This fall hull #3 of the Maine Coaster 42 Charter is making the rounds of the fall boat shows on the American East Coast -- Trawlerfest, Annapolis and Ft. Lauderdale. Hull #1 is owned by a man in Montauk, N.Y and is used for fishing. Hull #2 is owned by a couple in New Jersey who use the boat for cruising. The 42 Charter is at once a little unusual-looking for a sportfishing boat, yet we find her very appealing because of her North Sea commercial fisherman look. Indeed, you will find boats that look like this all over Scandinavia. As for being a cruising boat, she falls right in with the look of a number of boats on the market these days.
New Jersey Builder
There has been a tradition of boat building in southern New Jersey for over 100 years and it is there that Henriques has its yard. It is a small boat builder located on Bayville, New Jersey, just south of Toms River, on Barnegat Bay. Henriques was founded in 1977 by Jack Henriques and the company has managed to survive he last 34 years when other, larger boat builders have stumbled and fallen, including a couple in Southern New Jersey. In 1997 Jack's two daughters, Natalia and Maria, took over as co-presidents running the company. Today the yard builds 11 models ranging from 28" to 50'/8.53 m to 15.24 m. Virtually all of its boats, both express and flying bridge models, have been used primarily for fishing.
The 42 Charter is Different
The Maine Coaster 42 Charter is a departure for Henriques in a number of ways. First, she is a different looking recreational fishing boat for North America, although there are some similar-looking models built in Finland for sportfishing. Second, she is definitely a new player in the fast trawler cruising boat market. Thirdly, she reminds us in terms of her "back-to-the-basics" concept of boats we fished on in the late 1940s and early '50s which were simple, seaworthy and affordable. In those days boat builders were going for functionality, not luxury, because then most everyone thought just being out on the water was luxury enough.
Affordable and Semi-Custom
Now Henriques is rolling back the clock to make an affordable boat for economic times not unlike the late 1940s. At $590,000 with a pair of 550-hp John Deere diesels, a 7.6 kW generator and a number of other items of essential standard equipment, this 42-footer is half the price of other boats this size both in the sportfishing and the cruising markets. As Natalia said, the boat is sans glitz. In the 42 Charter Henriques has shed virtually everything that adds cost to the boat without adding to utility and functionality, but at the same time Henriques has added features that boats three time the price do not have.
Cockpit Day Head
For example, the 42 Charter has a day in the pilothouse that is accessed through a door to the cockpit. That is something that we haven't seen before. Even boats that are 65' or larger which have dayheads usually don't have them with a door to the cockpit or aft deck. Another unusual option is what the builder calls a "3/4 walk around" deck plan. Just forward of the two sliding doors adjacent to the helm, there are two steps up to the foredeck. Not only does this give the boat more buoyancy forward, but it also opens up the overhead spaces below, giving the cabins more peripheral headroom allowing for more storage, if an owner chooses to use it that way. In this configuration Henriques puts a higher safety rail on what is essentially a flush deck like a conventional sportfishing boat. The "full walk around" deck has bulwarks forward of amidships. With this layout anglers can work the whole vessel.
High Engine Room Air Intake
Yet another unusual aspect of the boat that we have never seen on sportfishing boats of this size and only rarely see it on cruising boats in this range, is an engine room air intake on the pilothouse roof. It is cleverly concealed in what appears to be a truncated radar arch. Typical engine room air intakes are mounted in the boats hull amidships, usually not more than three feet off the water. As a result salt spray, and sometimes saltwater, gets into the engine room and in no time causes corrosion. Corrosion in electrical systems is often where the maddening gremlins lay.By mounting the engine room air intakes high, the 42 Charter should be pretty much immune to salt spay ingestion, even in sloppy conditions. This design also obviates the need to install expensive demisting devices, such as a Delta-T system, that can easily run $20,000 or more.
The deck of the 42 Charter is made of a synthetic material, not teak. The 42's countertops are not granite or Corian, rather they are Formica. Both the pilothouse and the accommodations below have fiberglass liners, and that are nice shiny white glass but they remain uncovered. In the engine room where you might expect to find raw fiberglass, Henriques has installed an AWLgrip finish which provides a smooth white surface that will be easy to keep clean and look professional. All doors are wood and there is wood trim where needed, but overall the boat is intended to be as affordable as possible and that means she is Spartan. But the important things are done right. For example, the hull is the tried-and-true Henriques 42 hull that has been used in the company's successful 42 Express and 42 Flying Bridge models. Check out our test on the 42 Express powered by twin 800-hp MAN engines…
The 42 As A Fishing Boat
The concept of the 42 Charter in its sportfishing mode is to provide a rugged hull, a huge cockpit -- 160 sq. ft., which is the largest in the business -- and all of the fishing amenities usually associated with this type of vessel. For example, there is a live well, fish boxes, tackle drawers, and two large fish boxes, among other things. But the one thing that all fishermen will like, particularly older ones, is a day head with a door to the cockpit. She also has a large, flush mounted transom door. Because this is a semi-custom boat, other items of equipment such as rod holders, rocket launchers, half-towers and outriggers are all optional equipment. You want bolsters around the cockpit coaming, no problem, just add it to the build list.
