Shape Shifter

The Sealine SC42 packs innovative onboard features into a great ride for the whole family.

If you’ve seen any of the sci-fi movies about transformers, where alien robots morph into everyday machinery, then you’ll easily recognize the new Sealine SC42 as a nautical transformer.

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Want sun and breeze? Push a button, the roof slides open and you have a big runabout. Other switches rearrange the huge cockpit from dining area to tanning space and back to a lounging area.

Accommodations:

I loved the cockpit and bridge deck of this airy sport cruiser, because it does so many things well. If you want the open air, a huge sunroof slides open at the touch of a button. Cool or wet weather? Invisible hatches at the back of the hardtop open to unfurl a full enclosure that turns the Sealine SC42 into a true all-weather cruiser with both heat and air conditioning.

In the cockpit, the two L-shaped lounges provide seating on each side of the centerline walkway to the wide swim platform, but the lounges also slide together electrically to become a dining area with a folding table. Another button folds the backrest flat to create a huge sunpad that still allows port-side access to the swim platform. And you’re just a step away from an outdoor kitchen with grill and fridge.

The helm is perfect, with a pair of bucket seats that would befit an Aston Martin, plus a handy navigation table, opening windows, and an unbroken view.

Step below, and an oversized skylight floods the saloon with light. The convertible dinette is surrounded by stowage, and the galley includes a full-height fridge, cooktop, oven, and grill.

Perfect for a family with kids or two couples weekending, the owners get a forward master cabin with double berth and an en suite head with separate stall shower across the passageway.

Aft, a private cabin has full standing headroom, a pair of single berths that transform into a queen-size berth, and an en suite head with shower stall separated by a Lucite door.

Construction:

Sealine takes full advantage of modular construction, with an innovative system of components that are assembled away from the hull, complete with wiring and plumbing, so they can be fully tested before being installed.

The SC42, like all Sealines, has a solid-fiberglass hull bottom with both longitudinal and transverse fiberglass stiffeners to add rigidity as well as create a solid base for the various modules. Stitched and woven reinforcing are used throughout and, while in the engineroom, I was impressed by the tidiness of the overall construction.

Performance:

The SC42 is available with a variety of power choices including Volvo stern drives, but the Volvo Penta IPS600 pod drives on our test boat were an ideal package. The joystick controls make maneuvering a cinch, the compact engines allow the large after cabin and, though the engine room is snug, there is room for an 11-kW Onan genset.

Under way, the SC42 is the very definition of fun. In lumpy seas off Florida, she was dry and soft riding and, even running flat out at more than 33 knots, she was solid and predictable.

45’7"
14’8"
3’2"
24,250 lb.
317 gal.
79 gal.
2/435-HP Volvo Penta IPS600-IPS
$991,881

Awlgrip hull, $28,235; synthetic teak cockpit, $9,811; Raymarine chartplotter w/ radar, $10,771; Entertainment package, $4,890.

Air temperature: 84ºF; humidity: 68%; seas 3’-4’; load: 250 gal. fuel, 25 gal. water, 4 persons. Speeds are two-way averages measured with Raymarine GPS. GPH taken via Volvo Penta display. Range is 80% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.