designed it to fit the iPad as a central element. And in daring design sketches, you can see the iMac on this spot as well.
Another feature is that absolutely everything is hidden in lockers and does not distract attention. But once you start opening them, it's hard to stop.
If you look closely, doors and drawers are literally everywhere: in walls and vertical panels, around the navigation table, on the floor, in the seats and beds, not to mention the kitchen cabinet.
The same story goes on outside the yacht.
Although there is a spacious cabin under the cockpit and therefore there can be no lockers under the seats, the manufacturer got out of position with the help of one huge compartment in the stern behind the cabin. Not only is it easy to enter all the cranes, but all the other necessary equipment can easily be placed there.
The compartment is so large that you can climb in there and easily inspect the steering and autopilot mechanisms if you need them. Next to this compartment is a hole for a life raft, which opens up to the eye when the swimming platform is open.
Firstly, there is no water ingress; secondly, the lock can be locked with a key to random intruders in port.
The forward section has an impressive anchor chain and gennaker compartment, which makes life much easier for those of us who like to sail in the breeze and have a long anchor chain for all occasions.
At the same time, it is much more expensive than the more mass models from other French manufacturers - Beneteau and Jeanneau. In the end, it is the price of compromise and comfort. But not that compromise, which is a mediocre alternative to the brighter «one-sided» versions, but rather, that is an optimal reflection of the multifaceted nature of the owner. With the Wauquiez PS 42, long journeys are more comfortable, shorter journeys are brighter, colder journeys are warmer, and hot journeys are relaxed and easier.
However, under sail, a heavy yacht is easily balanced. During the test on the French coast near Montpellier, the wind gradually increased during the day from 17-23 knots to 28-30 with gusts of 35 knots.
As you go out into the open sea and the wind gets stronger, you have to drive a little harder, but it's at this point that you get the feeling that heavy weight is an advantage, which, combined with a fairly smooth shape of the body allows you to walk more gently on the waves.
In this wind, the speed of the yacht was stable at about 7 knots on courses from full base-wind to half-wind, depending on the waves dropping to 6 knots and when gusts of wind and surfing increasing to 8-8.5 knots. Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, we were unable to learn the behavior under the gennaker.
A staysail and an electric winch allow standard maneuvers to be performed with ease, either alone or alone. In port manoeuvres, the bow thruster comes to the aid, although in principle the 42-foot boat can be easily operated without it.
If you don't mind sailing in windy conditions, it's worth ordering a helm stand - an invaluable thing with a strong roll, but it doesn't come standard. More expensive and important options for these conditions: a higher power engine (80 hp instead of standard 54 hp) and a deeper keel (2.15 m instead of standard 1.65 m). It is nice that Wauquiez follows the trends and offers to install an electric engine instead of a diesel, which will make the yacht a good pair for your Tesla.