Theo Stocker casts his expert eye over the Southerly 42, offering bluewater luxury in a yacht with a minimum draught of just 84cm

There are few high-end bluewater cruising yachts that can boast a draught of just 84cm (3ft). While this increases to 2.7m (8ft 11in) while sailing, the trademark swing keel of the Southerly 42 means this boat will be able to access anchorages and creeks that most other boats of this size simply can’t get near.

What’s more, the iron grounding plate (doubles as ballast), twin rudders and skeg-protected prop all mean the Southerly 42 can take the ground and dry out. Whether in the Isles of Scilly or the Bahamas, that’s an appealing proposition.

The aft cabin on the Discovery 42

Her makers claim that her sailing performance will still sparkle, with a tall fractional rig – 18.5m (60ft 7 in) air draught – and the additional draft helping her point at 30º to the apparent wind. Her polars suggest she’ll nudge 8.5 knots on a white sail reach in 20 knots of breeze. She comes with a self-tacking jib as standard, with sheet controls for both sails led aft to the helm, while halyard are on the coachroof. A furling offwind sail can be set from the fixed bowsprit.

The other key Southerly trait is the raised saloon to port, at the bottom of the companionway, with a lower-level galley to starboard, meaning you can sit inside and enjoy 270º views. Unusually the chart table-cun/workstationg is against the forward bulkhead, level with the mast. For this size boat, the aft master cabin is huge with a full-size island double bed and ensuite heads. The guest cabin forward, also ensuite, is generous too.

The hull is built of vinylester GRP, and reuses the Humphreys hull of the Southerly 42RST, but has received the Discovery treatment on deck and below, making this an appealing and modern-looking cruiser that is thoroughly capable.

Southerly 42 specifications

LOA: 13.3m (42ft 7in)
Beam: 4m (13ft 3in)
Draught: (UP/DOWN) 0.8m/2.7m (2ft 9in/8ft 11in)
Sail area: 75m2 (811 sq ft)
Displacement: 11,341kg (25,003 lbs)
Price: ex yard £535,000 ex VAT

Enjoyed reading this?

A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.

YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.

      • Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
      • Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
      • Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.