Beneteau designed the 42 with two staterooms forward, down a few steps from the saloon; access is via a small lobby at the foot of the steps. The master is far forward, and the guest is to starboard. The builder has taken pains to provide a high degree of sound isolation between the spaces.
The head/shower compartment on hull number two (the first available in the U.S.) was set up as two spaces. An MSD-equipped compartment is forward and entered through a door from the master, while a separate shower compartment is aft, entered from the lobby. A sliding door can separate the two areas. The builder has indicated an alternate layout will permanently separate the two compartments; each will have an MSD and a shower. The basic arrangement seems sensible for a boat usually occupied by a couple and occasional guests.
The lower helm station is to starboard. The engines are managed with single-lever controls. The trim tab and bowthruster controls are within easy reach. A comprehensive annunciator panel and full analog (round dial) instrumentation are provided for each engine. The upper part of the instrument panel provides adequate space for the usual array of electronics. The steering compass is properly placed, and I was pleased to note a placard on the door to the adjacent stowage locker warning that magnetic materials should not be placed there.
Opposite the helm is the galley. Here, the sink is forward of the sliding door to the side deck, and the stove and oven are just abaft the door. The refrigerator is hidden from view within nicely finished cabinetry.
Abaft the galley is the saloon. A long settee occupies the port side, and the dining table on our test boat was easy to move yet remained in place during high-speed runs and sharp, full-speed maneuvers. Access to the engine compartment is through a hinged, gas-spring-supported hatch on centerline at the after end of the saloon, just ahead of the sliding doors that provide access to the cockpit.
The cockpit is a delightful space. Four lockable hatches provide access to extensive stowage and to the 11kW Onan diesel genset. Wing doors close off the side decks to create a space that will be comfortable in almost all conditions, including when the 42 is cruising at immodest speeds. Side curtains are optional-they're sure to be popular.