The Hinckley Souwester 42 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Hinckley Souwester 42 was designed by McCurdy & Rhodes and built in the USA by Henry R. Hinckley & Co.

A Hinckley Sou'wester 42 sailboat enters the Jolly Harbour anchorage under headsail in Antigua, West Indies.A Hinckley Sou'wester 42 sailboat. This one is a cutter, but others were produced as masthead sloops.

Published Specification for the Hinckley Sou'wester 42

Underwater Profile: Fin keel and skeg-hung Rudder

Hull Material: GRP

Length Overall: 42'9" (12.1m)

Waterline Length: 31'3" (9.5m)

Beam: 12'6" (3.8m)

Draft: 7'0" (2.1m) or shoal draft version 5'0" (1.5m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop (or cutter)

Displacement: 24,000lb (10,886kg)

Designer: McCurdy & Rhodes

Builder: Henry R. Hinckley & Co (USA)

Year First Built: 1982


Published Design Ratios for the Hinckley Sou'wester 42

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.8

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 35.4

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 351

4. Comfort Ratio: 37.0

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Hinckley Sou'wester 42

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 15.8 suggests that the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 35.4 means that the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 will have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and she'll need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze. 

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 351, puts the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 in the top end of the heavy displacement category and just creeping into the ultra-heavy category. Load her up as much as you like and her performance will be hardly affected. Few sailboats are built to this displacement category these days - but they remain popular with many experienced long-distance sailors.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 37.4 suggests that crew comfort of a Hinckley Sou'wester 42 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Hinckley Souwester 42 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Hinckley Sou'wester 42 below decks...

Hinckley Sou'wester 42 accommodation layoutHinckley Sou'wester 42 accommodation layout

The Hinckley Souwester 42 has a forward cabin with a V-berth and an ensuite head, a salon with a U-shaped dinette and a settee, a galley, a navigation station, a pilot berth, and an aft cabin with two single berths and an ensuite head. The boat can sleep up to six people comfortably. These boats were built on a custom basis, so there may be some variations among individual boats.


Cruisers' Questions about this Sailboat...

How many versions of the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 were produced and how do they differ?

There were two versions of the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 produced: the original version and the MKII version. The original version was launched in 1982 and was available as a masthead sloop or a yawl. The MKII version was introduced in 1995 and had some modifications to the keel, rudder, transom, and interior layout. The MKII version was also offered as a cutter or a ketch. 

What are the differences between the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 and the Hinckley Souwester 43?

The Hinckley Sou'wester 42 and the Hinckley Sou'wester 43 are very similar boats, but they have some minor differences. The Hinckley Sou'wester 42 was the original version, launched in 1982 and produced until 2006. The Hinckley Sou'wester 43 was a modified version, introduced in 1995 and produced until 2002. The main differences between the two versions are:

  • The Hinckley Sou'wester 43 has a slightly longer waterline length (9.75m vs 9.53m) and a slightly longer overall length (13.11m vs 13.03m);
  • The Hinckley Sou'wester 43 has a modified keel, rudder, and transom, which improved the boat's performance and handling;
  • The Hinckley Sou'wester 43 has a different interior layout, with more headroom, more storage, and a larger aft cabin;
  • The Hinckley Sou'wester 43 was offered as a cutter or a ketch, while the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 was offered as a sloop or a yawl.

Both versions were built on a custom basis, so there may be some variations among individual boats.

Is the Hinckley Souwester 42 MkII also known as the Hinckley Souwester 43?

Yes, the Hinckley Sou'wester 42 MkII is also known as the Hinckley Sou'wester 43. The MkII version was introduced in 1995 and had some modifications to the keel, rudder, transom, and interior layout. The MkII version also had a slightly longer waterline length and overall length than the original version. The Hinckley Sou'wester 42 and the Hinckley Sou'wester 43 are essentially the same boat, but with different names to reflect the changes.

Can a Hinckley Souwester 42 be sailed singlehanded?

Sailing alone on a Hinckley Sou'wester 42 is possible, but it may not be easy or comfortable. The boat is designed for cruising with a crew, and it has a large sail area, a heavy displacement, and a complex rig. It may be challenging to handle the boat in different wind and sea conditions, especially when tacking, reefing, or docking.

How long does it take to build a Hinckley Souwester 42?

The exact time it takes to build a Hinckley Souwester 42 may vary depending on the level of customization, the availability of materials, and the workload of the builder. However, a rough estimate can be obtained by looking at the production history of the boat. The Hinckley Souwester 42 was built by Hinckley Yachts between 1982 and 2006, and there were 46 boats built in that period. That means an average of about two boats per year, or six months per boat. However, this is only an average, and some boats may have taken longer or shorter than others.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


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