Cruisers Yachts 42 Cantius

Weekend Warrior.

by Alan Wendt
Something very interesting happened last year. We started using our boats for overnight trips again.


  • LOA: 43'2"
  • Beam: 13'8"
  • Draft: 40"
  • Weight:
  • Fuel Capacity: 300 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 80 gals.
  • Power:
  • Price: $850,000

 The Great Recession and the price of fuel put the kibosh on those two-week summer Great Lakes wanderlusts; however, a much-improved economy, reasonably priced fuel and pent-up demand has boatbuilders excitedly releasing new models like the Cruisers Yachts 42 Cantius. 

Actually, the Wisconsin-based manufacturer never let bad times get in the way of innovation. Since the introduction of the original Cantius model in 2010, they’ve steadily delivered a fleet that balances European curves with American ergonomics of spacious interiors bathed in natural light, with windows and glass doors all around.

The new 42 replaces the retiring 41 and offers some welcome design updates that cater to an evolving taste among 40- to 65-year-old cruisers who are back to grilling meals outside, who want distinctive social zoning for hosting dockside parties, and who need staterooms with individual heads below deck for overnight guests. These are all features rarely seen in a model this size.

Ahead of its time

Cruisers was one of the very first boatbuilders to embrace Volvo Penta’s forward-facing IPS drives some 13 years ago. They understood the need for building a hull to accommodate the more fuel-efficient nature of these engines. That decade-plus of R&D is soundly part of the 42 Cantius DNA. With a top speed in excess of 34 mph, a comfortable cruise around 21 mph delivers a range of 324 miles on a single tank of fuel (300 gallons). That translates into roughly 1.2 mpg — double what many other notable cabin cruisers on the market today offer.

I mentioned grilling because that’s one of the first features/design changes you’ll notice. Cruisers moved the Kenyon electric grill from the starboard to stern, and added storage on both sides of the grill to keep the seating area of the aft cockpit free from confusion during meal prep. Sliding doors magically disappear into the woodwork, providing a whopping 64-inch opening between the aft galley and cockpit. An optional refrigerator is available on the transom. Our test boat also had an icemaker in the cockpit and a standard 48-quart cooler, so your beverages will always stay cold.

When things heat up, simply push a button and in 15 seconds a full sunshade will deploy. I was very impressed at how quietly the mechanical arms articulated the shade into place. Cockpit L-seating, a couple of tables and hydraulic swim steps that submerge 1 to 2 feet underwater round out the features here.

For those who like lounging forward, the 42 Cantius is rather unique. Two foredeck chaise lounges move from a prone

position to upright seating around a small yet comfortable bow cockpit. Carving out a space like this normally comes at the expense of lower headroom in the forward cabin. Cruisers figured out a way around this construction dilemma and managed to throw in two cup holders and a foredeck stowable table plus storage compartments.

Access to and from the forward deck and recessed windless is via wide side decks with 1-inch diameter bow rails. You’ll feel very secure moving fore and aft.

Confident command 

Inside the salon, one must admire what I call the picture window — a one-piece Taylormade windshield. The 42 Cantius maximizes interior natural lighting by combining this with an equally impressive full-beam sunroof and opening upper salon windows.

The seating layout is different from other models. Instead of a dinette opposite the double-wide helm seat, it’s a combination forward-facing seat that transforms into a rear-facing lounger. Other main deck attributes include: A large L-shaped dinette with storage below and overhead; stainless-steel appliances in the galley; a large pantry; and a drool-worthy glass cockpit.

Dual 12-inch screens with your choice of Garmin or Raymarine Axiom Pro displays, joystick controls and pictogram rocker switches create a very confident command center. Angled footrests and flip-up seat bolsters offer a comfortable ride for those days when you decide to tackle all of Lake Michigan in a single bound.

All that natural light in the cockpit spills over below decks through an atrium-style staircase that leads to the forward guest stateroom and full-beam master. Cruisers Yachts refers to the mid-cabin as the VIP stateroom, which features a mounted flat screen TV, a comfortable couch and a king-size bed. Be sure to lift up the mattress: Yes, that’s dedicated space for just about anything you want to hide out of sight. Each stateroom has a private entrance to both heads with separate shower stalls and Ronbow designer vanity sinks.

Skippers who appreciate precision in the engine room can treat themselves to another one of Cruisers Yacht’s benchmarks for quality. I found labels every 3 inches on wiring harnesses. This is a big deal for the day you need to trace something. Cruisers makes its own harnesses; they are tested for continuity outside of the boat and then brought on-board for installation. Even the placement of seacocks caught my interest, and I’m far from being a gearhead. This boat just happens to be well built.

Offered with Volvo Diesel 500 or 600 twin IPS, this is an ideal boat for the couple trading up from a dayboat or the retiring couple trading down in size to a more manageable vessel that still provides weekending in comfort. 

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