North-Line 42 driven

The North-Line 42 battles the chop of the Wadden Sea and comes up trumps

The Wadden Sea, which lies between northwestern continental Europe and the Frisian Islands, is a challenging proving ground for a motorboat.

The low-lying surroundings, made up of mud flats and wetland, provide little shelter for this vast expanse of water so it is, to put it lightly, a little breezy.

Combine a short, nasty chop with wake from streams of boats heading through the only channel that leads to the Frisian Islands and you have yourself some very testing conditions.

Luckily we were in just the boat for the job, the North-Line 42. Built in Harlingen, one of the towns that fringes the Wadden Sea, it’s made to tackle these waters and much worse.

The hull is a derivative of Arthur Mursell’s workboat proven Nelson design, it has a cosy wheelhouse and a deep cockpit surrounded by thick stainless steel railings. If you’re heading out in a blow then it should be up to the job.

Teamed with the ocean shattering hull are a pair of Cummins 6.7-litre 480hp diesels, which offer punchy and very smooth performance even through the teeth of a building chop.

They are a good match for the boat and, flat out, will manage a whisker under 30 knots. Not that you’ll spend much time up at that speed because at 22 knots the 42 is hardly trying yet will iron out the worst Poseidon has up his sleeve.

One crucial difference between the North-Line and the handful of other Nelson-based boats out there like the Seawards and Dales of this world is headroom because, as North-Line’s director Sipko van Sluis points out, “the Dutch are tall”.

Therefore headroom throughout was crucial for him and he asked Arthur to draw a hull shape that included increased freeboard to accommodate this.

We spent a good couple of days on board the 42 and you can read our full impression in the December issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

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