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The Austin Parker 42 Open is this Italian boat builder’s version of the Downeast style.
The Mission of the Austin Parker 42 Open
The Austin Parker 42 designer Fulvio de Simoni (designer of the Pershing Yachts) took inspiration from the tony Downeast designs spawned by the ubiquitous four-season lobster boats of Maine. The result is the Austin Parker 42 which is the designer’s own version. She has a CE rating of “A” which means she’s qualified to go out in about anything except a named storm. By offering a choice of two accommodation layouts she can appeal to those wanting an elegant day boat, a comfortable cruising boat for a couple, or a vessel that can accommodate a second couple or a family for overnight work. Her retro design elements are intended to appeal to veteran boaters.
This profile drawing of the Austin Parker 42 Open shows off her rounded reverse transom, high freeboard, gentle sheer, and her pleasing horizontal coach roof.
•Large, Open Cockpit. The 42 Open has a retro cockpit design that reminds us not only of lobster boats, but also cabin cruisers of the late 1940s and 50s. With the engines located midships, just forward of the expansive cockpit, there is room for chairs and a table if desired for entertaining or even casual fishing There is room for scuba diving equipment in the large underdeck storage compartment that is accessed by an electric hatch.
•Two, Center-Mounted Transom Doors. The two transom doors on pantograph-type hinges swing out to port and starboard permitting a large tender to be brought aboard for those wanting to cruise. Once at the desired location or in a marina, the tender can be launched and the cockpit is opened up again.
•High Freeboard Forward. As can be seen in the photos and drawings, the 42 Open his a much higher freeboard forward than virtually any lobster boat or Downeast express cruiser built in Maine or elsewhere. This design not only gives her full standing headroom in both the forward cabin and the optional guest cabin, makes her a lot drier than she would be otherwise, but it also helps her to have the coveted CE “A” rating for seaworthiness.
•Optional Second Cabin. Most 42-footers come with one standard layout, usually one with a single cabin below with a dinette, and often a galley below as well. The Austin Parker is available with a second stateroom with a bunk or twin bed layout. All of the fabrics used are top of the line and Austin Parker only uses real leather, wood, etc…
•Inboard Power, Lazzerette Aft. Many new boats these days have pod drives or even sterndrives in this size range. Austin Parker has decided to go with traditional inboard straight drives since accommodations could not be moved farther aft no matter where it put the engines. In this way the lazzerette is kept in the most practical and handy location – under the cockpit sole.
However, the 42 is also available with the Volvo Penta IPS drives using a jack shaft, and also a jet drive. The 42 in stock right now in the U.S. has Cummins 480 x 2 with shafts paired up with Xenta joystick.
The main deck of the 42 Open is simple with the dinette to port and the galley under a counter to starboard. Chaise sun lounges peak out from under the hardtop and the cockpit is open for all sorts of activities.
•One Level Main Deck. From the integral swim platform to the helm station the deck on the 42 Open has one level – no steps up from the platform or cockpit. This means that entertaining flow is easier and it is safer to move around in a seaway.
•Bidet Comes Standard. It is not often we see a bidet as standard equipment in a 42-footer, even from an Italian or French builder.
•Downeast, Italian Style. The overall design with its soft, flowing lines, pleasing horizontal coach roof, and twin sunning chaise lounges in the cockpit, mark this Downeast express cruiser as unmistakably Italian in both execution and concept of use.
These are the two accommodation options for the Austin Parker 42 Open. Note that access to the head is adjacent to the companionway stairs in both layouts.
Power And Capacities
The 42 Open is powered with twin Cummins 480 (IPS 600’s Optional) diesel engines producing 480-hp. Fuel capacity is 396 gallons (1,504 L) and water tankage is 105 gal. (399 L).
We have not tested the boat so we can make no comment on its performance or handling. However, the folks at Austin Parker have tested the vessel and they say that her top speed is 32.5 knots and her best cruise is 28 knots.
The Austin Parker 42 Open speaks for herself better than we ever could, so please take a look at these snapshots–
This is a wide-angle lens look at the on-deck cabin and sun lounges. Note the location of the engine room hatch and that the deck is all one level.
Another wide-angle look at the pilothouse, settee, and galley to starboard. The sun roof forward is far larger than it appears in this picture.
Below decks in the “Lower Deck B” version of the 42 note that there is good headroom and seating for four.
The master stateroom is in the bow as it is on virtually every 42-footer. Note the cabinets over the long, large portlights and the artificial lighting on the overhead.
A wide-angle lens view of the transom with twin large transom doors. The boat is 42’ LOA which includes the swim platform.
The Austin Parker 42 Open will obviously not be intimated by large head seas. Skippers can stand at the helm without having to open the sunroof and pop their head out.
It looks to us that between 9am and 3pm the twin sun chaise lounges in the cockpit will get plenty of sun if it is out and the boat is pointed in the right direction.
At 33,000-lbs. (15 t) fully laden, the 42 Open has the beef to knock down normal chop and provide a comfortable ride.
For people who like the styling of the 42 Open, but might like something a bit different, we suggest that they visit the Austin Parker website and view the other six models available. For example, there is a 42 Sport for those who can live without a hardtop. The 52 Open has three cabins and two heads below with galley down. The 54 has a fly bridge. The 64’ was just introduced. And then there is the 72 – which assiduously maintains the same lines and proportions of the 42 Open.
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- Didi & Peter Chapin