Palm Beach 42: Beach Baby

The Palm Beach 42 is the builder’s smallest boat yet, but it sacrifices nothing in terms of aesthetics and performance.

Palm Beach Yachts 42
The marked tumblehome at the boat’s transom aids with the fluidity of the lines, enhancing the design’s classic appeal.Courtesy Palm Beach Yachts

Since its inception in the 1990s, Palm Beach Motor Yachts has earned a reputation for building pretty boats, dripping with style and class, that can handle the rough water surrounding the builder's native Australia. The yard has six models (express and flybridge) in production up to 65 feet. Its most recent, the 42, is the new baby on the block.

The boat, which made its debut at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show earlier this year, is a sweet overnighter (or more) that never would have made it out of hard-charging CEO Mark Richards’ factory if it couldn’t handle the demands of the maritime environment admirably. The boat should see speeds up to 36 knots with its standard twin Volvo Penta IPS400s (IPS600s are also available). It displaces a scant 23,350 pounds to keep fuel burn low and help with economical cruising.

Palm Beach Yachts 42
The cockpit bar serves the salon and the boat’s after section.Courtesy Palm Beach Yachts

Plus, hell, it just looks good. This boat has remarkably sleek lines for a Down East-inspired yacht. That design choice not only draws the eye, but it also has the seakindly effect of helping to keep her center of gravity low — a trait anyone who’s ever been on rolling seas will appreciate. Palm Beach has a reputation for building boats that excel in tough conditions, and such details are the reason why.

The 42 has the minimalistic nautical feel in its interior that’s common to all Palm Beach models. Highlights include analog gauges on the forward bulkhead separating the galley down and master on the accommodations level. The gauges, done by Georg Jensen, help lend the interior a classic feel that harks back to a simpler time. Elsewhere, the brightwork is impeccable, particularly in the cockpit, and fit and finish is exemplary throughout. Both of those aspects are hallmarks of the Palm Beach brand, and they are the main reasons — along with a smooth ride and eminent cruisability — that the relatively young yard has been able to make its mark in the always competitive Down East market.

With a combination of positive traits going for it, the Palm Beach 42 is going to do just fine with the boating public.

Palm Beach Yachts 42
A teak swim platform further elongates the 42’s lines, and it allows access to the water. Nautical minimalism is the name of the game in the salon. Palm Beach models have a broad foredeck and side decks for line handling while docking.Courtesy Palm Beach Yachts