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Boat Review | Attention on finishings

Austin Parker 42, a fashionable classic

Let’s get one thing straight from the start: the Austin Parker 42 isn’t a protest against big boats, but a solution to the problems inherent in big boats. It’s also designed to appeal in no uncertain terms to owners fed up with large, burdensome motoryachts as well as those who either no longer can or no longer wish to sail. “I tried to design the most elegant 40’ I could,” says Fulvio De Simoni, “by using classical, timeless elements that cut across fashion. A clean, flowing line.”

It was a gamble but one that has paid off thanks to the designer’s skill at integrating details that take their inspiration if not from current fashions but at least from the latest trends in yacht design. These include the likes of a straighter bow and more subtle rakes. Plus the use of functional features as style motifs, such as delightful grab rails with steel ends and teak bodies. They’re dotted around, just where they’re needed, but so beautifully designed and positioned that they delicately highlight the line of the superstructure itself.

However, it is this little yacht’s character that really does win hearts and minds. It isn’t a boat created for long cruises. Not because its waterlines don’t give a feeling of security – they were, in fact, tank-tested for just that. It’s not that it doesn’t have the exceptionally high construction standards that Austin Parker set itself when it first decided to build Italian lobster boats that would remain true to their sturdy, seaworthy Maine heritage. It does. However, this isn’t a boat for long passage-making It’s actually more of a day boat. The perfect adjunct to a beach house. Its owners won’t have to worry about berthing or crews but can still be well out at sea, swimming in glorious solitude or just enjoying the sunset within a few minutes of leaving their lounge. Yes, a few minutes indeed because the 42 is a nippy little mover, hitting 35 knots with its largest engine set-up, cruising at 30 knots. Its open plan layout is a treat both under way or at anchor too with the same floor level running all the way from the swim platform to the saloon under the hard top which is also home to the starboard bridge and a corner sofa and central table.

The galley is contained in a white unit along the starboard side. The style is contemporary throughout too. The saloon is cosy and roomy, beautifully fitted out in hard woods. Finest quality linen and full-grain leather complete the feeling of luxury. The sofa can also be turned into a double berth, if necessary, providing a second sleeping area. The owner’s cabin itself lies forward. It exudes a feeling of light airiness, thanks to the windows in the bow, and also has its own bathroom which features matt lacquer paintwork.

The whole effect is of an attractive pleasant boat indeed. One that, by all accounts, has already made its mark on the market as, despite the challenging economic conditions, a total of eight have sold since it was unveiled at Cannes in 2009.

Giacomo Giulietti



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