Seaward 42 review

The Seaward 42 is an exceptional seagoing craft designed for seriously intrepid boaters who still want to do 25 knots

The new Seaward 42 is the Isle of Wight based boatbuilder’s new flagship.

If £580,000 and upwards seems like a lot of money to pay for a boat with just a single sleeping cabin forward, then my test convinced me of the very opposite; that the 42 actually represents value for money when you take into consideration the high degree of customisation on offer and the outstanding practical detailing that’s clearly the result of obsessive compulsive disorder at work somewhere in the company.

Seaward 42

The legendary Nelson hull form lives on

In fact, the single cabin arrangement on our test boat doesn’t tell the whole story – there’s an alternative aft cabin Seaward 42 as well, so 42 owners could easily enjoy a far more palatial cabin arrangement than ours.

The depth of practical detailing runs so deep it’s difficult to know where to start. So perhaps just one good example will suffice. Running around all the countertops and the deep storage bins in the saloon was an unusually tall fiddle.

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Seaward 42

This boat only had one cabin but the layout is customisable

It had been specially designed by the owner with a heavily curved backside that made it almost as effective to use as a separate circular handrail. I also found I could walk from the cockpit, through the saloon, then down into the galley without ever having to let go of some handhold or handrail, in most places I could be holding on to two at the same time.

Seaward 42

A workboat-like view from the helm

Even if you don’t plump for the optional gyro stabiliser and Humphree’s full attitude control system, the new 42 is not a boat that will ever leave you feeling unsafe in a big sea.


One of the key things that separates the intrepid 42 from a displacement plodder from the likes of Nordhavn is its excellent turn of speed.

Seaward 42

A safe and practical sea-going galley below

Our boat reached 25.5 knots with its owner specified 425hp Cummins, so the lighter and more powerful 440hp Yanmar could potentially add another knot to that.

Seaward 42

A suspension seat at the helm helps to iron out what the hull can’t

Given how soft riding the 42’s Nelson pilot boat form is, here’s a boat with the potential to undertake rapid transit even when it’s rough outside.

That said, its form also lends itself to fuel efficient cruising at single figure displacement speeds, courtesy of a long deep keel that stops it from wandering and helps to protect all the sterngear.

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  • Outstanding practical detailing
  • Extremely sturdy, soft riding hull
  • High degree of customisation
  • Very high standard specification
  • Clever cockpit canopy design
  • Uber-comfy helm seats


  • Looks like a workboat

Price as reviewed:

£725,000.00 inc UK VAT


There are the pretenders, the boats with blue hulls and chunky trawler-like styling that only appear to be serious seagoing boats. And then there are boats like the Seaward 42, which truly can venture forth any time in any weather. The 42 is the real McCoy.


Length: 43ft 8in (13.30m)
Beam: 13ft 0in (3.96m)
Fuel capacity: 440 imp gal (2,000 litres)
Water capacity: 154 imp gal (700 litres)
Draught: 4ft 0in (1.22m)
RCD Cat: A (for 12 people)
Displacement: 14 tonnes
Test engines: Twin 425hp Cummins
Top speed: 25.5 knots
Cruising speed: 8-20 knots

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