The brand new Dehler 42 performance cruiser from a subsidiary of the Hanse Group, has much in common with the successful Dehler 38, which was voted European Yacht of the Year in 2014. It’s intended to offer a blend of vice-free fast sailing along with comfortable and sophisticated accommodation.

Hull construction is of vacuum-infused foam sandwich. Vinylester resin is used with the first layer of glass and in highly stressed areas that are reinforced with woven rovings or unidirectional fibres. The deck is of balsa sandwich, while the carbon-reinforced inner hull structure is said to be 25 per-cent stiffer than standard arrangements and has been engineered to withstand loads generated in grounding incidents. Take a closer look with our First Look Video recorded at this year's Dusseldorf Boat Show.




Below decks

Dehler has a long-standing reputation for innovative interior styling and layouts and the new 42 doesn’t disappoint in this respect. The spacious, striking saloon has natural light from overhead hatches, coachroof windows and hull ports, along with distinctive roll-top lockers along each side. Nevertheless, the practicalities necessary for a serious sailing yacht have not been forgotten – decent grab handles, for instance, are built into each side of the coach roof.

Accommodation layouts include two or three cabin options, both of which are offered with either one or two head compartments. All variants share the same spacious saloon, galley and navigation station. Dehler makes a big point about the benefits of its patented “uni-door” that divides the saloon from the spacious main bathroom and also acts as a lockable door for the shower and toilet.

The forecabin can be laid out with either a semi-peninsula bed plus generous hanging lockers each side of the standing area, or with a more conventional double v-berth and an en suite heads compartment. Boats with the two-cabin arrangement benefit from a huge walk-in storage area aft of the main heads compartment, which will certainly appeal to those planning long-distance voyaging. The large galley has good worktop space, along with twin sinks, a two-burner gas stove and oven, plus an extra-large top-and-front-loading fridge of approximately 130 litres capacity.

Dehler 42 review: interior

The comfortable saloon and well appointed galley.


On deck and performance

The Judel / Vrolijk designed hull has a high righting moment, thanks to both form stability and a choice of low-centre-of-gravity keels. The boat is offered in both standard and competition variants, the former having a 2.15m T-bulb keel, or a 1.98m shoal-draught option. The competition model has a deeper 2.4m T-bulb keel, with proportionately less ballast, which reduces displacement by almost two-thirds of a tonne. In turn, this is allied to a rig that’s approximately six per-cent larger than that of the standard model.

The generous sail area is set from a 9/10ths fractional keel-stepped aluminium mast with two pairs of spreaders. There’s an optional composite bowsprit, which incorporates an anchor roller, and there is a comprehensive set of performance deck gear that will make the boat’s power easier to tame than that of more ostensibly cruising-oriented yachts. The cockpit is equipped with twin wheels, plus an optional large hinge-down bathing platform at the aft end.

Deck gear is of a high standard, including Dyneema main and headsail halyards and an under-deck headsail furling system. As standard, the sails supplied are from the Elvstrom FCL performance range with a tri-radial cut. In addition to the various accommodation layouts, options include the fold-down boarding platform and fixed bowsprit.

Dehler 42 review: deck layout

The high-spec deck gear on all models will make taming the Dehler 42's power much easier.


Equipment and options

There are so many different potential variants of keel, rig and accommodation layout that it’s easy to imagine no two Dehler 42s being exactly alike. But that doesn’t mean that the standard boat is poorly equipped – instead it’s a reflection that Dehler owners tend to be very experienced and knowledgeable, and the company goes out of its way to ensure they can create exactly the right boat for their particular needs. It may not the cheapest way to build boats, but it’s a great route to obtaining exactly the boat you want.


What it does best

The Dehler 42 is a boat that’s designed to be a joy to sail, while at the same time offering innovative, comfortable and sophisticated accommodation below decks.



If the main criterion on which you judge a yacht is the ratio of accommodation volume to price, then this boat will disappoint. However, if you value the extra money spent on the efficient deck layout and hardware, along with the benefits of the lead ballast, the slippery hull shape, and the many different configuration options, then this boat has a lot to offer.

Dehler 42 review: standard layout plan

Dehler 42 standard layout plan.


Other models in the range

This model fits into the company’s range between the existing Dehler 38 (see review on and Dehler 46 (see review on models. The six-strong line-up also includes the Dehler 29, the 35, as well as a new 34-footer. All are of the same ethos – stylish, fast, well-mannered performance cruisers with well-executed accommodation.


Alternative boats

Other performance cruisers of a similar size include the Arcona 430, Grand Soleil 43 (see review on, as well as the marginally smaller Elan E5 and the J/112E (see review on


Dehler 42 review: specifications

LOA: 12.84m
Hull Length: 12.42m
LWL: 11.50m
Beam: 3.91m
Draught: 1.98m / 2.15m / 2.40m
Displacement: 9,100kg (standard) · 8,450kg (competition) · 9,350kg (shallow)
Ballast: 2,950kg (standard) · 2,500kg (competition) · 3,250kg (shallow)
Engine: 39.6hp
Fresh water: 315 litres
Fuel capacity: 160 litres
Air draught: 19.55m (standard) · 20.05m (competition)
Total sail area: 93.0sq m (standard) · 99.5sq m (competition)
Main sail: 52.0sq m (standard) · 55.5sq m (competition)
Furling jib: (105%) 41.0sq m · 44.0sq m (competition)
Spinnaker: 103sq m (standard) · 125sq m (competition)
Gennaker: 120sq m (standard) · 145sq m (competition)


Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.