Just Launched – Kanter 42

First published in SAIL Magazine, 1988

Just Launched – Kanter 42

by Tom Dove

From the time you see the Kanter 42 dockside, with her graceful, moderate lines and strong rubrail, you know this is not a floating condo, but a seagoing yacht.

Manfred Kanter Senior and Junior continue a family tradition of building high-quality, ocean-sailing metal yachts with this limited production beauty sculpted in marine aluminum. Their construction practices produce a unitized welded hull with smooth compound curves that make it indistinguishable from a fiberglass vessel.

Kanter Yachts believes in attention to detail. There are no rough weld edges; all corners are cleanly radiused and finished. The hull is insulated for comfort and carefully coated using the Awlgrip system.

Dieter Empacher, former chief designer for Ted Hood, gave her wholesome, moderate lines with a foil centerboard and partially-balanced skeg rudder. The tall, modern cutter rig gives enough sail options to deal with anything from light air to gale force winds while the board-up draft of 4’6″ will be welcome in shoal waters around the world. Two watertight bulkheads enable damage control in the event of a serious collision.

The interior finish is superbly executed in hand-rubbed cherry and fittings are of excellent quality. Details like rounded corners, grabrails and sturdy joinery are everywhere and the nav station with its swivel chair will be an offshore pleasure. The double cabin layout is well-suited to extended cruising by one or two couples or a small family.

Stowage and access for maintenance is exceptionally well done, with all pumps and filters centrally located and planned space for tools and spares.

Our test sail at Annapolis on a crisp Fall day with Manfred Kanter, Jr. and his chief builder was pure pleasure. The 42 tracked like the Metroliner and showed excellent speed. This boat would be  perfectly at home on a Bermuda race, and the crew would have fine accomodations, too.

The 42 was well behaved on all points of sail, going to windward quite satisfactorily with the centerboard up and, of course, even better with it down. It was responsive, agile and solid-feeling under full main and genoa in 15-20 knots of breeze. Kanter said most buyers would probably opt for a roller-furling genoa and set the staysail and running backstays only in really rough weather.

The deck layout is well executed, with hardàware where you need it and a convenient walk-through cockpit coaming that makes it easy to go forward. A built-in stern platform and steps make boarding from swimming or a dinghy easy.

A carefully-silenced Perkins 4-108 diesel with easy access drives the boat efficiently and maneuverability in close quarters under power was excellent.

After two hours of sailing, the four of us looked at each other, wishing we could simply head out to sea instead of returning to port. The Kanter 42 is that kind of vessel, and if long range performance cruising is your dream and $215,800 is your price range, she’s worth a careful look.

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