As the name implies, the Henriques 42 Charter is ideal for the charter trade. In addition to being affordable and economical to operate, her huge cockpit means that four anglers can work the boat at one time if the captain finds a school of blues. In fact, the walk around version is so user-friendly with its bulwarks and high safety rails, we could see it as a mini head boat.
In Cruising Mode
Obviously Henriques is trying to signal alternative uses for its new 42 by calling her the Maine Coaster 42 Charter. As noted already one boat has been sold for cruising, and we think the 42 Charter could make an ideal coastal cruiser for a couple. The second stateroom below will be welcome when children or grandchildren come to visit, and can also handle another couple. Options include air conditioning, so depending on where and how the boat is used, the boat can be built to meet owner needs.In cruiser mode, however, we would add a canvas top to the back of the roof and extend as far back as looks will permit. We would then install a table and some seating. The folks a Henriques tell us that they will work with buyers to customize the cockpit for entertaining, cruising, scuba diving, or even to be a yacht club committee boat for sailboat races.
The master stateroom is the mid cabin and features a double berth. Even though this a mid cabin it has full standing headroom in half of the cabin closest to the entrance. The forward cabin has over and under bunks on the starboard side instead of the de rigueur island queen berth. Instead there are two over and under berths on the starboard side and a bureau to port with drawers and a counter top large enough to hold a flat screen TV.Henriques believes in the dictum that any boat over $500k should have a separate shower stall, so the head below has a separate shower. Also below is a room for a work table, a mini bar, a special rod cabinet or whatever. Remember this boat has two heads -- the day had off the cockpit and the one below!
It is the North Sea trawler-like pilothouse that sets this boat apart from other fishermen on the water. Its reverse windshield is designed to deflect interior glare so that night piloting can be as safe as possible. There are two seats facing forward so that there are two sets of eyes on watch. The standard boat does not come with a windshield defroster, but since the boat is semi-custom, perhaps you can have that added, and you certainly can add little window fans which usually do the trick.
Abaft the helm area to port is the booth dinette. These type of dinettes usually end up being a bit smaller in practice than they look in the drawings, so buyers should carefully take the measure here. To starboard is the galley, which has all of the basic necessities -- stove top, microwave, refer, and sink. There is not a lot of counter space, but perhaps a Murphy counter could be affixed to one of the bulkheads.
Henriquies uses conventional construction techniques and is proud of the fact that the 42 Charter is made with just two large molds. "This is the best way to do it from a strength and reliability standpoint," said Natalia Henriques. Because several parts of the superstructure are not fitted together there is no worry about cracking, leaks, and the squeaking, moaning and popping often heard on boats with multiple glass modules as the boat's hull flexes. Below the waterline the hull is solid fiberglass. Above the water line and in the deck and superstructure, Henriques uses Divinycell coring, which is standard practice in the industry. Balsa core is not used anywhere in the boat. "We closely follow ABYC standards," said Natalia Henriques, but because the company is small and each boat it builds is semi-custom having them be NMMA-certified would only add to the cost. This is pretty standard practice among semi-custom builders both here and overseas. "You must remember, Henriques said when we asked her about this point, "I am also the warranty and customer service manager. We build our boats to eliminate problems for the owners. That is why we have so many repeat customers."
The displacement of the Maine Coaster 42 Charter is remarkably similar to the Henriques 42 we have tested with twin 800-hp MAN diesels. With that bower her WOT speed was 36.6 knots and she burned about 47 gph at 28 knots. In this day and age of more economical boating the John Deere 550-hp diesels are much more appropriate and should move her fast enough for most cruising people. We have not tested the 42 Charter, but the builder tells us that her WOT speed is 31.5 knots, with best cruise being at 28 knots burning 42 gph.
If you are the kind of boater who would rather have a semi-custom boat without the "glitz" for a very affordable price, then we think you should talk to Natalia or Maria Henriques and a good time to do it would be at the up-coming Annapolis or Ft. Lauderdale boat shows. For those interested in a cruising version of the 42, be sure to ask what the company has coming for next spring. From what we've been told it sounds like just what one would hope to find in 42' at a price of around $675,000, with smaller engines. Remember that Henriques sells factory-direct. That is probably the best way of getting what you want in a semi-custom boat as well as to get considerable value.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!