Alpha 42 Catamaran
Based in Long Island, New York, catamaran dealer, designer, sailor and author Gregor Tarjan is one of the country’s leading experts on multihulls of every size and description. So when we first learned that Tarjan was one of the principals in bringing the new Aeroyacht Alpha 42 into existence, we were interested to see the final result. Well, the semi-custom Alpha 42 was recently launched near the Long Island facility where the boat was built, and everyone involved with the project should be justifiably proud of what they’ve created. The Alpha 42 is an exciting new entry into the fleet of performance cruising cats, and with a base price of $395,000—and eight orders already on the ledger—it appears the new 42-footer may have hit a sweet spot in the marketplace.
The Alpha 42 incorporates a lot of interesting features not usually associated with production catamarans, including wave-piercing bows; multi-chine hulls; separate, private entryways for the two aft staterooms; and a choice of either high-performance daggerboards (which draw 6’ 8” when lowered, or just 28” when raised) or fixed, low-aspect mini keels (with a 3’ 6” draft).
Tarjan likes fast boats, and the Alpha 42 looks quick just sitting on a mooring. The boat is entered in this year’s Boat of the Year (BOTY) competition, and we’re really looking forward to taking it for a spin. Some of the speed enhancements include an integrated carbon-fiber bowsprit for off-wind sails, an optional carbon rotating mast and lightweight synthetic rigging. In a further nod to performance, all the heavy stuff like fuel and water tanks, and the batteries, have been centered in the boat to reduce any pitching or inertia. Paul Van Dyke of North Sails, another wizard in the world of state-of-the art cats, designed the sails, including the self-tacking working Solent jib. Did I mention I’m really eager to test the 42?
Built to ABYC specifications by Alpha 1 Composites, the Alpha 42’s composite structure incorporates Vinylester resins and a Divinycell foam core in the hulls and superstructure, with a Nidacore honeycomb core in the bulkheads. Saving weight was clearly a priority, and with a light displacement of just over 9 tons, it’s clear the builders succeeded in that goal. The mast is an ICW-friendly 62’ off the water.
There are two different accommodation plans offered, one a charter or family version with a quartet of cabins, all with their own heads, and the other an owner’s version with a full-length master suite in its own dedicated hull. Gregor, we’ll take one of those, please.
This year’s BOTY fleet of cats is one of the strongest in years, with new boats from Gunboat (including the 55, also built on the East Coast, in North Carolina); a pair of new Lagoons (the 39 and 52); a fresh Chris White design constructed in Chile by Alwoplast (the Atlantic 47, with White’s innovative “mast foil” rig); and a full-size Nautitech (the 562). So the Alpha 42 will certainly find stiff competition. Will the boat be a contender?
For more information, visit www.aeroyacht.com.